The 12-Acre Classroom!

Lower & Upper Elementary

Lower Elementary (grades 1-3) & Upper Elementary (grades 4-6)

Our elementary programs extend beyond core academics using the Montessori curriculum and integrating multiple subjects into larger projects. The child’s developmental transition from concrete to abstract thinking is at the core of our elementary Montessori program. For example, a younger student will transition from initially working primarily with manipulatives in math to representing their thinking with written numbers in Lower Elementary. Students this age are intellectually ready to apply more and more sophisticated abstract thinking such as the use of symbols of letter and numbers. This allows them to think, absorb, and express their learning at increasingly higher levels as they move through the Elementary program.  Hands-on, concrete experiences provide lasting impressions as students advance through abstract concepts.

Pacing through the math and language curriculum is student-specific. Individual students progress at their own rate as they demonstrate mastery. Responsibility, respect, time management, initiative, and autonomy are foundational skills the students hone during their elementary years.

Curriculum

Our Montessori Elementary programs are constructed as 3-year cycles and consist of seven major integrated subject areas:

  • Mathematics: Facts, Operations, Place Value, Story Problems, Numeration, Measurement, and Problem Solving
  • Language: Word Study, Grammar, Reading and Comprehension, Spelling, and Writing
  • Science: Botany, Zoology, Chemistry, Physics, and the Montessori Great Lessons
  • Geography & History: Based around an in-depth continent study, exploring culture, language, and history.
  • Practical Life: Cooking, Gardening, Community Jobs, Animal Feeding and Care
  • Art: Multiple techniques and media are explored, with projects exploring our continent study
  • Music & Drama: We put on two performances a year – a winter concert and a spring musical/drama.
  • Physical Education: Physical Skills, Movement, Games, and Sportsmanship
The Elementary programs incorporate the Montessori philosophy of open work time. At this level, eliminating as many transitions as possible frees up time for students to be more fully engaged with their learning and work. The schedule incorporates more small group and whole group lessons which are organized by the level of development of the students. Mornings include dedicated reading time as well as uninterrupted work time. Afternoons often have special instruction in animal husbandry, Spanish, P.E., art, gardening, and performing arts.

The Upper Elementary three-year cycle explores themes. Each year there is a multi-day trip to one of three outdoor environmental learning centers around western Washington.

elementary students
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