Lower Elementary (1st - 3rd grade) & Upper elementary (4th - 6th grade)
Our Elementary classrooms are designed to feed and satisfy the immense appetite for knowledge and stimulate the natural intellectual curiosity of this age group. Students are active participants in their learning and the curriculum is personalized to address the needs, abilities, and interests of every individual. Social development and deep learning occur as the older children model and mentor the younger students in rich, collaborative learning experiences.
Lessons are presented to students in all critical subject areas, either individually or in small groups. In this intentionally designed environment, our first priority is to give the students the time and space to overcome obstacles, respond to challenges and build strength and self confidence. From the earliest days, children experience the human continuum of reaching, stumbling, reflecting, and overcoming as the path to self-development. Montessori students question, take risks, challenge, seek to know the “why” and “how.”
Problem-solving and reasoning skills grow naturally in an environment where personal responsibility and self-respect are paramount. Montessori students build strong learning habits as they grow in academic strength. Deep concentration, interest-driven exploration and the active listening and ordering of thoughts are central to the elementary community.
The Montessori Elementary curriculum utilizes an integrated thematic approach where students learn about the physical universe, the world of nature, and the human experience through hands-on investigation. Academic skills in math, reading, and language arts are mastered within this meaningful context. Peace education and problem solving play an integral role and facilitate development of conflict resolution and critical thinking skills.
Students receive extra help or guidance when needed and broaden and deepen their learning in areas of strength. They learn to think clearly and to communicate effectively verbally and in writing. They also learn essential time management skills for independent work and how to work well with others. The curriculum is holistic and vast; children are first exposed to the big picture, with details filled in through further study and research. Lessons are presented to small groups of students in the areas of language, mathematics, geometry, zoology, botany, history, and geography.
Students are given a choice of follow up activities, most often using a hands-on material, to work on independently to practice the concept that has been presented. In addition, children have weekly Enrichment classes in the areas of physical education, dance, visual art and music. Upper Elementary students also choose enrichment experiences from a menu of electives, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, gardening, swimming, musical theater, performance art, robotics, yoga, foundry, cross country running, guitar, life skills and choir.
Mathematics and Geometry
The students use hands-on materials to learn the four mathematical operations of addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division, and progress to working with fractions, decimals, and algebra. Students study a wide range of concepts in geometry, including closed figures, lines, and angles. In later elementary years, increasingly abstract concepts are introduced gently nudging students to develop a higher level of mathematical thinking. As skill, independence, and self-discipline occur, a natural confidence is born fueling a desire to learn ever more challenging concepts and applications.
Language Arts and Literacy
The elementary language curriculum covers a wide array of topics, including reading fluency, comprehension, grammar, spelling, word study, writing mechanics, handwriting, and literature. Students refine their reading and writing skills through their work in other areas of the curriculum.
Social Studies and Science
Fully integrated to reflect the interconnection of life, the Social Studies curriculum emphasizes geography, history, and pre-history with related study in sciences such as anthropology, geology, and astronomy. Upper Elementary students deepen their knowledge through the study of the history and geography of the world, the United States and Utah, as well as beginning economics.
Art is integrated into the curriculum through activities such as geometric drawings, map making, botany, zoology and architecture. Music and dance are integrated through the study of history and cultures. Improvisational drama and the creation of skits is integral to our lively arts program.
Our children also participate in art enrichment programs taught by specialists from music, dance, and visual arts. Our Cultural Fair at the end of each school year provides a culminating experience for the children as they showcase their integrated learning.
As a cornerstone of our commitment to integrated arts education, we have pioneered the development of a STEAM program in our Upper Elementary classrooms. STEAM opens a pathway for students to creatively address real-world critical thinking problems as they apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through an integrated Arts approach. Arts education is an essential key to nurturing creativity, which drives innovation. STEAM engages both hemispheres of the brains as students combine logical, linear computations with inventive and original ideas.
Maria Montessori believed that it was important for children to understand their place in the universe and the interconnectedness of all things, so that they will emerge with a sense of their own purpose in life and what they will do to benefit the world. Cosmic education serves this purpose, and is presented to elementary students through five core themes comprised of integrated subject matter. These themes include: The History of the Universe, Life and Living Things, Humanity - Its History and Accomplishments, Human Communication, and The World of Mathematics. The approach is holistic, which means that children are always given the broadest picture of a concept first before examining the components of that concept.
The Great Lessons form an integral part of cosmic education, and are presented each year. These five stories, which include: The Story of the Universe, Life Comes to Earth, Human Beings Come to Earth, The Story of Language, and The Story of Numbers, are meant to strike the imagination and to inspire children to think about where they came from and why they are here on earth. Elementary students also learn about the fundamental needs of humans, which helps them to focus on the similarities among all people by identifying their common needs. Through the study of biology and other sciences, students learn to see their connection to other life forms. Reading inspiring biographies of individuals such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mother Teresa helps to instill a sense of gratitude and appreciation for those who came before us.
Fieldtrips to locations such as the Clark Planetarium, Red Butte Garden, the Natural History Museum of Utah, Thanksgiving Point and Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company performances incorporate thematic areas of study as an extension of classroom learning.
Assessment and Parent/Teacher Conferences
Our teachers closely observe each child's progress and readiness to move on to new lessons. They may orally question a student about what was learned, or ask the child to teach the lesson to a fellow student. Each child also compiles a portfolio of work to demonstrate competence in a variety of skills. We hold parent/teacher conferences twice a year so that parents may see their child’s work and hear the teacher’s assessment. Teachers provide a written report that explains each child's progress at each Parent/Teacher Conference and also at the end of the school year.
Three Year Cycle
Children typically remain in a Lower Elementary classroom for three years (Grades 1-3), until they are ready to enter an Upper Elementary classroom (Grades 4-6). The third year of Lower Elementary is considered a capstone year because it is a culmination of academic and social self-mastery. Third year students learn leadership skills and prepare for a successful Upper Elementary experience.
The montessori Curriculum
Mathematics & Geometry
Language Arts & Literacy
Social Studies & Science