Upper Elementary (9-12 Years)

MSL’s Upper Elementary environment supports children ages 9 to 12 years old, led by a Montessori-certified teacher.

Overview of Program

Upper Elementary builds on the content of the Lower Elementary global curriculum, expanding students’ awareness of their place in society. 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 program provides students:

  • time to transition from using hands–on, manipulative materials to acquiring fully abstract understanding of concepts. The trained elementary guide uses assessments and daily observations of work to determine when the child to move to abstract work;
  • a two 3-hour work cycles each day, allowing them the opportunity to work without interruption;
  • a collaborative work opportunities within the cultural subjects through project-based learning;
  • leadership opportunities. Students at this level develop their leadership skills in the community by leading class meetings, service projects, fundraisers, and mentoring younger students;
  • studies in social justice. The upper elementary student has moved from viewing situations from a right or wrong position to seeking to understand the motivation behind behavior.

Curriculum Overview

The Upper Elementary classroom is more socially interactive, collaborative and student centered. Upper Elementary students are readers. Students at this level want to be leaders and in charge of their destiny. At this level, students utilize planners to manage their work commitments and deadlines.

The Upper Elementary language program includes advanced reading and research writing. Students participate in literature circles, as well as reading independently for research and pleasure. Upper elementary students demonstrate their knowledge by presentating their research reports to their peers. Through continued experiences, students develop a comfort for public speaking.

Spelling and grammar are refined at the upper elementary level and students’ curriculum is individually assigned. Students who mater 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 engage in 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 guide presents curriculum materials and facilitates the learning process. Learning is assessed in a myriad of ways including: student discussions, students presentations of research papers, oral presentations, book making, dioramas, timelines, and science experiments to their peers. MAP assessments are administered three times a year.


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