Why Montessori Elementary?

Baltimore Harbor Trip

Baltimore Harbor Trip

Why Evergreen for Elementary?

At Evergreen, the Elementary program is designed specifically for the developmental needs of children aged six to nine.  Children in the Elementary program are the equivalent age of traditional first through third grade. Our Montessori elementary classroom, however, is very different—and has many important advantages—compared to traditional schooling.

One key difference at Evergreen is class size and student/teacher ratio.  Children in the Elementary program at Evergreen benefit from a co-teacher model with two phenomenal teachers: Mrs. Hannon and Mrs. Hatziyannis.  With our structure, children are exceptionally well known by their Evergreen teachers.  In addition, the highly individualized Montessori approach ensures that children in Elementary are learning lessons perfectly matched to their level. Teachers individualize instruction to keep each child optimally challenged.

Academically, Elementary students are moving from the concrete world of their Primary years and developing the ability to think abstractly. They are able to ask deeper questions and seek connections. The elementary curriculum encourages and nurtures this natural curiosity through a sequence of foundational skills in language and math as well as basic core knowledge in the sciences and humanities. In addition, our elementary curriculum is global. World cultures and geography, art, history and more are woven throughout the fabric of the curriculum. In addition, students learn Spanish.

Teachers are guides, not lecturers. Children still benefit from active learning and hands-on experiences. In Elementary, our teachers lead simulations or virtual field trips in which students experience deeper learning through active participation.  Children have choices and take ownership of their learning. There’s not a one-size-fits all curriculum that leaves some children bored and others frustrated. The classroom is full of materials instead of worksheets. Children solve problems and think, instead of memorize isolated facts with little context.

The mixed age classroom has academic and social benefits. First, children learn with and from each other. Older children model good work habits and produce exemplar work for the younger students to emulate. Second, instead of competing with each other, students grow into a community, and practice social skills every day.   One reason why our Elementary classroom is so peaceful is because of the strong leadership of older children. They work with the teachers to set the tone in the class; they take responsibility to make sure everyone is treated with kindness.  When conflict occurs, older children are well equipped to act as problem solvers and mediators—and teachers are nearby to guide or intervene as well. This kind of dynamic can’t happen in a single-graded class.

Finally, children benefit from a full outdoor recess every day. They have music, PE and art twice each week. Children who complete the three-year cycle in the Elementary class make easy transitions socially and academically to public and independent school fourth grade.

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