Elementary (E1 and E2)

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Elementary 1 (1st-3rd Grades) and Elementary 2 (4th-6th Grades)


The Rochester Montessori School elementary program is organized into two three-year cycles: E1 for the first through third grades and E2 for the fourth through sixth grades. As in the Children's House program, multi-age groups offer lasting benefits. By working closely with children for a period of three years, classroom guides know each child's learning style, strengths, interests, and capabilities. Children form lasting friendships as they and their guides develop a strong sense of community.

The classroom guides support the program's academic and developmental goals, which includes offering a challenging academic program that readies children for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (which begins in sixth grade).  As they learn to manage their time, children become independent, self-directed learners who make daily decisions and choices in our child-centered classrooms. Becoming mindful of the consequences of choice is an essential habit for success in life.

Great Lessons ExperimentsIn our elementary classrooms, you are likely to see children working together to parse sentences, reduce fractions, or research life in Colonial America. Learning to collaborate is an important part of the learning process. The elementary child’s learning activities occur both within the classroom and also in libraries, museums, and other sites that contain the information they seek as they satisfy their hunger for knowledge and understanding. Experiential learning takes place in each classroom in a variety of formats as children explore anthropology, biology, botany, chemistry, earth science, economics, geography, geometry, history, language, literature, mathematics, psychology, sociology, technology, and more. These subjects are presented to E1 students in an ecological, holistic, and integrated format known as The Great Lessons. The intent of the Great Lessons is to give a “cosmic” perspective of the Earth and humanity’s place within it. The five Great Lessons concern how the world came to be, the development of life on Earth, the story of humankind, the development of language and writing, and the development of mathematics. Follow up lessons, stories, individual studies, research, and projects occur during the entire six years of the elementary program, both E1 and E2. 


004.JPGMany areas of study in the elementary programs are open-ended, allowing each child to continue pursuing related ideas and personal interests. Daily lessons build on past learning and respond to the children's expanding knowledge and growing conceptual understanding. As children become more able to reason abstractly, they naturally become independent thinkers. By first using concrete learning materials, children develop both a strong foundation and a deep understanding of concepts, ideas, and skills. During later elementary school years, children also learn without the hands-on materials because they now understand the abstract ideas the materials represent. Although the scope of the elementary curriculum is vast, it is organized as a spiral curriculum. Students are repeatedly exposed to many subjects that are integrated and connected. With each repetition, children make new discoveries and see connections more clearly. The integrated curriculum also promotes the development of life-long learning habits such as persistence, reasoning, problem solving, communication, time-management, and self-reliance.  

Click here for the Elementary I Curriculum Guide.

Click here for the Elementary II Curriculum Guide.

After Elementary, students advance to Middle School... click here to find out more.


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