An overview of the Elementary Program:
Montessori for elementary is a program that has been developed with due respect for the mind of a rapidly developing child. The child is no longer content with the physical independence which he achieved during his/her pre-primary age but is in the quest for intellectual independence.
The Elementary child:
An elementary child, can be typically characterized by his/her questioning mind, his/her ability to abstract and imagine, moral and social orientation, and unlimited energy for research and exploration. They move from the concrete through their own efforts and discovery to the abstract – thus greatly expanding their field of knowledge.
An elementary Montessori classroom is a warm community by itself: a multi-age, stimulating environment with intensively trained teachers and materials that invite exploration and research. Children learn to face challenges with confidence, and begin to find their own place in the world around them.
“Prepared Learning Environment:”
Unique to Montessori is the concept of the prepared learning environment.
Designed carefully to maximize independent learning and exploration, the classrooms at Montessori Elementary contain many familiar materials from the pre-school years, such as the maps, golden beads for math work and the movable alphabet. In addition, the elementary environment is a wonderful array of pictorial zoology, live animals, botany cards, collections of natural specimens, and spatial timelines. All of the learning materials are carefully sequenced and placed on open shelves for the children’s use. Children’s work, showing their own individuality and learning style, abounds in the classroom.
The carefully developed elementary curriculum guides the child through identifying, classifying, and researching all of the fascinating concepts in each chosen field of study. The areas of practical life, language, math, geometry, botany, zoology, geography, and history are all represented in the classroom, with materials that lead the child to abstraction of the fundamental concepts in each area. In a research style of learning, elementary children work in small groups on a variety of projects which spark the imagination and engage the intellect. Lessons given by a trained Montessori teacher direct the children toward activities which help them to develop reasoning abilities and learn the arts of life.
Preparation for the regular stream:
Part of the elementary program is to ensure that children are prepared for the regular stream of education. The directress carefully analyzes the text books used by other schools, and prepares activities that help the child to feel competent when he moves into a regular school. Assignments and regular assessment methods will be given to children. It helps them to be aware of how things are done in other schools. It also helps them to feel secured, confident and competent when they move on.