Elementary Classrooms (6-12 years)
The Montessori Elementary classroom is mixed age groups 6-12 years old (First to Sixth grade equivalent). Our classroom is lively and children are given the opportunity to work individually or collaboratively in small groups. At this stage of cognitive development, the elementary child is characterized as having a “reasoning mind.” Children explore through imagination and manipulation of a rich array of Montessori materials. The elementary child is capable of “big work” and is given the time and materials needed to complete these projects. The child develops intellectually, socially, and emotionally.
The classroom experience is augmented with field trips, going out, and community service. Field trips are scheduled by the teacher and include the entire class. Past field trips have been visits to museums, plays, farms, science centers, and historical sights. Going out occurs when exploration of a topic extends beyond the resources of the classroom. This is important because these practical, hands-on, real-life experiences further cement learning and help the child gain greater insight. A going out activity is planned by a small group of children. The children schedule the outing, arrange transportation, prepare questions and research for the experience, and return to share their information with the class. The children participate in many community service activities throughout the school year. We visit numerous elderly care centers in the neighborhood, help with City of Peoria events, and plan and participate in our own mini Relay for Life charitable activity.
The elementary child begins each year with “The Five Great Lessons.” These are impressionistic and scientific stories that include demonstrations, charts, and timelines. These stories offer the students the big picture of cosmology, astronomy, earth science, geography, biology, history, language, math, music, art, and anthropology The stories are designed to spark intellectual curiosity, passion and inspiration to find out more about the world. Meaningful work happens when the child is inspired by a lesson and explores the subject on their own. The child is free to continue to work with a material or concept as long as necessary or to move on when ready for a new challenge. The curriculum is taught by a highly trained AMI certified instructor.
As the children reach the age of 12, they are ready for an important transition to adolescence. The elementary program has given them freedom to develop at their own pace and individual ability level, including opportunities to collaborate with groups of children of different ages, to develop proficiency in all academic areas; resulting in a strong, confident, independent student that is ready for junior high and beyond.