Lower elementary is an exciting time for students at MSK as they have moved beyond the “younger” divisions and are well on their way to building a strong academic rapport while displaying much more independence. Learning is deeply rooted in a formal curriculum and although academics are the key priority, students continue to enjoy a well-rounded approach to learning through hands-on, student-centred materials and extra-curricular activities.
THE LOWER ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM
At MSK, learning in the Lower Elementary classroom begins with concrete Montessori materials. Once established, teachers will guide students towards more abstract learning and thinking. It is important to note that while following the Montessori method, all provincial Ministry of Education curriculum guidelines are met. Following the Montessori methodology simply allows students to be more responsible, resourceful and independent while meeting Ministry of Education requirements.
In mathematics, the passage from concrete concepts to the abstract allows students in the Lower Elementary program to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of concepts and mathematical terminology. Fractions, decimals, multiples and factors are but a few of the areas that the child learns about as per provincial Ministry of Education guidelines. What differs in a Montessori program, is that students are able to apply these concepts to real-world applications so that what they’re learning becomes meaningful to them.
Geometry in the Lower Elementary program becomes an integral subject area on its own as students explore the concepts of angles, lines, and shapes through Montessori-specific materials.
In addition to meeting and following all provincial requirements, language curriculum at MSK offers a wealth of practical and creative approaches to learning. At this point in Montessori programming, students will begin to undertake small research projects when taking part in their language studies. The development of formal writing skills through the creative writing program is also introduced here. Students will participate in sharing stories, partake in plays and begin to discover poetry. Books are an integral part of the language program and are used for a variety of purposes such as research, reading, and storytelling. There are various Montessori materials that are important to this program such as the Skyscraper materials and Montessori Grammar Boxes.
Cultural studies in the Lower Elementary program include botany, zoology, STEM, history and geography. Here, students are introduced to the concept of culture as a whole and are taught “mini lessons” about specific topics. This allows students to understand their place in the world around them. Research skills are further developed as students are taught how to find information from various resources and share their findings through presentations. We are proud to share that students enrolled at MSK will have a more enhanced learning experience than in a conventional classroom as the Montessori method exceeds provincial expectations of this subject area.