Our elementary Montessori program, or “Junior” program, begins in the first grade and goes through third grade. The program is a continuation of the primary experience. The elementary environment allows children to grow socially and emotionally as well as academically. They are exposed to all areas of learning and are encouraged toward broader thought and independence. There is an integration of all areas of learning, science, language, math, geography and history, to encourage and challenge imagination and development. As with all Montessori learning, lessons are presented when the child is ready. Montessori materials are used in conjunction with natural curiosity and self-exploration. At the elementary level, the children begin to move toward more abstract concepts. The three-year Montessori elementary cycle is important in working toward self -awareness and independence.
Each week, children participate in Spanish and art classes. On Fridays, the junior children go on group outings to places such as Aim High, Rock Spot, and Launch. They engage in activities such as hiking, swimming, and ice-skating. These outings encourage physical growth as well as practice in working collaboratively and cooperatively within a group.
The junior program begins each morning at 8:45 am and ends at 2:45 pm.
Art at SCMS for Juniors
Maria Montessori believed that the study of art was fundamental to children’s creative, visual, sensorial, and emotional development.
In the Junior art program, classes meet twice a week. An interdisciplinary approach to art connects creativity to science, language, math, and the study of cultures around the world. The history of art and the work of various artists are introduced to the students throughout the year. In coordination with the Junior teachers, art projects are developed to enhance classroom lessons. The highlight of each year is the Junior Cafe presentation. In art classes the children create wall art, table sculptures and design a wonderfully imagined backdrop for their cafe performance.
Music at SCMS for Juniors
Children at SCMS grow up with the experience that everyone is a musician. The music program is based on the Orff approach to teaching music. Through singing, movement, speaking, body sound rhythms, playing simple melody instruments and percussion instruments with improvisation, children learn the love and joys of music. Our music teacher often brings in an instrument such as guitar, ukulele, fiddle, banjo, or xylophone; students are encouraged to try them.
The Junior children study the elements of music, including melody, beat, rhythm, meter, vocals, instrumental expression, tempo, and articulation. More context is given to the sounds that they’ve already grown familiar with, exploring the physics of music and sound. We also discuss music vocabulary, so children develop the skills to discuss tone, pitch, melody, tempo and rhythm. In music theory, they learn to recognize and name symbols of musical notation.
Spanish at SCMS for Juniors
Acquiring a new language is especially advantageous at a young age, as the pronunciation, intonation, and structure comes quicker and easier.
SCMS students begin learning Spanish in the Transition program and continue through the Junior program with native Spanish speaker. The teacher incorporates group activities to reinforce the fun of Spanish language in song, conversational skills, movement, and games.