Plane of development
- Relatively stable period
- Period of ‘why’
- Age of creative imagination
- Passage from concrete world to abstract world
- Imagination world opened
- Physically – noticeable changes taking place;
losing baby teeth, baby facial features diminishing
- Reasoning skills beginning to develop
- Becoming boastful
- Beginning to enjoy peer interaction
- Not conscientious of how they look
- I don’t remember, I don’t know, I forgot;
sayings are quite common at this age
Students in the Lower Elementary classroom have the advantage of learning at their own pace and level. The advantage of the Montessori system is that it provides opportunities for students, in mosst instances, to move beyond the pace and level of traditional public and private curriculums. The curriculum is expansive, exciting, and involves bringing nature into the classroom, whenever possible. In the classroom, students are empowered to take charge of their learning and inspired to work to their potential.
As part of a school community, students are encouraged to develop self-worth, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Students become involved in every aspect of the classroom, school, and community: its preservation, conflict resolution with peers, planning of class events, completing assignments, and development of leadership skills encompass this area.
Literacy is developed through hands on experiences leading to reading, writing, and verbal communication and listening skills. Students are encouraged to develop their penmanship, punctuation, and spelling skills. Poetry, research, and creative writing exercises are introduced at an early age as a means of enabling self-expression and to strengthen imagination. Students also develop knowledge of grammar, sentence structure, analysis of sentences, and reading comprehension skills. Daily reading allows for both fluency and comprehension to develop.
Students are encouraged to develop their mathematical mind. Working with the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, students progress from concrete manipulation of the materials to abstract memorization. Money work, measurement, fractions, pre-algebra, reading/writing large numbers, Roman numerals, geometry, and graphing reveal math concepts through the manipulation of materials.
Cultural Studies (Geography, History, Science)
The cultural areas help students make sense of how everything is interrelated, thus, the curriculum is presented and organized as such.
Through the use of various materials, students develop an understanding and appreciation of past events. Some of the topics studied include ancient civilizations, evolution, and the history of Canada and the world. Independent study units are researched, presented, and discussed.
This area includes the study of the universe, countries/cities of the world, flags of the world, and the physical study of the Earth. Students also enjoy learning about nations and the needs of societies and humans. Students work independently and with peers to complete exercises in this area, which inspires inquisitiveness and the drive to learn more about the world in which they live.
Through visual and hands-on experiments, students gain an interest for the study of botany, zoology, and the physical science areas. Some topics include: the evolution of life on Earth, characteristics and needs of living things, classification of animal and plant kingdoms, properties of matter, everyday structure, and energy from wind and moving water. Outdoor exploration is pertinent and helps bring this area of study to life. Research is encouraged as erll sd independent and group study units.
Art, Physical Education, Music
Appreciation for art is developed through the exposure of various art mediums in order to produce individual ‘masterpieces’. Colour, three-dimensional figures, and elements of art are introduced. Projects include seasonal creations, painting, drawing, modeling clay, and designing. Students are exposed to famous artists and have an opportunity to observe and compare paintings through library resources.
A healthy body and healthy mind is encouraged. Health and nutrition education is introduced in combination with physical activity. Students enjoy cooperative games and the development of basic sports skills, body awareness, and coordination in an atmosphere of friendly competition.
A musical specialist guides the development and appreciation of oral expression and instrumental instruction using the recorder when readiness is demonstrated. Students are encouraged to learn and use musical terminology, to read notes, and develop an ear for specific notes. Students enjoy preparing for various performances using dance, drama, and vocal development.
French Second Language
Students in the elementary class receive French instruction by a specialized teacher. During the 2 ½ hours of class time each week, students develop reading, writing, and vocabulary skills. Students learn to express themselves orally and to write short assignments apart from weekly activity worksheets.
Elementary students become familiar with computer terms and the use of a computer. Familiarity with basic word processing, research, and publishing capabilities of a computer is encouraged. Typing with all fingers is reinforced and progressed through typing tutorials. When a child demonstrates readiness, opportunities for supervised Internet access for research assignments is encouraged. Internet safety is monitored and introduced.