The First, Second and Third Grade Program
(Lower Elementary)

The program for first, second and third grades expands upon the program for pre-k and kindergarten. Children in the age group are moving towards more abstract understanding of the world. The materials still provide a concrete base for which to work, and many of the materials are the same ones that were used in the Primary (preschool) room. Now children take the work farther using the materials in a more intellectually advanced manner.

Children at this age become more peer conscious as they move out into the world. With this consciousness comes a need and desire for higher communication skills and exploration of value systems. Their classroom indeed becomes their community where communication skills, personal values and group values are tested on a daily basis.

Language exercises give children tools to better understanding and capability of expression in verbal and written form. The tools are also used for obtaining information children so strongly desire. The skills obtained in reading and writing are put to use in their own work and in other areas of the curriculum such as geography, history, science, botany, art and music.

Refined language skills allow for extensive research of questions and interests. With higher level language use, there is a natural tendency for students to become involved in small group work. Children come together to express interests, raise questions and set about finding out “why” and “how”, often in groups of two to six.

Practical Life for this age group now becomes the work of caring and maintaining the environment. This is in contrast to the purpose of Practical Life at the Primary level which is the development of concentration and visual motor coordination.

Mathematics continues the development that began in the Primary classes. Through manipulation of materials children gain a thorough understanding of the processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They are able to manage problems such as four-digit multiplication and division. Through the work with the materials the children naturally memorize facts and some come to understand factoring, fractions, measurement, the decimal system, currency and even basic Algebra.

The study of Geometry is built upon the sensorial materials presented in Primary classes. It is interrelated to their work in mathematics. The children study plane and solid geometric figure, lines, angles and polygons, concepts of equal, similarity, equivalence, volume, and area.

To gain a better understanding of history and geography the children study a curriculum in the Montessori classroom serve the children and promote their knowledge and understanding of the world. This understanding unlocks doors to their future providing a secure place from which they can proceed on their path of learning.