Lower Elementary (Grades 1, 2 and 3)
Dr. Montessori created both a philosophy and a curriculum. In 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades at The Fulton School, we begin to transition from the Montessori classroom curriculum, while continuing to actively implement the Montessori philosophy. While we begin to follow more of a blended Montessori and traditional curriculum, we remain committed to her principles of "following the child" and educating "the whole child" in a mixed-age classroom, while valuing independence, initiative, joy, and curiosity.
After children learn to read, we believe that children need opportunity after opportunity to read and write. We begin using more traditional methods in language while maintaining a strong commitment to individual styles and strengths. We begin formal exposure to traditional writing structures through the 6-Trait Writing Program, which we use in grades 1 though 6. In addition, students begin literature studies, including exploration of different writing genres, and create a variety of individual and group projects through these explorations. Individual public speaking skills are formally developed through presentations of their findings to their classmates and families.
In math, the students in Lower Elementary are still concrete thinkers at this age, and so we continue to introduce them to more advanced math concepts using materials from the Montessori 6-9 curriculum. As children begin to internalize math concepts such as operations (+, -, x, and ÷) and place value, they gradually abandon the materials without realizing that they no longer need them. In general we find that students no longer require concrete math materials by the end of 3rd grade.
We require more independence in our 1st through 3rd graders, so we tend not to have as many parent volunteers as in younger classrooms; however, classes may utilize parents for resource helpers, cooking helpers on special cultural studies days, and assistance for special projects or field trips. We expect our students to maintain and care for their own belongings, to dress appropriately, and to bring any homework in independently. We believe that we most effectively build meaningful self-esteem and confidence in your child by not doing tasks for him/her that he/she can do independently.
We invite you to come see for yourself our remarkable Lower Elementary classroom in action. Click here to schedule a tour.