Lower Elementary Program Descriptions
At LMS children explore their own identities as they interact empathetically with people from diverse backgrounds.
LMS aims to nurture in each student the construction of a knowledgeable, confident identity as an individual and as a member of multiple cultural groups (such as gender, race, ethnicity, or class). We enable children to have comfortable, empathetic interactions with people from diverse backgrounds. We also foster each child’s ability to recognize bias and injustice, and cultivate each child’s ability to stand up, individually and with others, against bias or injustice.
The Montessori “cosmic curriculum” for Lower Elementary students focuses on the common bonds among humans, and it offers an optimistic, forward-looking approach to global solutions.
In the Lower Elementary years, children are highly curious about their world, its origin, and their place within it. In the Children’s House, they have learned the names of continents, countries, and land and water forms. In the Lower Elementary class, this learning is applied to geography. As they study cultures, they learn about the interconnectedness of climate and lifestyle. They explore the similarities and differences among peoples around the globe. They learn about biomes, and how these boundaries seem more real than political borders. The come to appreciate the interdependence of human beings and all other organisms on our planet.
Students explore various ways to represent the passage of time, and they learn about clocks, calendars and timelines. They learn that human beings, throughout history, have sought to understand our origins and our relationships. Dr. Montessori called this study a “cosmic curriculum” because it focuses on the common bonds among humans, and it offers an optimistic, forward-looking approach to global solutions. Teachers use dramatic storytelling to plant seeds of interest. Children begin to understand the impact of one’s personal history on one’s own development, and they start to apply that understanding to the role history plays in the development of culture.
The Lower Elementary language curriculum offers a balanced approach to literacy.
Children enter the Lower Elementary Program with a wide variety of language abilities and experiences. Some are fluent readers of chapter books, while others have learned their sounds and have begun to combine them into words.
Developmentally, children between six and nine years are imaginative, curious about the world around them, and focused on their peer relationships. The Language Arts Program capitalizes on this developmental period by encouraging children to use language as a vehicle, to explore their imaginations, to aid their research about the natural world, and to develop communication skills with friends and teachers.
Our Lower Elementary language curriculum offers a balanced approach to literacy. We bolster children’s foundation in phonemic awareness and phonics, and we build their vocabulary by exploring word patterns and roots. The same word studies demystify the challenges of spelling. By reading to them and with them, we improve their fluency. We teach many reading comprehension strategies, including predicting and inferring, purpose setting, retelling, questioning, monitoring, visualizing, connecting, deciding what is important, and evaluating. We use the Junior Great Books Program to develop interpretation skills. Reading/writing workshops reveal to children how their reading informs their writing, and visa versa.
Lower Elementary teachers use imaginative stories and Montessori’s dramatic grammar materials to introduce the structural concepts of language.
In class meetings, through resolving conflicts, and in oral presentations, children develop both expressive and receptive language skills.
Lower Elementary students construct math concepts, and they practice procedures using the extraordinary Montessori math materials.
The Lower Elementary mathematics curriculum is built on the shoulders of the previous work done by children in the Children’s House. Following teachers’ introductions, students construct concepts and practice procedures using the extraordinary Montessori math materials. Elementary students use familiar coding systems to explore more sophisticated concepts.
The materials allow for repetition with variety, so concepts can be mastered, expanded, applied, and revised. The curriculum is organized around the following objectives:
• Acquisition of the concepts of number and quantity, including whole numbers and fractions.
• Use of numeration symbols and mathematical notation including comparing whole and fraction numbers, using the associative and distributive properties, and using a decimal point.
• Development of number theory including studies of multiples and factors.
• Using of the concept of place value to regroup, and to express numbers in expanded notation.
• Development of a vocabulary of mathematical terms, including terms and key words for operations, fractions terms, and nomenclature of plane geometric figures, angles, and types of lines.
• Introduction to operations, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; operations on fractions with like denominators; operations with decimal fractions.
• Introduction to memorization of math facts
• Naturalistic data collection and representation
• Mathematical problem solving
• Understanding of measurement in metric and customary units, of length, time, liquid capacity, surface area, perimeter, angles in degrees, volume, weight and temperature.
• Introduction to concepts and nomenclature of geometric shapes and solids including plane figures, triangles, lines, angles, polygons, circles, congruence/similarity/equivalence, and solid geometric figures.
In the Lower Elementary music program children expand their repertoire of songs and movement games in number and complexity.
In the Lower Elementary music program children expand their repertoire of songs and movement games in number and complexity. They connect their classroom language and math work to songs and the symbols for reading tones and durations, learning the rudiments of music notation. Elementary training is given on the marimba, the keyboard, the zither (koto) and hand drums.
|LE Physical Education|
Lower Elementary students receive a basic introduction to the components of health-related fitness.
Lower Elementary students receive a basic introduction to the components of health-related fitness. They practice basic locomotor and non-locomotor skills, such as walking, running, hopping, skipping, jumping, galloping, sliding, leaping, and balancing activities. They match various activities to rhythms. They play games that involve dodging, turning, swinging, rolling, landing, and stopping. They also learn selected isolated manipulative skills including a variety of tosses and throws, as well as kicking, striking, and throwing patterns. Students also develop cooperation skills to enable completion of a common goal while working with a partner or in a small group.
|LE Practical Life|
Practical Life activities in Lower Elementary revolve around the child’s natural interest in peer relationships and in the world around him.
Practical Life activities in Lower Elementary revolve around the child’s natural interest in peer relationships and in the world around him. While the curriculum builds upon the skills developed in the Children’s House, elementary students focus on the completion of the task, rather than the earlier concentration on sequence and process. For this reason, elementary practical life activities highlight specific and collective goals.
Elementary students work to create a caring classroom community. Teachers guide them in developing the patience and listening ability that they need to help others, to mediate conflicts, and to observe ground rules. As they grow up in the community, they observe and then adopt the special responsibilities attendant to being an elder to younger classmates. They learn how to be a responsible individual within a group. They naturally become interested in differences among their friends. They investigate and understand varying learning styles, cultural backgrounds, and interests.
Practical life activities for this age group are often interwoven with learning responsibilities. With increased academic demands comes a greater need for independence. Teachers support Lower Elementary students to identify their individual challenges, and they expect that each student will work to overcome them. For Lower Elementary students, time management, focus, self-care, caring for the environment, and caring for the community are among the practical life skills integral to building confidence and life skills.
Lower Elementary children's questions lead naturally to studies of how the world was formed, its physical laws, and the origins and evolution of life.
In the Lower Elementary years, children are highly curious about their world, its origin, and their place within it. Their questions lead naturally to studies of how the world was formed, its physical laws, the origins and evolution of life, and the evolution of humans.
The Earth Science curriculum is a systems-study of our planet, with explorations of fundamental forces of the universe and how they manifest themselves in the water cycle, plate tectonics, mountain building and movements of currents of air and water.
Life Science focuses on comparison of the body structure and functioning of various vertebrates, the anatomy and life cycles of various plants, and an introduction to classification of organisms.
Physical Science studies include explorations of light, sound and magnetism.
Most of all, we want to encourage inquiry. Lower Elementary teachers try to respond to students’ questions by encouraging them to figure out how to investigate on their own, whether by using a knowledge base, or by forming a hypothesis and testing it.
The Lower Elementary Spanish Program uses songs, games, projects, readings, rhymes and tongue twisters to help children develop Spanish language skills in a fun atmosphere.
The Lower Elementary Spanish Program uses songs, games, projects, readings, rhymes and tongue twisters to help children develop Spanish language skills in a fun atmosphere. Spanish cultures are also celebrated with music, holiday celebrations and parties. The teacher speaks Spanish during the majority of the class.
The Lower Elementary students participate in activities organized around the following skills:
Listening and Speaking
• Common classroom phrases, greetings and expressions of courtesy
• Asking and answering simple questions, and conversing about interests
• Understanding the main point(s) from a short spoken passage
• Understanding the main point(s) from a short written text
• Names and descriptions of classroom objects & places, including colors, numbers, sizes, animals, clothing, food, opposites, parts of the body, family, etc
• Vowel sounds, spelling
• Composition of short sentences
• Use of Spanish dictionary and other resources
• Gender and number agreement
• To have, to be
|LE Visual Art|
In the Lower Elementary Art program children learn to think creatively, to use their “right brains,” and to take risks with ideas and materials.
In the Lower Elementary Art program children learn to think creatively, to use their “right brains,” and to take risks with ideas and materials. They realize that mistakes are opportunities to try something different!
Lower Elementary children transition from symbolic drawing to observational drawing. We offer a broad spectrum of two- and three-dimensional projects: color mixing and painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, self-portraiture, collage and mixed media, and more.
Children also create art in their classrooms, illustrating their writing, building models for their projects, designing scenery and props.
We use the Visual Thinking Strategies curriculum to help children learn critical thinking and observational skills while interacting with works of art.
Lower Elementary Classroom pages
|The Lower Elementary "cosmic" curriculum helps children explore big questions about their place in the world.
Young elementary children are fascinated by stories: stories of animals; stories of the origins of things; stories of heroic accomplishments. They love to ask big questions. Much of the Lower Elementary curriculum is designed to help children explore their natural questions about their place in the world. The history, geography, biology and physical science curricula examine broad concepts and provide a framework for more abstract study in later years.
Our Lower Elementary language curriculum offers a balanced approach to literacy. We bolster children’s foundation in phonemic awareness and phonics, and we build their vocabulary by exploring word patterns and roots. By reading to them and with them, we help them improve their fluency. We coach students to utilize a variety of reading comprehension strategies, and we use the Junior Great Books Program to help students develop interpretation skills. Reading/writing workshops reveal to children how their reading informs their writing, and visa versa.
Our remarkable Montessori math materials offer a tangible foundation upon which mathematical thinking can grow. Our students use their hands to explore concepts integral to arithmetic operations and plane geometry. They also memorize basic math facts and solve problems. Eventually, the concrete materials give way to abstract calculations.
LMS Lower Elementary classes are conscious communities where children learn to support each other’s academic and social-emotional growth. They use their meeting circles to celebrate each other and their community, to solve problems and resolve conflicts. In this way, children learn about their responsibilities as individuals within a group.
Lower Elementary Downloads