Lower Elementary children 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. The 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.