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Lower Elementary Program (ages six through nine, grades one through three).
The MSD Lower Elementary Program provides a strong academic continuum for the intellectually curious student. We know that elementary-aged children are ready to take on a much higher level of challenge and responsibility and our Faculty and Staff are ready to provide new opportunities to learn and grow. The Lower Elementary curriculum is rigorous and provides students with the resources to be successful in their studies.
- The teachers draw from Montessori materials as well as a variety of other resources to aid in their teaching.
- The curriculum subjects are integrated and span across the curriculum in the areas of geography, reading, creative writing, research, science, and environmental issues.
- Lower Elementary studies include biology, zoology, world cultures, geography, history, reading, writing, spelling, geometry, and general math.
- Teachers augment continent studies and science foci with immersion days, field trips, and guest speakers.
- Children learn to care for themselves, others, and their environment and are taught conflict resolution skills to help refine their immediate social needs as well as to foster skills needed for the future.
This program instills in children a love of learning through a variety of teaching methods and independent exploration and experimentation. Concepts continue to be introduced through concrete materials but students at this level are now capable of more abstract thought. Classroom projects are often inquiry-based, requiring the children to demonstrate understanding in a variety of ways. The combination of the integrated Montessori curriculum, the aesthetically pleasing classroom environment, and the deep respect afforded the children by the teachers creates a joyful learning environment that primes children for success.
Upper Elementary Program (ages nine through twelve, grades four through six).
The Upper Elementary Program is the culmination of the student’s academic and social experiences at MSD. The charge of the Upper Elementary program is to not only prepare students for the next phase of their academic journey, but also to reinforce and solidify a student’s long-term responsibilities to be engaged and active learners, good citizens, and caretakers of the global community. Maturity and the development of abstract reasoning skills allow students to explore new aspects of their interaction with the learning environment, peers, and curriculum. Students at this level want to apply their knowledge and experiences to new challenges and are ready to be campus leaders.
- The Upper Elementary curriculum is innovative and interactive in method, scholarly in content, and global in scope.
- Lessons are taught with an aim to making learning relevant, authentic to real-world experience, and guided toward student ambitions and passions.
- Instructors teach to individual learning intelligences and assess learning in a variety of ways.
- Core studies include mathematics, geometry, beginning algebra, language, creative writing, literature, science (both biological and physical), history, civics and technology.
In addition to these studies, Upper Elementary students also rotate through four skill-based seminars during the course of their Upper Elementary years. These seminars are a semester-long intensive study in specific 21st Century skills and include Leadership and Service, Innovation and Technology, Global Science and Stewardship, and Economic Literacy and Entrepreneurship. Each seminar is designed to empower students with the skills necessary to make a positive impact on the world. Through the seminar work, students gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the interconnectedness and interdependence of concepts and ideas
- environmental sustainability
- economic development
- human rights
- change management (understanding the reasons why and ways communities experience change in the past and present)
- conflict resolution and peace building
The MSD Upper Elementary learning environment is experiential, socially interactive, challenging, collaborative, reflective, and student-centered. Students learn the social cognition skills necessary to build a classroom community that is supportive, inclusive and respectful of individual ideas and learning. Overall, the program promotes confidence and achievement, reinforcing the importance of responsibility, service, ownership of knowledge, and integrity. Students in the Elementary programs attend school from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm.