Lower Elementary Age 6 to 9
"Education between the ages of six to twelve is not a direct continuation of that which has gone before, though it is built upon that basis. Psychologically there is a decided change in personality, and we recognize that nature has made this a period for the acquisition of culture, just as the former was for the absorption of the environment." – Maria Montessori
The Lower Elementary program at Montessori Academy focuses on high academic achievement in a low-pressure environment. We provide an environment for each student to grow intellectually by using the principles and philosophy developed by Maria Montessori. Our knowledgeable and highly trained educators are there to present lessons, guide, and nurture the social, academic and emotional needs of each child.
The Elementary curriculum is based upon the Five Great Lessons developed by Maria Montessori. These lessons provide the basis for study of Mathematics, Language, Sciences and Arts. Children ages six though nine are eager to understand the connectedness of the world around them. These lessons, and the work that follows throughout the school year, allow children to develop a deep understanding of academic concepts as well as cultures of the world.
- The Lower Elementary Curriculum meets and/or exceeds Common Core Standards.
- Daily PE is offered to all Lower Elementary students.
- Weekly Art/Music/Drama lessons are presented which connect to the cultural curriculum of the classroom.
- Self-chosen research is encouraged. Students research and present their findings to the class.
- Responsibility, kindness, hard work and perseverance are skills taught and encouraged all throughout the school year.
Language Arts: The Elementary curriculum focuses on the teaching of spelling, grammar, reading, classification, nomenclature, oral expression, analysis and writing mechanics. Materials and exciting lessons are used to help the child develop a deep, concrete understanding of language and its purpose. Language lessons and concepts are carried out within all areas of the classroom to promote an integrated approach to education.
Mathematics: During this second plane of development children are passing through the sensorial stage into concrete and abstract ways of learning. They have big imaginations at this age and enjoy “big works.” It is also a period of great intellectual growth. The mathematical materials are designed to move the child from concrete concepts, by visually representing the concepts being taught, to the abstract. Materials are still hands-on as they were in the three to six environment, but move towards more abstract concepts. For example, golden bead addition moves to stamp game addition and then to the more abstract bead frames. Each material enables the child to take another step towards deep understanding and internalization of concepts. We strive to help the child understand the why and how of math.
Geometry: The Montessori materials used in geometry are extremely important. Each lesson, whether it is curved figures or parts of line, is demonstrated using concrete materials. Students are then encouraged to take what they know and apply it in the “real world.” For instance, on a nature walk, children are able to look for different curved figures in the shapes of leaves and/or flowers. When studying lines, the child can locate different parts of the line in the classroom. All of the materials allow the child to concretely understand the concept before moving on to abstract thought and reason.
Botany/Zoology: Children during the second phase of development are equipped with a wonderful imagination. They want to know why things happen and how they work. They have a strong desire for justice and fairness. They want to feel they are a part of the world they live in. The Montessori natural science curriculum fits wonderfully within these characteristics. It shows how fair and beautiful nature is, how and why we should care for our planet, and it shows the interconnectedness of everything! Maria Montessori believed that the cultural subjects needed to be taught first by sparking the child’s imagination. This is done through the use of impressionistic stories, charts and experiments. The botany curriculum is filled with wonderful lessons that allow the child to see how plants work and why they are important to the planet, including ourselves. The zoology curriculum uses large charts and real animals to demonstrate the characteristics of vertebrates and invertebrates allowing the child to see the similarities and differences between them. They are also exposed to the evolution of our planet.
Geography/History: History and geography are subjects taught within one curriculum. This is due to the interconnectedness of the subjects. Our universe beginning, our planet forming, life beginning and leading eventually to the evolution of human beings is taught. Because of the importance of both the age of the children developmentally and Maria Montessori’s theory, it is important to teach the concepts of time, culture, and physical geography in a combined approach. This gives the child the impression and realization that all is related and connected in some way.
Practical Life: In the Lower Elementary classroom, practical life is taught through the daily care of the classroom – both indoors and outdoors. It is the responsibility of the children to prepare snack for the community, dust and straighten shelves, sweep, compost appropriate materials and care for our plants and animals.