Our Elementary students are more than prepared to succeed at the next academic level; they are prepared to make a difference in the world.
Our Elementary program is designed for the needs of first through third grade children. However, our Montessori classroom is very different—and superior to—traditional classrooms. Our curriculum is academically advanced, and all children feel success because lessons are indivdualized and learning is personal. Growth, rather than competition inspires active learning and engagement.
Our Teachers Make the Difference
The most distinguishing characteristic of Evergreen School is the quality and expertise of our faculty. Our teachers are committed to the Montessori philosophy. They believe in the capability and dignity of each child. Our primary goal is to foster and enhance each child’s natural sense of joy and wonder. Each classroom is characterized by collaboration, kindness and a strong sense of purpose.
- An intimate, caring classroom community.
- A stimulating curriculum that encourages exploration and deep learning.
- A solid foundation in core academic skills.
- A calm, organized place to learn and grow.
- Two experienced co-teachers work one-on-one and in small groups with each student.
- Students progress at their own pace.
- World cultures and geography, art, and history are woven throughout the curriculum.
The Elementary Difference
- Our teachers are guides, not lecturers.
- Children benefit from active learning and hands-on experiences.
- There’s not a one-size-fits all curriculum that leaves some children bored and others frustrated.
- The classroom is full of hands-on materials– not worksheets.
- Children solve problems and think, instead of memorize isolated facts with little context.
A Classroom Community
Beloning, Sense of Self and Identity
The mixed age classroom has academic and social benefits. First, children learn with and from each other. Older children model good work habits and produce exemplar work for the younger students to emulate. Second, instead of competing with each other, students grow into a community, and practice social skills every day.
Because the children at this developmental stage are wrestling with “how they belong”, the curriculum allows for a lot of discussions about worth, respect, value, and acceptance. We are able to facilitate many conversations, both as they arise naturally, and as prompted by our read-aloud selections. We steadfastly seek out books that celebrate children of many backgrounds and abilities. We particularly enjoy books that don’t revolve around these aspects, but simply state that they are, and move on to a good story! These characters then serve as reference points for many discussions in class. In addition, when planning our cultural studies, we specifically highlight holidays or countries that are personally relevant to our students each year.
Within the Elementary classroom we have amassed a collection of books that highlight women and people of color. These books spotlight the contributions that so many have made, but have been lost in the convential narrative of history. We are careful not to narrow our focus onto those that were mistreated or victimized. Instead we celebrate achievements of the inventors, scientists, doctors, and business people whose contributions have helped us all in big and small ways in our everyday life!
Living our Values
One reason why our Elementary classroom is so peaceful is because of the strong leadership of older children. They work with the teachers to set the tone in the class; they take responsibility to make sure everyone is treated with kindness. When conflict occurs, older children are well equipped to act as problem solvers and mediators—and teachers are nearby to guide or intervene as well. This kind of dynamic can’t happen in a single-graded class.
Frequently Asked Questions
...And Beyond (Life after Evergreen)
When your child graduates from Elementary, he/she will be:
- Academically prepared to succeed in any independent, public, religious 4th grade.
- A confident and enthusiastic learner
- A capable leader
- Caring and emotionally attuned to the feelings of others
Children who complete the three-year cycle in the Elementary class make easy transitions to public and private fourth grades. Click to read more about Life after Evergreen and the schools our graduates attend.
What to Expect in Evergreen Elementary
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.
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
- Cursive handwriting lower and upper case
- Punctuation rules – period, question mark, exclamation point, beginning comma work
- Beginning paragraph skills
- Sentence construction
- Spelling skills – contractions, phonograms, and puzzle words
- Editing and rewriting a final composition
- Research writing
- Creative writing
- Story writing
- Poetry writing
- Letter writing
- Journal writing
- 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 for meaning and content
- Story elements
- Literature discussions
- Daily individual reading for practice and enjoyment
- Reading aloud to children
- Reading to primary classes as “reading buddies”
- Oral presentations
- Drama and poetry
- 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