The Three Year Cycle in Lower El

The Montessori three-year cycle in Lower Elementary provides the space and time for children to develop interpersonal skills by interacting with and learning among children of different ages.  The children learn how to cooperate with one another and respect each other. First-year students are the observers, learning from the second and third-year students. Second-year students are no longer the youngest but are still learning from the thirds while practicing for next year by helping younger classmates. This second year of the three-year cycle is as important as the first and third years of their time in the classroom. This is their growth year. The third-year students are the leaders; teaching the younger children while also setting a good example for them. Throughout this three-year process, the children gain confidence, and competence and learn how to interact with a diverse peer group. They gain great social skills, preparing them for success many years down the road.

The children are LOVING the mystery readers!! Thanks so much, Jordan Rabidou, for spending some time in LE this week!


Geography and History in Lower El

This week in history, Lower Elementary is learning about the days of the week and their origin.

The number seven representing seven days seems to have originated from Judaism, which tells a story of how the Earth was created in six days, and on the seventh, God rested.

The numeral seven also has mystical significance in some cultures. According to the Romans and Anglo-Saxons, each weekday’s name has a significant meaning, either of a planet or of one of the gods they worshiped. How interesting it is to learn the background of why each weekday is named what it is! Ask your child to share what they know about the days of the week!

In geography, each student is immersed in work about South America. First years are working with the puzzle map material, seconds with the pin maps, and third years are learning to label a map abstractly.

Thank you Elle Callanan for being our first mystery reader! We loved having you!


Celebrating MLK in Lower Elementary

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Lower Elementary students celebrated his good work. Tuesday morning we read the powerful story, Martin’s Big Words, which facilitated a great conversation about segregation, equal rights, and the power of using our words. Later that day, the children enjoyed watching a short video clip about the life of MLK and his great work. Afterward, we talked about Martin’s Dream; equality, love, peace, and inclusion. Next, we brainstormed our own dreams for the world, our families, and for ourselves. See below for what we came up with.

Dreams for the world:

  • Shelter for everyone
  • Clean water everywhere around the world
  • Healthcare for everyone
  • Ending starvation
  • World peace
  • Stop wars

Dreams for my family:

  • Stay healthy
  • Love one another forever
  • To see each other more
  • To spend quality time together
  • To be kind!

Dreams for myself:

  • To travel
  • To cut the arguments with my friends/siblings
  • To help the earth stay clean
  • To always love myself
  • To be a good friend

Lower El Language Lessons

To Maria Montessori, the teaching of grammar was at the center of her language curriculum for elementary-age children. Today, it still remains a critical element in the teaching of a complete language program in a Montessori environment. At this age, grammar is being presented at an impressionistic level, and later on, in their later elementary years, they will explore these concepts on a more formal level.

This week the first-year group has enjoyed learning about articles. We started the lesson by reviewing the previous part of speech learned earlier in the year (nouns). They learned that articles are a special group of only three words, that go in front of nouns. The second-years are learning about adverbs- a complex part of speech. They are learning that an adverb supports the verb and they tell us how to do an action. In Montessori grammar, just like the verb, the adverb is also represented as a ball. The adverb is a smaller ball than the verb because it is less important than the verb itself. In the third grade year, the children are learning about conjunctions. They are learning that words that join two objects or actions together are called conjunctions. We even jammed out to the Schoolhouse Rock song- Conjunction Junction. As a follow-up work to practice this grammar, they all love to use the grammar dice.


Lower El: 2023- Bring it on!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and break with your children! We are all happy to be back, working hard and having fun.

The first half of the year focuses mainly on adjusting to classroom routines, learning expectations and developing strong relationships with peers and teachers. The second half of the year is always my favorite time because that’s when I notice exponential growth, both socially and academically, from the children. I am eager to see how the rest of the school year will unfold!

Maria Montessori’s primary goal for education was to bring about a better and more peaceful world. Staying true to this goal, we spend intentional time in our classroom on kindness and caring for one another. Focusing on this now will help the children to grow into peaceful, compassionate adults. The children in our class regularly and spontaneously help their classmates in need, from helping each other with challenging work, giving one another spelling tests, to cleaning up spilled stamp game stamps.


Happy Holidays from Lower El!

The children have been working SO hard the past few weeks in preparation for the holiday concert. Many had pre concert nerves and jitters but once they got up there, everybody performed liked the stars they are. It was so nice to see so many of your faces in the crowd cheering on your kiddos!

Thank to all the parents that contributed to our holiday party, we couldn’t have done it without you. The kids had a blast.

Mary and I wish you all a healthy and happy holiday break! Enjoy this special time with your kiddos. See you in 2023!


Lower El: Learning About the Earth

This year Lower Elementary students are learning about the Composition of the Earth. This physical geography unit follows the Sun and Earth study that we explored last year, and provides the children with a more intensive study of the planet. The goal is to provide an impressionistic understanding of the Earth’s composition and formation.

This week we explored the layers of the earth: inner core, outer core, mantle, and crust. Each child made a sphere out of clay in art class and cut it in half. After the clay dried, the children had a chance to paint the layers of the earth on their own model. Shout out to Mrs. Reid for collaborating with us!


This Week- Lower Elementary

In preparation for our holiday concert on December 15th, Lower Elementary has joined Upper Elementary each morning to practice our songs! We have been thrilled to spend the extra time with our older friends!

The children are wrapping up their Writer’s Workshop unit on Personal Narratives. Each child had the chance to share his/her writing with the class and most of the children proudly read their stories aloud, showing their illustrations to their friends and teachers. They are very enthusiastic about their writing and often don’t want to stop when it is time to move on to another activity. It is so wonderful to see their enthusiasm blossoming and their growth since September!

As winter approaches, please make sure your child has the proper clothing for our outside play: warm coat, snow pants, hat, mittens or gloves, and boots. Thank you!!