Elementary Level - Montessori Curriculum

Early Childhood (3 - 6 years)

The Early Childhood Montessori learning environment is divided into four basic areas: practical life (everyday living); sensorial (materials focusing on one or more of the senses); language; and mathematics. Additionally, music, Spanish, art, technology and religion are integrated into the curriculum and further enrich each child’s experience. 

Practical Life

Practical Life focuses on activities that will support focused learning in all areas. Practical Life develops the skills of order, coordination, concentration and independence. The child engages with familiar, home-based exercises such as pouring, spooning, washing, and sweeping. The students begin to focus on a single activity and learn to follow a sequence from beginning to end. Through these activities, the child attains independence and a sense of competence that will carry into all other areas of learning.

Sensorial

Around the age of 3, children begin to classify impressions through the exploration of specially designed materials. The aim of the Sensorial curriculum is to refine the child’s sensory awareness and provide a framework that will help the child make sense of the world. Children explore temperature, size, weight, color, sound and taste. They take pleasure in learning a wealth of vocabulary and in connecting it to a particular sensory experience. The sensorial curriculum helps the child be in-tune with their surroundings. It sets the foundation for literacy development and observation skills.

Mathematics

The precision, order, and attention to detail fostered within the Practical Life and Sensorial Areas of the classroom lay the foundation for what Dr. Montessori referred to as the “mathematical mind”. The math curriculum begins with activities that lead children to understanding sequence, recognition and quantity of numbers. Children learn that math is a practical need that permeates our whole lives. Dr. Montessori believed that we must let children experiment with concrete material so they can begin to understand mathematics. When the child works with the material, the experiences are assimilated at a deeper level, arriving at an understanding of concepts through the work.

Language

Montessori uses a phonetic approach to language, starting with the sounds that make up words. Eventually, children start to “build” words, moving through three levels of material while developing phonetic awareness.

Language skills are also closely tied to social and emotional development. Children use language skills to express feelings, make friends, play, and develop ties to important people in their lives. The multi-age grouping of the Montessori classroom lends itself to a richer and more authentic interaction between peers that are at different developmental levels. The collaboration that happens between younger and older students supports the social and emotional development of the child.

Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies is an introduction to the functionality of the world using globes, maps, land and water forms, nomenclature cards and cultural activities. The children express themselves through songs, dance and art.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an integral part of the curriculum. The teachers are trained in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and lessons are given on campus by trained teachers.

Elementary (1st - 5th grade)

The Montessori Elementary program responds to the needs of the 6 to 12 year old child with exploration and order. This is the age that children begin to explore and make sense of their environment.

The Five Great Lessons at the heart of the Montessori elementary curriculum provide the framework from which students come to understand the interrelatedness of all living things and where we fit in as intelligent creatures. From the Beginning of the Universe, the Timeline of Life, to the Appearance of Man, the History of Mathematics and the History of Writing, students engage in follow up work in the areas of earth sciences, functional geography, chemistry, zoology, classification, botany, ancient civilizations and interrelatedness.

The Montessori classroom has a delicate balance between freedom and structure. Students move from one activity to the next without prompting from the teacher, learning to be responsible and accountable.

Each classroom is prepared with a three-year span of curriculum, allowing each child to progress at their own pace. The multi-age grouping exposes the student to a variety of work, and lends itself to the development of social and emotional skills which foster collaboration and leadership.

Upper elementary level students cross the bridge between primarily experiential learning and abstract understanding of concepts. New thinking brings a growing sense of membership in society, while acknowledging the need for peer interaction. Work on group projects, use of community resources and an expansion in field study become important new elements in the curriculum.

The net result of this careful progression through the Elementary Level Montessori curriculum is a child who is independent and naturally curious, with a love of learning and achievement.

Additionally, art, physical education, music, religion, S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math), and Spanish are integrated into the curriculum to further enrich each child's experience.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher conferences are held twice during the year. During this time each parent is expected to meet with the child's teacher to discuss his/her progress. Most of the important factors in the growth and development of a child are so vital and often so complex that they can be shared fruitfully between teacher and parents only through kind and honest discussion.

Parents are encouraged and most welcome to call on teachers whenever they feel extra conferences are necessary. This can be done either by phone or meetings. It is important to make previous arrangements for an appointment.

Grading and Reporting

I = Introduced

P = Practicing

M = Mastery

EN = Effort Needed

IN = Intervention Needed

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