The Elementary Program is full day and includes the following areas of focus:
Practical Life: The child learns to work as part of a whole to make the classroom community stronger. Lessons may include writing “thank you” letters, cleaning up personal work space, volunteering, and time management. Daily jobs are also more advanced and require a greater degree of responsibility.
Mathematics: We practice the Montessori approach to mathematics in our Elementary Program, which continues to be based on concrete understanding, allowing children to gain a deep understanding of math concepts before shifting to more complex and abstract material. Topics which are presented to the students include, but are not limited to: fractions and decimals, complex operations, word problems, geometry, and the introduction of algebraic theorems. A sequence of lessons brings the child naturally and gradually to the point of understanding abstract mathematical operations. The structure of the decimal system, the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and other key concepts follow this same pattern. By using the Montessori math materials, children experience concepts traditionally taught in higher grades (e.gq., fractions, squared and cubed numbers, multiples and factors). Our geometry materials offer children an open-ended field of exploration. These materials, and the lessons that accompany them, permit children to discover important principles and relationships. A student may learn nomenclature for the types and parts of polygons, circles, angles and lines.
Language: Language skills are woven throughout nearly every lesson and every subject area offered at CM. Skills which are continuously developed include reading and writing fluency, parts of speech, the use of semantics and syntax, vocabulary, research skills, and exploring literature and genres. In a mixed-age classroom, younger children witness older children reading and writing spontaneously, thereby motivating the younger students to strive to perfect their language skills. Likewise, older students assist younger ones with language development, thereby gaining confidence and competency. With carefully structured presentations and appealing follow-up work, the teacher and child work together to accomplish the child’s goals. Vocabulary, spelling, and grammar are emphasized. After mastering the fundamentals of language, the child experiences prose, drama, dialogue, discussion, debate and research, in oral as well as written forms.
Science: Materials focus on the classification of living things, zoology, botany, geology, astronomy, anatomy, and chemistry. Students learn about the scientific method and often design and conduct experiments to better understand abstract concepts. Agricultural learning and care for plants and animals are integral components of the science curriculum. We employ demonstrations, field activities and experiments which the children learn to perform on their own. The relationships of earth, sun, seasons, zones of climate, etc., are studied along with economic and political geography. Whenever possible, we augment the learning experience by bringing in community experts who work with the children.
History: Our history curriculum encompasses natural, cultural, political and geographical history. This framework reveals many fascinating connections and interdependencies, not only among various peoples, but between people and the changing physical environment. The child becomes fascinated by particular events in history and conducts research, thereby learning a more comprehensive and meaningful historical timeline.
Music, Art, Drama, Spanish, Computers, Physical Education: CM believes that music, art, drama and other cultural forms cannot only offer a child individualistic expression, but can also help the child expand and excel in other areas of the classroom. Music, art history, and cultural appreciation are included as a part of the children’s study of human culture and are often accompanied by public performances or shadowing experiences. Likewise, CM believes that children should be physically active regularly each day. We recognize a need for the aerobic activity and skill development which only physical education provides. Our emphasis is on skill building, development of self-awareness and control of movement, enhancement of personal confidence, and imparting the values of teamwork and cooperation.