1st-3rd Grade 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Philosophy

Before children reach elementary school, their development has focused primarily on socialization, physical coordination and foundational cognition. Children in the lower elementary levels move from absorbing information to manipulating it in order to solve problems and make connections.

The Mountain West Montessori Lower Elementary program understands that elementary children are at the age where they experience the challenges of entering into a cooperative community and are beginning to find their place in society. To support their social and individual growth, most of the elementary activities are group-based so children can learn to share and to work in collaboration.

Our elementary classroom is divided into two groups. The Lower Elementary consists of the 1st through 3rd grades, and the Upper Elementary is 4th through 5th grade. The Lower Elementary guide presents information that covers broad areas of interest and plants seeds for future academic cultivation.

The Lower Elementary level groups begin class at 8:30 and end at 3 p.m.

Extended care for those who wish to either drop-off early at 7:30 a.m. and stay until 5:30 p.m. is available at an additional cost.

Areas of Study

LANGUAGE
Literacy is the biases of all other areas of study, so reading, writing and verbal communication hold an important place in all of our curriculums. Montessori students work with sensorial grammar and phonics materials at early ages so they are not only ready to begin learning to read and write and young ages, but are deeply interested in language. The Lower Elementary certified teacher promotes creative writing, guides self-directed research, and fosters productive pre-reading and reading habits.

MATHEMATICS
Montessori students are introduced to math via concrete materials that facilitate students’ comprehension of computational concepts: addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. Because Montessori methods focus on the appropriate activities for children’s stages of development, students are curious about math, grasp foundational concepts quickly, and are eager to explore abstract concepts like based systems and square roots.

HISTORY
History entails more than the narrative of Homo sapiens. At Mountain West Montessori children learn about the creation of the universe: planets, stars, sun, and our Earth. Our curriculum takes students back to the beginning of life, introduces them to Earth’s different geological periods and explores the subsequent and vast variety of human history. Studying history gives children framework for their own lives as they figure out where they fit into family, local, and global contexts.

ARTISTIC EXPRESSION
Vital to the development of all stages of maturation, Mountain West Montessori’s art programs are personal and imaginative. Children create images and sounds as forms of self-expression and a specialist in Music presents and teaches children a variety of instruments such as the harmonica and the flute. Children between ages 9-12 have opportunities to learn a string instrument like the cello or violin.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION
The Lower Elementary level children have an outdoor physical education session twice a week that includes team sports like soccer and basketball.

Evaluation

Montessori qualitative evaluations of children’s progress differs from traditional grading procedures. Guides (teachers) provide personal, holistic and specific evaluations that take into consider the child’s social, mental, physical, cognitive and psychological development. Children do take the IOWA test as an evaluation of their test-taking abilities.

Camping

Mountain West Montessori sponsors a one-night weekend sleep-over where the children work together to prepare their own food. As a class, children play games, do crafts, and enjoy bonding with their peers

Field Trips

Throughout the year, students will take chaperoned field trips to museums, attend special presentations, and travel to local destinations the children choose.

Celebration and Performances

Peace Day is a long standing Mountain West Montessori tradition. To celebrate the world’s cultural differences and similarities, each student researches unique facts about a country of their choice and presents the information to the entire school. Presentations include wearing a special costume and sharing a sample of food native to their country of study.

As part of our Winter Program and Spring Show, the children prepare and present a dance performance or a play for the whole school and our parents.