MSL’s Lower Elementary environments support children ages 6 to 9 years old led by Montessori certified teachers.
Overview of Program
Students at the elementary level build upon the skills and knowledge from their previous experiences at the toddler and early childhood levels. The Montessori curriculum is interrelated and designed to spark the imagination of the elementary student. Students work in the areas of reading, writing, math, practical life, history, geography, world cultures, art, music, science, and exploration of nature.
Elementary students also receive lessons in virtues and peace education, techniques of responsible social interaction and peaceful conflict resolution. Lessons are given one-on-one or in small groups, and collaboration with peers is encouraged. Students learn from and with each other.
Enrichment programs include: Art, Physical Education, Music, a vocal or strings-based program, and Drama. After-school activities include: Art Club, Chess, Soccer, Mad Science, Soccer Shots, Tennis Club, Fencing, Ski Club, Swimming, and Cross Country.
Many of our elementary students who transition from early childhood classrooms are able to read fluently. Those who are beginning readers have their reading lessons supplemented with the Waseca Phonics Program. Students continue to practice their reading fluency and comprehension using the SRA program. MAP assessments are administered three times a year and Study Island is strongly encouraged for at home practice. DRA assessments are performed twice a year and used to assess decoding, reading fluency and comprehension. Writing is practiced daily using the Writer’s Workshop curriculum, and spelling is taught using a Montessori based, leveled spelling program.
Lower elementary math students begin their first level reviewing skills introduced at the early childhood level. Through daily work with materials children move from concrete understanding to abstract work using pencil and paper. What is emphasized to the students as they work through the materials is the patterns and relationship between numbers. Most students who complete their third level in lower elementary are able to abstractly complete addition, subtraction, multiplication and short division problems and solve word problems in all operations.
Our cultural curriculum is designed to be taught on a three year rotation of study. The Great Lessons are presented each year. By the end of the three year cycle, students have studied all 7 continents and their biomes, animals, plants, and history. As part of our Peace curriculum, cultural celebrations and cultural research projects are presented throughout the year. Science lessons in Physical Science and Biology are presented annually at all levels. At the first level, students are studying the parts of animals and plants. During their second level, students work with classification of animals and plants and Who Am I cards. The third year students conduct independent research as well as generate experiments. After conducting their research, they present their findings to their community.
The elementary teachers present curriculum materials and facilitate the learning process. Either in small groups or individually, students present their research papers, oral presentations, book making, dioramas, timelines, and science experiments to their peers.