Elementary Montessori Curriculum
Lower Elementary: Grades 1-3
Upper Elementary: Grades 4-6
Elementary Montessori students learn skills that they can use throughout the rest of the academic and professional careers. Alongside their academic work, they also learn to work both independently and in a group to solve problems and foster a learning community of capable peers. Because students are in a classroom for three years, they complete a three-year cycle of lessons.
Montessori education allows for mastery learning, where each student works at a level that is personally challenging and progresses to the next lesson when the current lesson is mastered. Students are also allowed choices so they may pursue their own interests.
Students set goals and keep track of their own lessons. Each day, they create their own schedule, which includes working on the lessons they have been given and working on materials or subjects that interest them outside of their lessons. Students often work together, but sometimes each student is working on something different at any given time. The teacher moves around the room giving small group and individual lessons and supporting students as they work. The children have the freedom to move around the classroom to get supplies, materials, or collaborate or talk with a friend.
The Montessori curriculum meets and/or exceeds Common Core Standards. For an explanation on how Montessorians have aligned the Montessori curriculum with the Common Core, there are several resources here and here. These resources may be updated or changed as the standards change, but Montessori remains the same. The nature of a Montessori classroom is to meet the needs of each child.
Students receive lessons in Reading, Phonics, Word Study, Grammar, Vocabulary, Spelling, Writing, and Literature. Language is integrated with almost all other subject areas.
Using the unique materials developed by Maria Montessori, students learn Math Facts, Operations, Fractions, Geometry and Algebra. Montessori math materials are meticulously organized in increasing complexity, and the lessons taught alongside them are carefully driven at specific skills that build toward abstraction.
Biology (Zoology and Botany), Life & Physical Science (including Chemistry, Physics, and Ecology), History, Geography, Cosmology, Art, and Technology. Students are first given a broad perspective of the universe through the “5 Great Lessons” and then steadily focus on increasingly specific topics aimed at helping the child understand the concept of individual place and purpose. Students are also given instruction and experience in Physical Education, Music, and Foreign Language. Cultural subject areas are often integrated into language and math.
Practical Life is the Montessori term that encompasses domestic work to maintain the home and classroom environment: self-care and personal hygiene; and grace and courtesy.