Lower Elementary Program
(Ages 6 - 9 yrs./1st - 3rd Grade)
8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Our Lower Elementary Program (6-9 years) offers an inviting, hands on learning environment that facilitates a love of learning, personal independence, responsibility, and age appropriate time management skills. Children in the mixed-age classroom build a community where they help and respect each other, have freedom within limits to follow their curiosity, and are encouraged to delve deep into their exploration of our complex world.
During our three hour uninterrupted morning work period students devote time to a comprehensive curriculum that emphasizes language, math, and cultural studies.
Language – Reading with fluency and writing with clarity are important goals of the language curriculum. Students work on developing their comprehension skills, the mechanics of handwriting, understanding the writing process, grammar, vocabulary and research skills.
Math – Emphasis is put on understanding mathematical concepts. Concepts are initially presented in a concrete way using Montessori materials, and move toward abstraction. Topics include basic operations, word problems, estimations, fractions and decimals.
Cultural Studies – This broad component of the Montessori curriculum encompasses science, geography, history, the arts and languages. The cultural studies curriculum encourages students to sharpen their critical thinking and ponder big questions, including the concepts of time and history, and the fundamental needs of mankind. Students are introduced to a variety of science topics including botany, zoology, astronomy and geology. They enjoy exploring local and world geography through research, puzzles and map making. Ancient civilizations and American history are all introduced and studied. Creative expression is cultivated through opportunities to experiment with different visual arts techniques and mediums in the classroom.
In the afternoon, students have another work period during which they continue to explore the subjects above.
As part of Cultural Studies, students enjoy Spanish and music regularly throughout the week. Ms. Milene Jones, a native Spanish speaker, leads lessons in Spanish conversation, grammar, writing and learning about cultures of the Spanish-speaking world three times a week (to begin second semester). Twice a week, Ms. Christie Hood guides students’ study of concepts such as beat, meter, rhythm, and tempo. They also begin learning to read sheet music.
Throughout the year, students participate in meaningful experiences that reinforce and expand their classroom learning including several field trips and service learning projects.
During their time in Lower Elementary, students continually hone their grace and courtesy and conflict resolution skills. At Dothan Montessori School, our goal is to nurture learners who are open minded, critical thinkers and compassionate citizens of the world.