Lower Elementary, Ages 6-9 years

Amazing things happen to children during their Primary and Kindergarten experiences at Wichita Montessori School. Lower Elementary learning builds on that, and works to prepare the child for a lifetime of learning.

Students in this age group continue to bridge from the concrete to the abstract with Montessori materials and guidance in four areas:

Language

Reading and writing open the world's every door.

So it's only natural that reading and an appreciation for literature are at the core of every facet of learning at the Wichita Montessori School. Here, we not only guide children in learning how to read, but help them discover an understanding and fascination with words and communication that will serve them for life.

As so often happens at Wichita Montessori School, skills are sought after and learned by children passionate about gathering tools to achieve their goals. In this case, age-appropriate novels drive the learning of language. Additionally, students complete a comprehensive phonics program, which begins in kindergarten and continues through 3rd year elementary. Children read and analyze a variety of books while tackling creative writing projects.

As is always the case at Wichita Montessori School, learning to read happens both in individual and group settings. Our goal is to help students develop and confidently trust their ability to take in, evaluate, and share information from the printed page. Some methods of sharing include book reports, supporting projects, and power point presentations.

Skills such as spelling, phonics, sight words, and decoding are blended with fluency, comprehension, and elements of literature to develop individual learning paths that are at once challenging and rewarding.

Those tools are put into practice in settings designed to reinforce accomplishments and encourage sharing, awareness, and communication skills.

Math

Maria Montessori said it best: "In its natural state the human mind is already mathematical; it tends toward exactness, measure and comparison."

At Wichita Montessori School, we believe our job is helping children make the most of that innate mathematical fascination. And that starts by helping children understand.

Math is approached from two separate angles: concrete, and abstract.

We start by introducing the child to math concepts they can handle – literally. For example, using hands-on teaching tools, the concept of HOW division works is first established. As they manipulate the material, children can SEE how they are sharing a larger number into equal groups. Only after they understand these concepts concretely do children move to the abstract – which includes computing in their heads or using pencil and paper. Each work is presented in sequence so that the child builds upon what he or she learned in a previous work.

The lower elementary math curriculum explores addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, geometry, fractions, time, money, problem solving, higher-level thinking skills, measurement, and decimals.

Cultural Subjects

At Wichita Montessori School, our lab is the world.

Global awareness is an important element of our curriculum. Hands-on projects encourage the children to explore and investigate – both inside and outside. They learn to become passionate observers, who have direct contact with their planet.

Montessori teaching methods provide students with a structure for their enthusiasm. Interest centers in classrooms and guided group activities give them the chance to experience facts in a way that is meaningful to their age and personal development. Activities help them understand reasons behind their observations, and encourage them to record and share their findings.

Scientific fields of study include the study of botany, astronomy, vertebrate/invertebrate animals, and others. Additionally, in weekly labs, physical sciences are explored.

The Earth's geography, continents, countries, and states are studied, leading up to the school's much-anticipated annual Geography-A-Thon.

History is explored through the active creation of timelines, supporting projects, and guest presenters. Students learn to respect the personal side of the past.

Wichita Montessori students do more than memorize facts. They gain an understanding of their environment, both at home and worldwide. Through individual projects and group sharing, they learn to appreciate their Earth and its many peoples and cultures. They become aware of how they fit with the world, and begin to get a sense of how they can work to improve it.

Practical LIVING

The Lower Elementary child participates in many practical life experiences, such as daily community service, care of the environment, recycling, and grace and courtesy.

In addition to our Montessori curriculum, students are instructed in French, Spanish, art, music, physical education, and science.