MSL’s Upper Elementary environment supports children ages 9 to 12 years old, led by a Montessori-certified teacher.
Overview of Program
Montessori recognized the intellectual growth that occurs between the ages of 9 and 12. Children at this age are more capable of both abstract and hypothetical thinking. The upper elementary student has moved from viewing situations from a right or wrong position to seeking to understand the motivation behind behavior.
The Upper Elementary program builds on the content of the Lower Elementary global curriculum, expanding students’ awareness of their place in society. Students are provided two 3-hour work cycles each day, allowing them the opportunity to work without interruption. In addition to their individual work, students work collaboratively within the cultural subjects through project-based learning.
Upper Elementary is a time when children transition from using hands–on, manipulative materials to acquiring fully abstract understanding of concepts. The elementary guide is trained to observe and will determine when the appropriate moment occurs for the child to move to abstract work.
Leadership is key in the upper elementary program. The 9-12 child is striving towards independence. Students at this level develop their leadership skills in the community by leading class meetings, service projects, fundraisers, and mentoring younger students.
The Upper Elementary student has developed abstract reasoning and has a level of maturity that prepares him/her academic success. Students at this level want to be leaders and in charge of their destiny. They seek experiences and challenges that will help them demonstrate their ability to be responsible for themselves. At this level, students are provided daily planners to manage their work commitments and deadlines.
The Upper Elementary classroom is more socially interactive, collaborative and student centered. Upper Elementary students are readers. Students participate in literature circles, as well as reading independently for research and pleasure. Building on the lessons taught at the lower elementary level, student instruction includes essay writing and research reports. The upper elementary student is expected to give oral presentations or present research reports to their peers. Through continued experiences, students become comfortable with this experience.
Spelling and grammar are refined at the upper elementary level and students’ curriculum is individually assigned. Students who have mastered the spelling program are introduced to the study of Greek and Latin root words.
Math continues to be an intentional subject of study. Each day students continue to practice number concepts with the goal of abstracting concepts. Students complete their studies in the upper elementary classroom with algebraic concepts and advanced geometry work.
Our cultural curriculum includes the introduction of the great lessons. Throughout the three year cycle, the students are provided lessons in history and geography that demonstrate the interdependence of world citizens. Using timelines, students research events and people in history to gain an understanding of past history and the changes that have occurred over time in our world. Using their critical thinking skills and natural curiosity, students study the sciences as puzzles.
The elementary teacher presents curriculum materials and facilitates the learning process. Either in small groups or individuals, students present their research papers, oral presentations, book making, dioramas, timelines, and science experiments to their peers.
MAP assessments are administered three times a year and Study Island is strongly encouraged for at home practice.