Upper ElementaryThe Upper Elementary Program for levels 4 – 5 builds on the content of the Lower Elementary global curriculum, expanding students’ awareness of their place in the world’s history.
View our Outline Upper Elem Curriculum 4th & 5th The essentials of the 6–9 curriculum form the core of the 9–11 study. The Upper Elementary classroom provides a true community in which students meet not only superior academic standards, but are also part of an environment where they develop a strong sense of “being” and become independent, self confident and self disciplined individuals. Time management, organization, and setting reasonable, responsible goals are a priority at this level. It is a time when children cross the bridge between using hands–on, manipulative materials and the abstract understanding of concepts. Work on group projects, use of community resources (such as libraries and museums) and an expansion in field studies become important new elements in our Upper Elementary curriculum. Our students move through the major curricular themes from concrete presentations towards greater depth, detail, and abstract understanding. With mixed age groupings, our children engage in individualized and small group instruction and cooperative learning opportunities. As well, these groupings provide the opportunity for the older students to act as role models for the younger students and function as a form of review for the older students. In keeping with the Montessori philosophy, an integrated approach to learning is offered. The core curriculum for our upper elementary students consists of the following areas of learning:
- Mathematics / Geometry
- Social and Cultural Studies (Geography and History)
- Social Responsibilities
School an extended home, a place where you develop your confidence and skills for a great future. Elementary years in a child’s life is a very important period and we believe is crucial in shaping an individual.
We as a family have moved quite a bit and have had the pleasure of being a part of three great Montessori communities in the country. It was very important for our family to find the best elementary school when we moved to San Diego last year. When we met the teachers and the administrators during our first visit to Country Montessori, we knew we had found Rithvik’s extended home.
School and home go hand in hand, it is imperative that both the places work hand in hand to provide the best for a child’s education. We believe you can get a great education anywhere in the world, but you need to have a great community to bring the best in a child and to grow the confidence for a great future in what every your child pursues later on in life.
To work and collaborate in groups; to develop your social and Intellectual skills, it is not only essential to have a great community but great teachers. A community filled with love and compassion, to correct the little minds when they are wrong and to let them know that it is ok to make mistakes and guide them in the right direction is significant. We are privileged to be part of Country Montessori community and the experiences that our son has experienced for the past couple years a home away from home.Kpripalini Raguram - mother of Rithvik 5th level 2017
At Country Montessori School, language is seen as the thread that runs through every aspect of our integrated Montessori curriculum. The Language Arts curriculum in Upper Elementary emphasizes language as an art of communication. Over the three year cycle, students become proficient readers, writers, speakers, editors, authors, critics and poets. They learn and practice specific skills in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, syntax, and expression in a range of contexts including small and large group lessons, independent work, writing prompts, journal writing, research projects, oral presentations, portfolio reflections and literature analysis. Through a variety of literary forms, including biographies, short stories, novels, poems, essays, editorials, news articles and their own autobiographies, our students observe and analyze models of effective communication.
Literature circles are fundamental components of our Language Arts program. Students engage in in-depth analysis of texts, assuming the role of writer, critic or main characters, often acting out individual character roles as a group. Several literature circles are in progress at any given time to meet the needs of the range of learners in our Upper Elementary class.
Our students are exposed to primary sources in science and history and secondary sources across the entire curriculum. All of these texts provide opportunities to apply skills in Language Arts, including comprehension, fluency, inferential reasoning, identifying cause and effect, author’s purpose, making predictions, analyzing characters and identifying themes. All sources help build vocabulary and enhance the understanding of parts of speech, word formation and sentence and paragraph structure.
Our Upper Elementary math curriculum emphasizes the relationship of math to everyday life using critical thinking skills and problem solving techniques. Students’ need for manipulative materials decreases as they learn to internalize abstract concepts. The three year math cycle builds a foundation of skills and concepts that the students will use in their future studies of algebra, geometry, statistics and trigonometry. Our students are assessed independently on their mathematical skills and are guided through an individualized mathematics program where they work extensively with the following concepts, skills and applications, adding layers of complexity as they master each level.
- review of common multiples and factors
- fractions and equivalents; comparing and ordering fractions
- addition and subtraction with like/unlike denominators
- multiplication and division with simple fractions and mixed numbers
- decimal place value; ordering and comparing decimals
- addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
Ratio, proportion and probability:
- equivalence; rate; ratios to solve proportions
- estimating percent
- relationship between percents, fractions and decimals
- calculating percents (three forms)
- discounts, interests, commissions, and taxes
- absolute zero
- operations with positive and negative numbers
- comparing and ordering integers
- order of operations
Graphing, statistics and data analysis
- coordinate planes
- writing equations; evaluating expressions
- collecting, organizing and interpreting data; range, mean, mode, & median
- squaring & cubing
- radicals; simplifying; four operations
- square root & cube root
Measurement: imperial system/metric system
Linear, weight, capacity, temperature, & time
Another major area of focus in our math curriculum is plane geometry. Building on the foundation from Lower Elementary, our Upper Elementary geometry program includes a more intensive exploration of angles, their relationship to each other, how to measure them, how to construct them, and how they relate to geometric shapes. Through Montessori exercises, our students discover formulas and explore strategies for working with concepts of congruency, similarity, and equivalency and apply these concepts to identifying the relationship of various geometric figures and determining area for advanced polygons.
Our solid geometry curriculum provides the students with the opportunity to secure mastery of properties of three dimensional straight line and curved figures. Using Montessori materials, they explore methods to determine surface area and volume arriving at theorems and formulas which can be applied to solving problems.
The Upper Elementary science curriculum is designed to familiarize our students with some of the fundamental principles of scientific investigation, to strengthen their powers of observation and critical thinking, and to explore some of the basic concepts within the fields of earth science, physical science and life science. Students participate in demonstrations, conduct experiments, research and present, write, speak, diagram, and draw to spark interest in and gain age-appropriate understanding of a broad array of science topics including but not limited to:
- Mechanics (forces, Newton’s laws of motion, simple machines, properties of waves)
- Earth Science (solar system and the seasons, rock cycle, water cycle)
- Physical Science (states of matter, changes in state, heat transfer)
- Chemistry (atomic structure, periodic table of elements, properties of elements and molecules, chemical reactions)
- Electricity & Magnetism (interrelationship between electric current and magnetism, properties and uses of circuits, properties and uses of magnets)
- Energy (various types, transformation in form, conservation of)
- Life Science (fundamental needs, systems of the body, health & safety)
Zoology and botany are joined to become the study of biology. Older students are introduced to the broader and more inclusive Five Kingdoms (prokaryotes, protests, fungi, animal and plant), and do a variety of written researches, projects and experiments for each of the kingdoms. They study cells, cell structure and function in depth. They design their own cell models. They also look at plant tissues and their functions. Non-flowering plants and their methods of reproduction are presented at this level. Students also study human anatomy and look at comparative functions of animals systems. Nomenclatures, charts, research cards, books and other resources and materials aid in the presentation of these subjects and the independent research and experiments that follow.
Science studies also include an introduction to chemistry and the Periodic Table. Students perform a variety of chemistry experiments. We believe that providing a strong foundation in the sciences will provide the child with a sense of his or her place in the natural order.
Social and Cultural Studies (Geography and History)
The Upper Elementary curriculum for social and cultural studies includes the disciplines of geography and history. Our geography curriculum is designed to show how the physical configurations of the earth contribute to history. It includes a study of physical geography, political geography and economic geography. Students learn, compare and contrast the themes of geography that impact societies’ growth and development, including location, place, interactions of people and environments, movements and regions. Our students expand on their knowledge of political boundaries, map skills, cultures, communities and basic human needs.
Our Upper Elementary history curriculum carries forth from the Lower Elementary foundation of the Time-line of Life to focus on the Coming of Humans and the ensuing rise of civilizations, including our own. Our history themes are presented in three year cycles, allowing students to build a foundation of knowledge for historic comparison and contrast.
- Year one: Time-line of Humans
- Year two: Ancient Civilizations
- Year three: History of the United States (beginning with the migration of Native Americans )
- History Of California
Our goal is to enable students to see history as a discipline that has meaning in their lives and to understand their own place in history.
Social Responsibilities and Life Skills
Children at the Upper Elementary age demonstrate an intense desire to develop strong connections with their peers. They take increasing responsibility for their own conduct in personal relationships as well as in caring for the environment. The 9 – 11 years are a time when the child is developing and establishing a sense of justice and moral reasoning. As a member of our classroom community, our students play an active role in decision making and conflict resolution. Questions of right and wrong are considered as a group in their daily community meetings which serve as arenas to express issues and feelings. These discussions also allow rules and procedures to be developed in order to recognize and respect others. These class meetings encourage co-operative effort and allow the students the opportunity to acknowledge one another, expressing gratitude for their support and friendships.
Through all this work, our Upper elementary students develop strong interpersonal skills. They come to understand who they are and why and how they are valuable beings. They construct themselves as individuals and contributing members of the human race.
Upper Elementary Daily Schedule
|Upper Elementary Daily Schedule|
|7:00 - 8:15 am||Before Care (Childcare) Offered *|
|8:15 am||ARRIVAL in Upper Elementary Classroom|
|8:15 - 8:30 am||Animal care (feeding/fresh water)
Fill-in Daily Agenda (prioritize daily goals and management of time in personal calendar agendas)
|8:30 - 8:45 am||Community Meeting (“student-run-meeting” which includes a moment of silent personal reflection, class business, acknowledgements and Pledge of Allegiance)|
|8:45 - 9:00 am||Test-Pro, Spelling, "Math Facts" timed testing, Journal/Power Write (alternates)|
|9:00 - 11:30 am||Great Work Period (individual and small group lessons, individual/small group work, research and projects)|
|12:00 - 12:30 pm||Lunch|
|12:30 - 1:00 pm||Recess|
|1:00 - 3:00 pm||Enrichment “Pull-out” classes: P.E., Art, Spanish, Music, and Computer Cultural Lessons: Science, Geography, and History
(These activities occur on a rotating basis throughout the week)
|3:00 - 3:15 pm||Elementary Dismissals
(Children not picked-up at dismissals will go to childcare on the playground)
|3.15pm||After Care (Childcare) begins*|
|3:15 - 4:00 pm||Outdoor playtime for childcare|
|4:00 - 6:00 pm||Children in childcare go inside for snack and free play|
|6:00 pm||After Care Closes and Children Must Be Picked Up|
|--- Every Friday the following activities will alternate:
Cooking – The children “cook” in teams of 2 or 3 (on rotational basis) the menu of their
choice for their classmates.
Sharing – The children have an opportunity to “share” their experiences, activities or
interests (including pets) during the Friday Community Meeting.
Cleaning the Classroom Environment – The children share the responsibilities cleaning the
environment inside and outside.
Community Service – Sunshine Care visits, trash pick-up on Monte Vista Road
|* Before and After Care (Childcare) is offered at $7.00 per hour. Pick up after 6:00 pm is considered late, a $1.00 late fee for every minute after 6:00 pm will be charged.|