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Elementary Community

Dr. Maria Montessori described three important tendencies emerging at the elementary school age: the transition of the child's mind from concrete to abstract reasoning; the birth of a moral sense; and the intensification of the drive to explore the natural and social environment. The Montessori elementary program is designed to meet the needs of each child in a way that is both faithful to Dr. Montessori's insights and consistent with the expectations of parents and society. The Great Lessons Traditionally presented every year in the Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary class as an inspiration to new and older students alike, The Great Lessons are five key areas of interconnected studies in the form of inspiring stories.

These Great Lessons comprise Montessori's “Cosmic Curriculum,” which include:

1. The Story of the Universe and the Formation of the Earth involves astronomy, geology, chemistry and physics.

2. The Story of the Coming of Life introduces the history of life on earth from one-celled animals and plants to human beings.

3. The Story of the Coming of Humans relates the significance of human beings, their special abilities, and what differentiates them from other life forms. The lessons include pre-history, history, social studies, geography and cultural awareness.

4. The Story of Communication in Signs and the Invention of Writing presents the language arts.

5. The Story of Numbers and the Invention of Mathematics include math, geometry and technology and provide a look at human invention in the context of expanding civilization.

Elementary students are encouraged to explore topics that capture their imagination. Elementary Montessori students rarely use textbooks. The approach is largely based on library research with children gathering information, assembling reports, teaching what they have learned to their fellow students, and assembling portfolios and handmade books of their own. Elementary students are taught how to use reference materials, libraries, and the internet to gather information and uncover the facts. Their oral presentations and written research reports grow in sophistication and complexity every year. Students are assessed individually. Through portfolios, performance and guide observation, each student's academic, emotional, social, artistic and physical progress is tracked. Public Montessori schools also participate in national, state or local assessments or standardized tests. All GWMS students are assessed in accordance with the Colorado Read Act. Beginning in 3rd grade, GWMS also administers the mandatory state assessments to all students in grades 3-7.

"Now he has in him the spirit of adventure. He wants to see more of the world."

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