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A Montessori School for Children Age 2 to Grade 3

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Elementary Curriculum

What to Expect in Elementary

Each year of a three-year Montessori classroom cycle has distinctive characteristics.  Each phase provides key experiences for each child’s development.  In the first year, a child benefits from watching older students model behavior as they internalize classroom routines and expectations.  In the middle year, children are more independent and comfortable in the classroom. They learn how to interact with both older and younger children while developing their knowledge and skills with classroom materials.  Second year children aspire to be leaders and look forward to the next step. Then in the third year, children have the exceptional opportunity to be role models and leaders and master classroom materials.

Allowing children to stay in the same classroom with the same friends and teachers is critical for our teachers to build strong, stable and consistent classroom communities. Consistency for children is key: they are able to concentrate on learning without spending time adjusting to new teachers and systems. 

Learning in a multi-age classrooms is individualized by its very nature.  Children progress at their own rate.  One of the key benefits to this individualization is that children do not experience the kind of boredom or frustration that is common with whole-group instruction.  Classrooms are more peaceful and teachers do not need extensive discipline plans or behavior reward systems.

Notwithstanding the high level of individualization, each three-year classroom cycle has discrete learning outcomes and a well define progression of lessons.  Learning objectives meet or exceed the curriculum found in traditional independent and public schools. Below is a summary of skills in language and math that are expected by the end of Elementary.

Elementary Language and Math

Language Skills

Grammar and Syntax
  • Parts of speech with grammar boxes – noun, article, adjective, verb, preposition, adverb, pronoun, conjunction, and interjection
  • Extensions with parts of speech
  • Beginning sentence analysis – subject, predicate, and direct object
  • Word study – root words, prefixes, suffixes, compound words, word families, synonyms, antonyms, homophones, and singular/plural nouns
  • Dictionary skills
Writing Practice
  • Cursive handwriting lower and upper case
  • Punctuation rules – period, question mark, exclamation point, beginning comma work
  • Capitalization
  • Beginning paragraph skills
  • Sentence construction
  • Spelling skills – contractions, phonograms, and puzzle words
  • Editing and rewriting a final composition
Written Composition
  • Research writing
  • Creative writing
  • Story writing
  • Poetry writing
  • Letter writing
  • Journal writing
Reading Skills
  • Chapter books
  • Silent sustained reading
  • Continued phonics – letter to sound relationships
  • Basic sight word recognition
  • Additional reading support with an emphasis on first year readers
Reading Comprehension
  • Reading for meaning and content
  • Story elements
  • Literature discussions
  • Daily individual reading for practice and enjoyment
  • Reading aloud to children
Reading Extension
  • Reading to primary classes as “reading buddies”
Spoken Language
  • Oral presentations
  • Drama and poetry

Math Skills

  • Formation of numbers
  • Attach quantity to symbol
  • Place value to millions
  • Reading numbers
  • Study of other number systems
  • Static and dynamic addition with and without materials
  • Static and dynamic subtraction with and without materials
  • Static and dynamic multiplication with and without materials
  • Static and dynamic division with and without materials
  • Memorization of math facts for each operation
  • Introduction to commutative, associative, and distributive laws of mathematics with materials
  • Introduction, concept, and practice with materials
  • Skip counting with and without materials
Squaring & Cubing
  • Introduction, concept, and practice with materials
  • History/introduction, concept, practice of linear measurement
  • Money - coin identification, adding coins, making change
  • Introduction and identification using materials
  • Equivalence of fractions
  • Operations with fractions with like denominators
  • Introduction to bar, line, and picture graphs
Problem Solving Skills
  • Word problems using the operations