Upper Elementary

grades 4, 5, 6 (ages 9-12)

One of the most appealing aspects of the Montessori philosophy is that there is a cohesiveness and connectedness that follows the child from the beginning of their Montessori experience until the end. The skills that the Primary child works so diligently to refine come to fruition during the elementary years. Children work to become as independent as possible, and time management, organization, and daily study skills become increasingly relevant.

Cognitively, children who are 9-12 years old reach an age of cognitive abstraction and have the ability to see and apply details in a broad manner. For example, these children reach a level of mastery with the facts of the four mathematical operations and are now ready to apply this knowledge. The bead cabinet that they once used for linear counting practice and the development of longer periods of concentration can now be used for understanding multiples, squaring, and cubing.

The geometry area in the Elementary classroom is a continuation of the sensorial area of the Early Childhood classrooms. The materials that are used by very young children for exploring relationships and learning shape names are used by the 9-12 year olds to articulate relationships between equivalent, similar, and congruent figures. The constructive triangle boxes, the hexagon boxes, and the triangle boxes are vital components of this type of exploration and discovery.

Cultural subjects are a focal point of the Upper Elementary classroom. Students study history, geography, botany, zoology, and the physical sciences. These subjects provide children with detailed information about the world around them. As they become more abstract thinkers and as their interests expand to the world around them, these subjects fill in the details of the broad-based knowledge experienced at the 6-9 level.

Novel studies are a focus of the language arts area. These novels, as well as a more in-depth examination of the study of grammar and the writing process, are frequently integrated with the cultural studies. These components of language arts are incorporated throughout the curriculum.