Montessori School of Columbia Lower Elementary Program
In grades 1 through 3, which is called Lower Elementary in Montessori schools, students become reasoning explorers. Dr. Montessori saw that children at age 6 begin to look out into the world, trying to understand how it works. To meet their inquisitive natures, the teacher presents students with a vast array of lesson and demonstrations to expound upon these myriad interests—about the creation of the universe, the development of plants and animals, the movement of the earth, and the changes wrought by wind, water, and ice. Children use their imaginations along with Dr. Montessori’s stories and demonstrations to get a glimpse of how the world works. After group lessons, children chose prepared lessons from the shelf to read, match, sort, and research in order to explore the concepts in more detail.
During the three hour morning work cycle, students complete assignments in math, reading, language, journal writing, geometry, and spelling that are individualized to his or her needs and strengths. Students use the Montessori manipulatives for math, geometry, and grammar. Most subjects are taught with a hands-on approach. Children manipulate beads, tiles, triangles, and letters to learn important mathematic and geometric concepts, spelling rules, and parts of speech. Multi-sensory materials lead the children from the concrete to the abstract, allowing them to progress naturally as their brains develop.
In the afternoons, children have Spanish, art, and music each week. Third graders also study Latin.