Children of Integrity Montessori Elementary classrooms are organized around the childs developmental stages and divided into 3 year age groupings. Their environment is the ‘backdrop’, with the child as the initiator of his/her own educational experience.
Elementary (Grade 1 – Grade 3)
(Developmental phase age 6 – 9)
Children in this age grouping are generally less sensitive to sensorial input and are showing greater abilities in abstract rather than concrete thinking. They are ready for more group work, independent learning, and to further broaden their knowledge of a wide variety of subjects. Building on their intense curiosity and sense of imagination, they are guided to follow their own interests in learning. Beginning with the Timeline of Life, the Universe is opened to them, and they gain confidence in recognizing their own place in relation to the whole. The students experience “global education”, learning the “Great Stories” of the universe, the development of language and math, and the history of civilization. Their lessons in the basic concepts of language, mathematics, geography, and science are interwoven around these larger themes, thereby giving the students a contextual framework for mastery of their work. Math materials move from the concrete to the more abstract, and a guided discovery of geometry leads the student to discover formulas and theorems. Language emphasizes creative writing, spelling, correct expression, and grammatical form. Biology studies include zoology and botany, giving the student an understanding of their relationship within the world.
Traditionally, the students embark on an overnight camp experience in June of each year. Benefits from this brief stay are tremendous, from helping establish class bonds, to gaining independence, to learning social and environmental awareness skills.
The completion of the three-year Elementary program is celebrated with a graduation ceremony, marking the eagerly anticipated transition to the Senior Elementary classroom.
Senior Elementary (Grade 4 -Grade 7)
(Developmental phase age 9 – 12)
The imagination increases and concepts are presented and abstracted with fewer manipulative materials. Hands-on activities broaden in scope and include practical application outside the classroom. Projects become more involved and diverse in nature.
The focus narrows to community oriented study. The student is exposed to all types of communities: ‘neighborhood communities’, ‘school communities’ and a variety of community activities. They are given the opportunity to explore and develop their personal empowerment within each community.
At the end of their Senior Elementary years, students are well-prepared to move on to the next level of learning at the Middle School level. This important milestone is marked with a formal graduation ceremony.