In Lower Elementary, the primary goal is to nurture the immense potential within every child. The children discover a continuation of their learning from the Preschool level in an attractive environment with hands-on materials. Lessons are given to children in small groups, and they progress as their ability allows. We eliminate possible frustration by providing just the right amount of challenge at the right time. The various learning styles of each individual child are met by presenting the lessons both visually and orally. The Montessori materials also provide a tactile experience. Lessons are repeated until concepts are fully mastered. We want every child to realize success. For students needing extra challenge, acceleration will be provided.
When one enters the classroom, children can be observed working on many different lessons and activities. Some children may choose to work alone, while others will work in pairs or in small groups. All are intensely working and pay little attention to a newcomer who enters their environment. At this level, children have weekly work plans. Throughout the course of the morning, students are expected to work to their potential and be self-motivated. They also choose special work that they want to do. Researching an individual topic of interest is a popular choice of special work.
The lower classrooms provide a safe domain for emotional development. The most prominent aspect of a Montessori classroom is that the students are with the same teachers for a three-year cycle. This enables the child to be comfortable and confident with their teacher. An aesthetically pleasing environment is carefully arranged with special consideration given to the child’s needs. All shelves in the classroom are sequenced from left to right and top to bottom. The Montessori materials are color coded to ease the memorization of concepts. The room is enticing and visually pleasing. Through participation in weekly art and music classes, students learn to express themselves through the arts and also to appreciate the creative works of others. Moral development is reinforced in a Montessori setting by consciously striving to promote kind and peaceful behavior. Compassion, tolerance and acceptance of all cultures are promoted daily by individual actions and observation of various cultural practices in classroom lessons. Developing honesty with oneself and others and accepting responsibility for one’s actions is another key factor in character growth. Many different spiritual activities are incorporated into a Montessori curriculum. The children have the opportunity for self-reflection each day by reading or relaxing during quiet times. The study and appreciation of nature is also a component of the process of spiritual education. Montessori emphasized the interdependence of all living things through cosmic education. Cosmic education states that all of the elements of nature are related and should be respected, conserved, and cultivated. By group activities such as recycling, gardening, food and toy drives, and community endeavors, a charitable and giving spirit is encouraged. The program at Joseph S. Bruno Montessori Academy stresses holistic development because true success in life depends on growth in all areas of development.