Grades 1-3 (6 to 9 Years Old)
Our elementary classrooms continue the Montessori experience as the young child grows. Mixed-age classrooms continue to promote independence, confidence, curiosity, respect, and problem-solving. Elementary lessons give the students the keys to explore the world around them and begin to explore the rest of the space and time in their imagination. The Elementary Curriculum focuses heavily on the interconnectedness and interdependence of all living and non-living things to help instill a sense of gratitude and respect for the world. Children may begin working on their lessons in small groups to aid their social development. Lessons are given in accordance with the teaching philosophy developed by Maria Montessori and her son Mario Montessori.
In addition, THE SPRINGS offers the unique opportunity for Elementary students to experience Spanish in the classroom. Elementary children enjoy the ability to communicate with others as well as the ability to connect with a larger world, and the benefits of learning a second language last into adulthood. The children will regularly practice Spanish in a natural and integrated manner in their classroom
Students enrolled in our Elementary Program can expect to engage in eight areas of the Elementary Classroom:
Geography: The Geography lessons explore not only political geography, but expand to explore matter, the relationship between the Sun and the Earth, mountains, rivers, and how humans impact their world. Geography lessons introduce science experiments and demonstrations that trigger the imagination of the child to apply concepts to a larger scale.
Mathematics: Mathematical concepts are introduced with concrete materials that isolate a particular concept. The children move through exercises with these materials until they reach abstraction and work completely on paper. Elementary mathematics work includes fractions, long multiplication, division, decimals, word problems, and beginning algebra as well as more advanced topics like square roots and cubing numbers.
Geometry: The origin of the word Geometry comes from “geo” meaning Earth and “metre” meaning measure. Elementary students explore measuring the world through explorations with various shapes that lead to work in area and volume.
Language: The child in Elementary is ready to delve into the nuances of the English language. He explores the history of his language, how each piece of it functions today, and different ways to interpret written words. The child continues to perfect his skills in reading and writing. Children are introduced to acting and dramatic production as a means of self-expression and exploration of human relationships.
Biology: Elementary age children are incredibly interested in the plants and animals around them. The Biology lessons aid the child in organizing plants and animals into categories by their characteristics. Lessons in Biology also help the Elementary child understand the interconnectedness of life on Earth and prepare him for chemistry in the future.
History: History is part of everything we do as human beings; it is part of who we are as a civilization. From our beginnings, differentiated from animals by special talents, through the development of civilization and farming, to present day, Elementary children love to hear stories of the past. The teacher encourages this love by becoming a storyteller of the past and encouraging the children to further explore by researching topics of interest in books. Many children develop timelines of historical events or write short books to show classmates what they have learned.
Art: Art is another form of self-expression for children. Elementary art builds on the foundations of Children’s House art and sensorial by introducing different media, visual concepts like balance and symmetry, and historical art forms from cave paintings to modern art. The Elementary environment allows children time to explore art and refine their abilities in that area.
Music: Music changes from a sensorial experience in the Children’s House to a true study in Elementary. Children can learn to both read and write music using treble and bass clefs using standard music notation. They also are able to play several rhythm instruments, alone and in groups, and listen to music
Field Trips: A large part of the Elementary Montessori experience is the opportunity to “go out”. As the young child spent the Children’s House years discovering and developing his or her self, the older child spends his time exploring his role in relation to others in the world. Therefore, the ability to “go out” and speak to people who fill different roles in society (bakers, veterinarians, scientists, etc.) is critical to his development. In small groups, with adult supervision, the children leave the classroom to find professionals who can answer questions related to their in-class lessons and research. The group then returns to the classroom to share with their peers.