Where Do I Fit in the Big Picture?
The Montessori elementary program is considered the second phase of development in Montessori philosophy. Children have become self-sufficient in many ways. They can dress themselves, feed themselves, and express themselves effectively to others. Children at this stage are extremely social.
They are learning to now master their connection to others and the planet. They are fascinated by huge concepts, and the idea of infinity. Montessori recognizes and supports this very important phase by allowing them freedom of movement in the class, and the ability to collaborate on daily work with their peers. They can choose to work independently if they desire, but they are also able to work together, form partnerships or groups, and in this way, they can explore their connection with others, and learn more about themselves as individuals through this process.
Students are divided in Lower Elementary (grades 1 to 4), and progress on to Upper Elementary (grades 5-8), where they begin preparing for high school.
Fostering Critical Thinking, Creativity and Exploration
Students are given an opportunity to learn about the “whys” and “hows” of the world, and to explore those in-depth. The teacher is a guide whose main role is to foster wonder and curiosity in the child, so the child is excited about learning more. The children have the freedom to delve deeply into topics that interest them, and in the process, teachable moments in many different subjects appear effortlessly.
Students are also encouraged to think in broad ways about how they can internalize their understanding in a way that makes sense to them. So from the same lesson on hominids, some children will write and perform a play; some will create a report; others will design models or diagrams; some will draw a graphic novel. In this way, students have the freedom to determine what works best for them, and the teacher supports and helps source information for them to fully explore what inspires them.
Being the Change You Wish to See in the World
Elementary students are navigating the challenges of becoming young adults. So in our classroom, we give them opportunities to explore socially, and to manage their progress. Students are free to choose within established boundaries, but also responsible for their choices and decisions.
Our classroom is a microcosm of our society. Where everyone is respected and every voice is heard. We have regular class meetings, where children work together to establish classroom rules, consequences, and talk about situations and conflicts as they arise. They work together to find solutions suitable to everyone. With the teacher's guidance and input along the way, they learn how to solve problems, have conversations about sensitive topics, and express themselves without diminishing others' perspectives.
Elementary students are given the responsibility of being mentors and role models for our casa students. They are guides for behaviour, responsibility and community spirit, and model kindness, generosity, compassion, respect and independence for our younger students.
Well-Rounded and Prepared for the Future
Our elementary classroom is set up to encourage hands-on and self-directed learning. Children are moving from concrete to abstract concepts, and are looking to make sense of the world around them. The elementary curriculum is comprised of:
Mathematics, including Algebra and Geometry
Language & Creative Writing,
Physical Education, Health & Well-being
Culture: History, Geography, French, Art and Art History, Music and Drama
The Five Great Lessons (the Big Bang Theory to the evolution of written language)
Students work with hands-on materials and accompanying lessons & demonstrations, conducting experiments, and learning about chemistry, physics & matter, zoology and botany, and astronomy.