Lower Elementary Grade 1-3
Upper Elementary Grade 4-6
Full-Day Program (8:30am-3:00pm)
All-Day Program (7:30am-5:30pm)
The Elementary Program
Elementary aged children are driven by a natural curiosity and tendency to explore the expansive interconnectedness within and across disciplines such as the arts, math, and social studies. Dr. Montessori used the term "cosmic education" to refer to this stage of education best fitting this period of child development.
The Great Stories are at the center of Montessori elementary education. These stories explore the beginnings of the universe, the formation of the stars and planets, the progress of plant and animal life, the arrival of humans and language, and the origins of mathematics, geometry, and the sciences. From these stories the child develops sensitivity to the way things live, to the interdependence of life, and to the fundamental needs of human beings. Timelines, charts, and research cards of human needs help the child in independent study and inspire more research in geology, sciences, biology, geography, and history. Montessori elementary children use their imagination and reasoning minds to explore all the parts of the universe and are engaged in a variety of learning activities at the same time.
Much of the work of the elementary child is collaborative. The child learns in partnership with others through small group lessons and projects. At different times, each child is both a teacher and a learner. Because each child spends three years in the same classroom environment, the children have the freedom to explore subject areas as they become interested in them. The subjects that are covered in the Montessori classroom include mathematics, geometry, language, geography, science, art, and music.
Living in the world for the elementary child also involves working actively to make it a better place. Care of one's environment is built into the Montessori curriculum. In the environment children are responsible for keeping the environment clean, caring for the animals, and providing for the needs of guests. Creo elementary children will take responsibility for recycling programs in their classroom environments, will help maintain the grounds and the garden, as well as help the school be more energy efficient. Creo offers children opportunities to ponder questions of morality, justice and empathy through storytelling, group activities, and community service. Guides, students and parents work as a team to discuss strategies and develop new and interesting projects to better the world.
The AMI Montessori Elementary Guide
At the center of the Montessori elementary classroom is the AMI Montessori guide. This professional is an "enlightened generalist" who has the deep knowledge to connect the Great Stories into a big picture across the disciplines. Their role is to be the storyteller of our history and our world as we understand it and to inspire and guide the children as they acquire the skills to pursue their interests and to explore the relationships among the different subject matters. This guide is also trained in areas of child development and because the child spends three years in the same classroom environment, the elementary teacher can be keenly tuned in to the unique personality of each child. This sensitivity permits the guide to encourage each child into areas of natural interest. The guide is in communication with the child and the family to help the child maximize his or her educational opportunities. Through the use of daily observation notes, lesson planning and assessments, they track each child's use of materials and progress within a subject matter.
Elementary Going Out, Field Trips Extension Excursion Programs
Because the classroom cannot always answer all of the child's questions, the elementary child is involved in "going out" to explore beyond the classroom environment. The Creo Montessori Elementary School children will extend the classroom into the community by arranging a visit to a museum, library, factory, nature reserve, or other site that can provide them with information that will enhance their studies.
The students submit a request to the teacher with a list of questions they wish to research and details regarding the opening hours and admission cost of the place they wish to visit. When approved, they make all other arrangements and make their trip with a guide or approved parent. Typically, students will visit a specialized museum or travel to interview an expert in a particular field. Students share their findings with the rest of the class, thus inspiring others to "go out."
Field trips are teacher lead experiences and will involve the entire class and are chosen based on the area programs offered and the relevance to the current experience in the class. Children participate in a minimum of two field trips each year.
Below is a short list of annual possibilities:
Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum
Feed My Starving Children
Arizona Science Center
Arizona Art Museum
Musical Instrument Museum
Arizona Challenger Center
Classroom Extension Excursions
The elementary class embarks upon a multi-day camping trip. These outdoor educational programs support geological and oceanography studies. Students are able to see the work of wind, water, explore local habitats and ecology while applying many Montessori independence skills in action, from preparing food over a campfires to team building skills.