AMI Elementary Teacher: Monika Rawla
Ages: 6 to 12 years
Class Size: 20 to 25 students
Monday - Friday (5 days/week)
8:30am - 3:00pm
The Elementary child wants to know “how and why” and our curriculum uses the imagination as the major tool to explore.
Following the Primary Program, children are enrolled in the Montessori Elementary School program, a new stage of development that requires a change in class structure and curriculum to respond to two major developmental changes: the emergence of the reasoning mind and a strong interest in social organization and peer groups. The Elementary child wants to know “how and why” and our curriculum uses the imagination as the major tool to explore. A rich variety of teaching methods, materials, and resources support the child’s efforts to manipulate ideas and make connections.
A Cosmic Education
Using Montessori’s “Cosmic Education” curriculum (instilling in the children an appreciation for the universe and our place in it), we provide a variety of resources and materials to support the child’s efforts to manipulate ideas and explore in concrete ways. As a part of this curriculum, students participate in a number of trips to museums and natural sites.
At Northwoods Elementary School, groups of children receive lessons and undertake “follow-up work,” allowing plenty of opportunity for each child to exercise the increased interest in social interaction that typically develops at this age. Elementary children receive lessons with a global perspective, presented in the form of stories. In Montessori education, these are called the “Five Great Lessons.” These stories explain to children life’s beginnings— how life came to Earth, the first humans and their accomplishments of communication in signs, and the invention of numbers. The teacher/storyteller uses dramatic science experiments, charts, and timelines to excite the imagination and suggest further exploration on the part of the children.
The Great Lessons introduce the entire Montessori Elementary School curriculum, putting each area of study into historical perspective and relating it to the others.
"Learn With Their Feet"
Northwoods Montessori Elementary school children carry out fact-finding missions and service projects, called “Goings Out.” After “thank you” notes are written (to docents, interviewees, and adults who drove or helped in some other way), students write reports and create charts and timelines to present what they have learned to their classmates. Though our primary and elementary classrooms both have many lovely hands-on materials, this aspect of the Montessori Elementary school program is the reason that we sometimes say that “Primary children learn with their hands,” while “Elementary children learn with their feet.”