Upper Elementary

In the upper elementary class, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students work together. As in lower elementary, the children individually and in small groups, move about and talk quietly as they work. Although there are still many manipulative materials, these older children spend much more time researching in books, writing, and creating project presentations. Science and social studies, in particular, are studied through independent research. The teacher may give a brief introduction to a topic, then the children seek out information from a variety of resources in the classroom, the library, and on the computer. Budgeting time wisely and working independently are crucial skills put into use continuously as deadlines for both chosen and assigned work may extend over days or even weeks. As in Montessori classrooms at all levels, a warm community feeling is fostered as the older children provide positive role models and guidance to the younger children. Read More

The curriculum is a combination of special Montessori topics and perspectives carefully blended with the standards set by the State of Ohio. That is, we teach what is taught in public schools all over Ohio, but we approach it differently. We use an integrated curriculum, global perspective, and many hands-on materials.

Integrated Curriculum: In a research style of learning, elementary children work in small groups on a variety of projects which spark the imagination and engage the mind. Lessons given by the teacher direct the children toward activities that help them to develop reasoning abilities and life skills, including mastery of basic skills (reading, writing, math) and cultural knowledge (science, social studies, music, art). The day is not divided into small segments for the various subjects. Rather, the day is divided into two lengthy work cycles. The children work independently for extended periods of time on specific skill development and on larger work that integrates those basic skills with cultural study. A program of extended work periods under the guidance of one teacher sets the stage for a fully integrated curriculum.

Global Perspective: Elementary age children have a natural desire to understand the universe and find their place in it. We help the child know the universe by guiding him to look outside himself to the whole world, to the long line of people who came before, and to those who will come in the future. The lower elementary child studies the countries, continents, and oceans of the world. He looks at how people have met their fundamental needs for food, clothing, and shelter in all areas of the world over the span history. He considers how plants, animals, and people are dependent on one another in the web of life. Only then is he ready to study his own country, state, community, and time period. By studying the rest of the universe first, and then his own little corner of it, the child is able to find his place from global perspective.

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