During the Elementary years, children develop improved physical abilities and better body control. Along with their physical growth and development, children begin to embrace more logical thought processes. Both these milestones enable the child to participate in organized games and activities with his peers. They are also now able to achieve mastery of basic literacy skills and continue to read and write competently. Socially, they make great advances in understanding self, morality, and friendships.
The curriculum is purposely designed to support the student’s increased ability to begin to move from concrete use of materials that support academic concepts to developing abstract thinking. Character development shares equal importance. Students are supported in developing a sense of justice, moral development, and a strong desire to be individuals within a strong community of learners.
Each student in our Elementary program participates in small group as well as individual lessons, working independently to complete assignment expectations. Assignments are clear and concise to meet the needs of the child’s developmental stage and to maximize accountability for success. Goals are set for each individual student’s emotional, social, and intellectual growth. To ensure proper academic achievement, there is a sequence to the curriculum, and students are expected to reach certain benchmarks at key developmental points.
Montessori teachers engage children in inquiry-based learning; they tell stories to inspire the children’s imaginations rather than present facts and figures for memorization. In support of developing academic skills, the comprehensive curriculum contains concrete and abstract concepts that are introduced each year in the form of five “Great Lessons.” The lessons vary in complexity and depth as the student ages, constantly building on what they have learned while encouraging teacher-guided independent investigation and research across all subjects. The curriculum then builds from these lessons, raising questions and enticing the student to want to learn more.
Our expectations for student accountability and achieving success resides at or above norms for all subject areas. Assessment is done in both formal and informal ways, and our goal is to use authentic assessment tools. Authentic assessment occurs when the student does not merely memorize curriculum, but applies the knowledge and skills acquired to meaningful projects and written work. The thinking process in the work becomes as important as the finished product.