Upper Elementary Program
Ages 9 to 12
During the school year, your child will experience leadership roles and many rites of passage. Each grade level has opportunities to bond as a unit which benefits the entire classroom. The school year closes with a grade level culminating field trip. These trips allow each group to solidify their studies. Peer relationships are fostered and continue to grow each year.
Your student is provided opportunities to serve within their classroom and the larger school community. They will interact freely and support one another throughout their work week. The three grade levels allow for mentoring both academically and socially. Students support the school community through a school-wide pizza program and other interactive activities during the school year across all grade levels. Opportunities to extend care to the reach beyond our school are student driven and supported.
Your student will be presented weekly lessons in all academic subjects within small group meetings. Math, geometry, grammar/writing, biological and physical science, history, and Christian studies are shared with the opportunity for independent follow-up practice. Academic requirements include independent study, research, and group assignments. Time management, self organization, and personal accountability are developed through the consistent structure within the classroom.
"We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit."
Language Curriculum Overview
Our Montessori language arts curriculum is designed to enhance your student’s skills in reading, comprehension, writing, and verbal skills. Connections are made with history, literature, science, math, and geography.
Students increase comprehension skills through various reading activities: reading silently, reading directions, reading books and website related to academic studies, SRA, and home reading.
Creative writing allows the student to express thoughts before spelling and grammar are mastered. Application of mastered skills are expected as skills are gained. As the student’s skills progress, sentence structure becomes more complex, spelling improves, and story-writing skills develop. Students write book reports, poetry, and journal entries. They learn to analyze sentences, build complex sentences, and refine research skills.
Students study the parts of speech and their functions using classic Montessori materials such as grammar boxes, skyscrapers, sentence diagramming, and sentence charts. Concrete symbols correlate with each part of speech. Grammar studies are integrated to reinforce work that was previously mastered.
Students expand their vocabulary and correct usage through documentation in a vocabulary study book. Your student will study word origins and meanings to strengthen their spelling skills.
"My vision for the future is no longer of people taking exams and proceeding on that certification from the secondary school to the university, but of individuals passing from one stage of independence to a higher, by means of their own activity, through their own effort of will, which constitutes the inner evolution of the individual." ~ Maria Montessori
Mathematics & Science Curriculum Overview
Student advance into the elementary Montessori program with a solid math foundation. Elementary Montessori math materials allow students to develop an in-depth understanding of math concepts as well as memorization of math facts. Students receive individual and small group lessons, all while they work at their own individual pace. Our math curriculum is organized so that students can independently follow the math sequence with a teacher’s guidance.
The physical science program was developed to provide a strong, sequential curriculum that integrates physics, chemistry, geology, astronomy, earth sciences, and electricity. Studies include the use of lectures, discussion, and experiments. Projects and research help students to understand abstract concepts.
Biological sciences include botany, zoology, biology, cell biology, and animal physiology.
Many hands-on activities and experiments will ignite your student’s curiosity and engagement in their study of botany. Students delve into botany nomenclature, definitions, plant classifications, biomes, and ecosystems. We are blessed with many acres, varied micro-biomes, and nature trails for botanical applications and explorations.
Children have a natural curiosity about the earth’s creatures. Zoology studies allow your child to understand the system of organizing the animal kingdoms, research the five classes of vertebrates, and study each in depth.
Our biology sequence was developed with the ultimate goal of inspiring an appreciation of the mechanisms of life. Various presentations and experiences will enrich your student’s knowledge. Model making and other hands-on activities encourage a deeper curiosity and understanding.
Comprehensive geometry studies begin with experiences with the line and its parts, and continues through studies of angles, polygons, triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, area, and volume. The concepts of similarity, congruency, and equivalency are also studied. Students are also exposed to surface area, volume, constructions, theorem introductions, and algebraic manipulation of formulas.
Computers are available in the classroom. Word processing skills, web navigation for research as well as for purposeful creative writing are guided. Specified websites may be recommended to support in-class study skills or suggested for further inquiry while at home. Students independently practice keyboarding skills each week.
Traditions & Homework
Many well loved traditions will enrich your student’s experiences. Each year your student participate in field trips that relate to their curriculum studies. Short outings have included visits to arboretums, science centers, and children’s theatre productions. Upper elementary students travel based on their yearlong culture experiences. They may spend nights in Chicago, Washington D.C., or other appropriate study destinations. Community service opportunities take students off campus to make deliveries or support the needs of the local community in many different ways. Upper elementary also begins the year with an overnight nature and team building experience to bring the classroom together from the start of the school year. Sometime during the year an overnighter is held within the school which includes games, movies, and a community service project while incorporating an educational experience.
SPIRITUAL AND DIVERSITY STUDIES
We are proud of the diversity that our families bring to our community. We welcome all religions and cultural backgrounds, and seek to enrich all of our lives through awareness, experiences, and sharing of these riches. Christian education, Holiday recognitions, cultural studies, and character-building lessons increase awareness of our commonalities and of what makes us each unique. A yearly International Festival is held to showcase the beauty of our school’s multinational/multicultural population. In order to become a more understanding community, our school continues to grow and study in these areas as students, parents, teachers, and staff.
History begins with the concept of the passage of time, geologic time, and the study of civilizations throughout history. Your student will study early humans, defining civilizations, ancient cultures, exploration of the earth, and American history. Experiencing a three-year cycle of the Montessori history sequence will give your child an enriched sense of awe for those that came before us and an appreciation for the gifts they left behind.
Homework is assigned in upper elementary as it allows our students to build a consistent work cycle. They are utilizing text books, preparing for assessments, and developing time management skills. Homework supports all the skills that are gained in school. We value homework because it builds independence and shares insight into the studies and progress taking place in school. It also illustrates areas that may need practice for improvement. These tasks could include: math each night, vocabulary for the week, literature, and extensions of science projects. Daily practice of a musical instrument and the Spanish language are also expectations.
Find out what makes upper elementary at Go Like the Wind special.