Elementary Curriculum: 1st thru 5th Grade
The Montessori curriculum inspires students to become independent learners who appreciate and understand their world. Integrated studies provide students with unique and age-appropriate materials that help them to become accountable for their use of time, for accuracy in their work and to evaluate their strengths and areas of growth. Our students have individualized work plans to allow them to use time effectively and to make appropriate choices. Students demonstrate great joy in their learning.
The Montessori Language Arts curriculum is designed to enhance the students' skills in reading, comprehension, writing and speaking; and to provide connections with history, literature, science, math, and geography.
Reading: Students increase comprehension skills through various reading activities: reading silently and aloud to peers and teachers, reading cards and sight words, reading booklets related to academic studies and home reading.
Writing: Creative writing allows the student to express thoughts before spelling and grammar are mastered. As the student's skills progress, sentence structure becomes more complex, spelling improves, and story-writing skills develop. Students write book reports, poetry and journals, and then learn to analyze sentences, build complex sentences and refine research skills.
Grammar: Students study the parts of speech and their functions using classical Montessori materials such as Grammar Boxes and the Farm. Definitions and symbols are correlated with each part of speech. Grammar studies are integrated to reinforce work the child has already mastered. For example, to play the Detective Adjective game, the child must be able to identify the scalene, isosceles and equilateral triangles; and obtuse, acute and right angle.
Spelling: Students study word families, create spelling lists, study word origins and meanings, and test their spelling skills. Nomenclature and sight words are practiced.
Handwriting: Print and cursive skills are reinforced through practice, journaling and class work.
Foreign Language: The students have Spanish class every day. Cultural aspects of the language such as singing, dancing, holidays and foods are also explored.
The student entering an elementary Montessori program usually has a good math foundation. Elementary Montessori materials allow students to develop an in-depth understanding of math concepts followed by memorization of math facts. Students receive individual and small group lessons and work at their own pace. Math curriculum is organized so that students can independently follow the math sequence under the teacher's guidance.
Memorization of Math Facts
Determining common multiples & divisors
Finding the greatest common divisor
Comprehensive geometry studies begin with experiences with the line and its parts and continue through studies of angles, polygons, triangles, quadrilaterals, circles area and volume. The concepts of similarity, congruency and equivalency are also studied.
Our physical science program was developed to provide a strong sequential curriculum which integrates physics, chemistry, geology, astronomy, earth sciences and electricity. Studies include the use of lectures, discussion and experiments. Projects and research help students to understand abstract concepts. Some favorite activities include constructing electromagnets and models of planets, atoms and molecules.
The Universe: formation, nebulae, galaxies, gravity, laws of motion, Milky Way, stellar nucleosynthesis
Solar System: the Sun, the eight planets and their orbits
The Sun: composition, sunspots, corona, flares, prominences, solar storms, solar winds, aurora borealis, aurora australis, source of energy (E=mC2), electromagnetic radiation spectrum, benefits & hazards of each band, eclipses
Planet Earth: origin, inner structure, plate tectonics and effects, continental drift, volcanism, earthquakes (movement & consequences), tsunami, tides
Matter: atomic structure, periodic table of elements, molecules, effects of gases on the human body, laws of physics (gravity, magnetism, nuclear forces), conservation of energy and of matter, radioactivity, nuclear power
Electricity: concept, electric circuits, dry cells, light bulbs, definitions (volt, ampere, ohm, watt), test of conductive vs. non-conductive materials, test of electrostatic materials, Van de Graf generator
Magnetism: theory, examples of magnets, test of materials attracted by magnets, construction of electromagnet
Botany: Many hands-on activities and experiments pique the students' curiosity and engage them in the study of botany. Students study botany nomenclature and definitions, plant classification, biomes and ecosystems. Older students research native plants and help care for them in the environment.
Zoology: Children have a natural curiosity about the earth's creatures. Zoology studies allow children to understand the system of organizing the animal kingdom, research the five classes of vertebrates and study each in depth. Students begin their studies by observing real creatures, then use cards, booklets, control charts and book research to continue their studies.
Geography studies are integrated with history and science. Students learn about many different cultures as they learn about other countries. Students also study the progression of geography since the formation of the earth. Favorite activities include drawing maps and identifying countries, oceans, flora and fauna native to each continent.
History begins with the concept of the passage of time, then geologic time and the study of civilizations throughout history.
Music: Throughout the school year, the students will focus on the eight essential elements of music: melody, rhythm, harmony, meter, dynamics, tempo, timbre and form. Learning will occur through the different medias of singing, playing various instruments, movements, composition and games depending on the students' academic level and abilities.
Drama: Students begin their drama studies learning theater basics through the use of story theater games. They learn projection, how to read other characters and stage movement. The drama program teaches teamwork while integrating reading, writing, memorizing and public speaking skills.
Art: Art lessons are taught using various techniques and media.
Conditioning, strengthening, rules, cooperation and sportsmanship are taught, along with basic skills in a variety of activities.
Each year our students participate in field trips that expand on and enrich their classroom learning. Our field trips have included visits to arboretums, science centers, libraries, museums, and children's theater productions.
Part of each student's education is to develop an awareness of human needs both locally and globally. Our elementary students participate in two community service projects each school year. This gives them a tangible opportunity to help meet the needs of others.