Nine to twelve year olds are transitioning into adolescence. While children in this age group show striking variance in their physical development, they are actually quite similar to one another. They are adamant about their desire for independence, but they require organizational and emotional guidance.
The upper elementary language curriculum is built around writing and reading workshops. Students discover their expressive voices as they become practiced in the skills of expository writing and writing conventions. Our teachers and librarian work together to mentor each child’s independent reading and to select books for study and discussion.
The upper elementary math curriculum offers guided explorations with manipulative material that help students build a solid foundation in whole, fraction and decimal computation, as well as plane and solid geometry. Advanced work is complemented by collaborative problem solving activities that challenge students’ logic and intuition.
The Elementary curriculum begins with the first of five Great Lessons. This lesson is the Story of the Beginning of the Universe, and introduces students to the wonders of all sciences, most specifically geography. The geography curriculum includes physical, political, economic and human geography.
The Story of the Coming of Life, the second of the five Great Lessons, introduces the study of botany, zoology and ecology. Lessons in botany include study of the parts of the plant – leaf, root, stem, flower, fruit and seed – as well as plant classification. Lessons in zoology include the study of vertebrates and invertebrates, animal classification, and body systems and classes.
Lessons in human anatomy begin with the importance of the flow of blood in our bodies. Lessons in ecology introduce students to the interconnectedness of all living things and the part they play in the preservation of the planet and its species. An introduction to chemistry and physics prepare the students for the challenges of the Middle School science curriculum.
Upper elementary history studies include an exploration of the psychological and cultural evolution of humans, as well as studies of various ancient civilizations. Our science program offers a unique blend of conceptual overview and in-depth exploration. Students focus on units of study in earth science with the Work of Air & Water, life science with animal and plant classification and physiology, and physical science with the study of the origin of the universe.
Foreign Language Curriculum
The Elementary child is ready for a formalized study in a foreign language, as he or she has had sensorial experiences in many languages, reads and writes in a native language, and is using abstraction as a common exercise in learning. Spanish is the chosen language of Arbor Schools curriculum.
Spanish in the Elementary class is taught as an integrated part of the curriculum. The children learn the Spanish language in relation to the study of language, math, history, zoology, botany, geometry and geography. Spanish in the Elementary classroom is approached through the study of grammar, sentence analysis and word study in language. History includes further study of the fundamental needs of humans as well as the history of language itself.
Botany, zoology and geometry are explored through the addition of Spanish names to the existing nomenclature. Political and physical geography easily lend themselves to the study of Spanish-speaking countries and cultures. Studying the history of communication in numbers and famous Spanish-speaking mathematicians is part of the integration of Spanish into the math area. As the children become familiar with the spoken word, they sometimes arrange to go to Spanish-speaking community establishments to further their understanding of the culture. These excursions are called “going-out” trips.
Physical Education Curriculum
First Montessori’s Physical Education program offers many avenues for the mental and physical energies of our students. Activities for all children include body awareness, fitness, stretching, cooperative games, taking turns, listening skills and sportsmanship.
Activities from team games to fitness regimes invite children to test their own potentials and to challenge themselves to reach continually for higher objectives. Those same activities invite creative thinking and social awareness as well as cooperation and awareness of good team behavior. The Physical Education program maintains emphasis on independence, freedom and discipline, and respectful interactions with the children.