“The elementary child has reached a new level of development. Before he was interested in things: working with his hands, learning their names. Now he is interest in how and why…the problem of cause and effect.”
Dr. Maria Montessori
- A three year program for 9 to 12 year olds
- Teacher to student ratio: 1:10
- Additional enrichment: Art Studio, Music, Spanish, Science, Computer and Physical Education
The Upper Elementary program at Montessori Children’s Community for ages nine through twelve refines what has been taught in the Lower Elementary while greatly expanding basic skills. It is an exciting time for the students as the curriculum becomes more challenging. As they further refine their understanding of concepts, they do more work on paper as well as more research and collaborative work. The Montessori materials are again used, but now as tools for advanced work in different subject areas. Students become more independent and proficient as they begin in-depth research and study for individual and group projects. The Upper Elementary students shift from concrete concepts to working in the abstract. Montessori materials are still available, and new subjects such as Advanced Science, and Literature Circles are added to the core curriculum. Because of their early immersion into these academic subjects, students are ready to tackle areas more frequently saved for later grades.
Creative writing, grammar, expository writing, poetry, research and literary analysis are covered in depth. In math, the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) have been committed to memory. The child is now able to begin the more abstract analysis of number and number systems: geometry, bases, factoring, fractions, decimals, probability, sets, ratios, percents, statistics, graphing, logic, patterns, and beginning algebra and trigonometry.
Geology, geography, chemistry, physics, and history are explored in depth and backed up by a series of hands-on experiments. The “cosmic” emphasis for the Upper Elementary is on the child’s national and state history. In this way, children can be involved in current events and the evolution of their own history. They study important periods of American History and explore the events that have shaped their lives today.
The Big Trip
Each year the 4th and 5th year students take a “Big Trip” that culminates the year’s studies. It is a wonderful learning experience that the children plan for the entire school year. The trip is partially funded by “Pizza Friday” and “Montessori Cafe” which are class projects that provide the experience of running a business as well as raising the funds for their end of year trip. The trip alternates between Wallops Island, VA for nature studies and Washington, DC for governmental studies. The 6th grade class also takes a “Big Trip” that they too must plan for. Students are much more involved in the planning of the trip as well as the fundraising. The trip is to Costa Rica, where students study the different environmental and cultural aspects of another country or to New York City to participate in the Montessori Model United Nations.
Being in community with one another is, perhaps, one of the greatest joys of a Montessori Elementary program. The children operate as a democratic community, where individual opinion is valued and personal responsibility is expected. Again, the Upper Elementary curriculum builds upon what has been learned in previous years. This is the time that Dr. Montessori saw the development of independence, and the refinement of moral sense, especially a sense of justice. We strongly suggest that children finish the program with the 6th Grade to complete this Developmental Plane as well as to get closure and feel a sense of completion of the Elementary program. Our students have felt very prepared both academically as well as socially, for their entrance into middle school.