Elementary (1st-6th Grade)
Once a child turns six years of age, Montessori discovered that the child enters a second plane of development. This plane encompasses lower elementary, from ages 6-9, and upper elementary, from ages 9-12. Physically there are tremendous changes.
The biggest difference, however, between a preschool child and the elementary child is that the elementary child explores his environment and seeks to understand the world around him by using his mind. While the young child understands and learns through his senses, the child in the second stage of development combines memory, imagination and reason instead of sensorial impressions to learn. Montessori said that the greatest gift is the use of imagination to achieve abstraction. Now the questions become "How does it work?" and "Why?" instead of "What?"
The material learned in the elementary classroom is based upon experimentation and independent discovery. At the heart of the Montessori elementary curriculum lies the Cosmic Curriculum. During this period, students develop a newfound interest and awareness of the world. All students work with materials at their own pace until they have mastered a particular subject, and then are guided to the next sequential level.
Our teachers present lessons designed to give students an understanding of function within the world and how the world relates to students in order to aid the students in creating a meaningful relationship with the rest of the world.The child in the elementary classroom is involved in building relationships with peers and adults. The 6-12 year-old child becomes engaged in the construction of a community, and gradually the child will choose the group as the context for his own life. During this period, there is great social adaptation as opposed to the physical adaptation of the preschool child. Sensitivity to belonging to the group also leads the child toward a system of justice and helps the child to develop a sense of conscience. Montessori Elementary consists of a lower elementary (1st-3rd grade) and an upper elementary (4th-6th grade). These multi-aged classrooms are designed for a child to spend three years in the same classroom. Subsequently, one-third of the class will matriculate to the next level each June and each September one-third of the students will be new.