Upper 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 Upper Elementary “cosmic curriculum” includes studies of human evolution, world civilizations, and early American history. Students progress through a self-paced comprehensive study of geography.
By the Upper Elementary years, most children have acquired a basic historical understanding connecting the effects of the natural world on the people who inhabit it, and the beginnings of critical thinking to identify, question, explore, and conclude.
Upper Elementary students continue the “cosmic curriculum” begun in Lower Elementary. Having used the Clock of Eons and Time Line of Life to explore the origins of our planet and the evolution of life on Earth, students turn their attention first to a search for their closest relatives. They place the human ape in the taxonomy of animals, and they then explore the fossil record for prehistoric relatives. In succeeding years, students compare and contrast world civilizations, and they learn about American history from prehistoric times through the colonial period. All of these studies include geographical components.
UE students progress through a self-paced comprehensive study of geography, including basic skills with topographic, relief, and road maps; latitude and longitude; map legends and scales; and the history of mapmaking including various projections. Geography studies culminate with independent studies of regions of the earth.
The Upper Elementary Language Curriculum balances rigorous skill development with constant opportunity for self-expression.
During the Upper Elementary years, students become capable of complex thoughts as they move into abstract reasoning. They learn to weigh options, examine contradictory evidence, tolerate differences of opinion, and make connections between areas of learning, and between learning and personal experience. They love to work in groups and also need to work privately and individually. Communicating becomes pressing as the peer culture increases in importance; making themselves understood, and getting to know others, are high priorities.
The Upper Elementary Language Curriculum builds on these developmental changes by balancing rigorous skill development with constant opportunity for self-expression. Opportunities abound for informal conversation and formal presentation. Student-facilitated community meetings offer opportunities for debates and problem solving. Individuals and groups give oral presentations across the curriculum. The oldest upper elementary students undertake an in-depth research project on a topic of their choice, including a formal paper and an oral presentation to the LMS community.
Spelling groups are formed according to individual ability, and students are expected to produce all written work according to spelling and mechanics conventions. Intriguing Montessori materials enable students to study such sophisticated grammar topics as sentence diagramming, compound and complex sentence formation, and verb conjugation.
Writing workshops give Upper Elementary authors coached experiences with different composition genres. Literature Circles provide opportunities for students to share their questions, connections and opinions with a group. In both of these, students receive critical feedback from their peers and teachers.
Upper Elementary students do their basic computations abstractly, as they use advanced Montessori manipulatives to explore more challenging concepts.
Increasingly capable of abstract thought, Upper Elementary students begin to do their basic computations abstractly, leaving materials behind. However, they also extend the concrete work of their earlier years. They carry the coding systems from previous work into more challenging areas: expanding polynomials, computing square and cube roots, and exploring calculations in various numeration bases.
Intriguing Montessori manipulatives help them understand concepts and procedures for work with fractions and decimals, and enable them to derive formulas for calculating areas, volumes and surface areas. Students explore preliminary concepts of algebra.
The curriculum is organized around the following objectives:
• Acquisition of the concepts of number and quantity, including fractions, decimal fractions, improper fractions and mixed numbers, squares and square roots, cubes and cube roots, and irrational numbers.
• Use of numeration symbols and mathematical notation including: reading decimal fractions; using a “radical” symbol; comparing numbers; using the associative and distributive properties with polynomials; and using positive and negative numbers.
• Development of number theory including studies of multiples and factors and understanding decimal fractions.
• Using of the concept of place value to express numbers in expanded and exponential notation.
• Development of a vocabulary of mathematical terms, including key words for operations, fractions; nomenclature of plane figures, solids, angles, and lines.
• Ability to perform abstract operations on whole numbers, fractions and decimal fractions; using order of operations.
• Memorization of math facts
• Data collection and representation including use of line plots, bar graphs and line graphs; applying the basic concepts of probability.
• Evaluation and use of a variety of problem solving strategies
• Understanding of measurement units: derivation and use of formulas for the calculation of perimeters, circumferences, areas of circles, surface areas and volumes of solids.
• Use of nomenclature of geometric shapes and solids including plane figures; congruence/similarity/equivalence; solid geometric figures; and the Pythagorean theorem.
The Upper Elementary Music program aims to train each child’s ear in tonal recognition, and each child’s voice in rendering simple conjunct melodies unaided by accompaniment.
The Upper Elementary Music program has as its aims to train each child’s ear in tonal recognition, and each child’s voice in rendering simple conjunct melodies unaided by accompaniment. The program builds cumulatively on the group singing experience of the Children’s House Music, and the note-reading literacy and elementary instrument training of the LE Music Program. Basic music theory is introduced in the form of scales, triads and harmony. Elementary training is also given in Guitar and String bass.
|UE Physical Education|
The Upper Elementary PE program refines fundamental patterns, mature motor patterns, and selected isolated manipulative skills.
The Upper Elementary PE program refines fundamental patterns, mature motor patterns, and selected isolated manipulative skills. Students use these skills in the context of performance. They learn game rules, procedures, and sportsmanship, and they continue to develop cooperative interpersonal skills for working with a partner or small group. They begin to incorporate principles of fitness into their daily lives.
UE students practice basic locomotor and non-locomotor skills, such as running, hopping, galloping, sliding, leaping, and skipping activities. They play games that involve balancing, dodging, swinging, rolling, landing, and stopping. They also learn tumbling and basic gymnastics. Students learn selected isolated manipulative skills including throwing, catching, kicking, trapping, dribbling, striking, volleying, and bouncing.
|UE Practical Life|
The Upper Elementary students develop connections to a broader world community.
In the Upper Elementary years, children’s interest in others and in their world both broadens and deepens. They develop a sense of responsibility and power as the oldest members of the elementary community. Their feeling of connection to a broader world community develops. Practical life activities at this level are intimately interwoven with basic skill work.
These students plan, monitor and self-assess their academic progress. In meetings and in follow-through, they consciously create the community they live in. They support each other in and out of school. They organize their academic work at school and their belongings on excursions. They research and become politically active on issues about which they care deeply. They raise funds for their travels by hosting annual pancake breakfasts and ice cream socials. They learn about service by performing important tasks in their classroom and around the school, and they participate in various fundraisers to contribute to those less fortunate than they.
Science studies in Upper Elementary offer a unique blend of conceptual overview and in-depth exploration. Students study the sciences within broadly focused thematic studies.
By the Upper Elementary years, most children have acquired a basic understanding of the scientific method, an understanding of scientific classification, and a confidence in themselves as critical thinkers who identify, question, explore, and conclude. They have realized that perception is not always reality and that scientific issues always bear further study. As they begin to be able to think abstractly, they become increasingly able to manipulate concepts and create order from the phenomena of their world.
Science studies in Upper Elementary offer a unique blend of conceptual overview and in-depth exploration. Students study the Sciences within broadly focused studies. Comprehensive, thematic studies of “Water,” “Fire,” and “Earth/Air” comprise the three-year, rotating core of students’ studies in life science, physical science, and earth/space science. The thematic approach encourages students to make connections across the sciences; it generates profound curiosity; and it allows them to design investigative projects that express their interests and their styles of learning.
The “Fire” focus includes units such as Solar Power, Photosynthesis, and Volcanism. The “Water” theme might include units like Waterwheels, Circulatory Systems, and The Earth’s Water Cycles. “Earth and Air” themes include units such as Wind Power, Respiratory Systems, and The Work of Wind.
Upper Elementary Spanish students participate in activities organized around listening comprehension, reading comprehension, speaking, writing, and cultural aspects of Hispanic countries.
Upper Elementary Spanish students participate in activities organized around the following skills:
Listening Comprehension: Understanding the main points and some of the detail from a short spoken passage, such as what people are wearing or doing; an announcement or message from the teacher; an expression of a character in a video; conversations about likes/dislikes and wellness; and telephone conversations.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding the main points and some of the detail from a written passage, such as information about a friend; a description of someone’s school day; a description of how someone is feeling; the sequence of events in a story; and directions to an address.
Speaking: Participation in a simple conversation in Spanish, including expressing opinions; discussing favorite foods; describing a picture; describing the weather; asking for and giving directions; retelling a narrative; and describing a restaurant and its food.
Writing: Writing a short text on a familiar topic, including writing a postcard or simple message; composing a brief description of clothes, a person, an animal, or a place; and composing a greeting card.
Culture: Understand appropriate gestures and oral expressions for greetings, leave-talking and common classroom interactions such as: formal and informal greetings. Cultural activities include games and songs, birthdays, and celebrations typical of Hispanic countries.
|UE Visual Art|
In the Upper Elementary Art program children work with their teachers to find their natural artistic voice. They use their “right brains” to think creatively, and they take risks with ideas and materials.
Upper Elementary students learn advanced elements of drawing (e.g. perspective, value, and composition), painting, and form (making three-dimensional structures, clay people, sculpture). We continue to offer a broad spectrum of projects, both two- and three-dimensional: color mixing and painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture made from recyclable materials, self-portraiture, collage and mixed media, and more. Students are introduced to the slab roller for handbuilding ceramics, a printing press for printmaking, and a range of tools and techniques to enhance their artistic experiences.
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.
Upper Elementary students are transitioning into adolescence. While children in this age group show striking variance in their physical development, they are actually quite similar to one another. They are adamant about their desire for independence, but they require organizational and emotional guidance.
The Upper Elementary students travel to a 3-day outdoor education program in the fall, and they go on a week-long excursion to New York City, Washington, D.C., or Cape Cod in the spring.
The Upper Elementary language curriculum is built around writing and reading workshops. Students discover their expressive voices as they become practiced in the skills of expository writing and writing conventions. Our teachers and librarian work together to mentor each child's independent reading and to select books for dynamic discussion groups.
The Upper Elementary math curriculum offers guided explorations with manipulative material that help students build a solid foundation in whole, fraction and decimal computation, as well as plane and solid geometry. Advanced work is complemented by collaborative problem solving activities that challenge students' logic and intuition.
Science studies in Upper Elementary offer a unique blend of conceptual overview and in-depth exploration. They revolve around rotating global themes. The “Fire” focus includes units such as Solar Power, Photosynthesis, and Volcanism. The “Water” theme might include units like Waterwheels, Circulatory Systems, and The Earth’s Water Cycles. “Earth and Air” themes include units such as Wind Power, Respiratory Systems, and The Work of Wind.
Upper elementary history studies include an exploration of the cultural evolution of humans, as well as studies of various civilizations and a survey of American history from prehistoric times through the colonial period.
Upper Elementary Downloads