In contrast to a grade-level classroom where a child has one year to cover certain learning objectives, the Montessori elementary classroom provides flexibility over several years.The Upper Elementary at Sprouts Montessori House of Children, comprises of children of grade IV, V and VI.Students on the Upper Elementary level engage in individual work as well as collaborative activity in both small and larger groups.
Our methods are oriented not to any pre-established principles, but rather to the inherent characteristics of the different age groups. It follows that these characteristics itself marks the different levels. Though the changes from one level to another in the child, can be compared to the process of metamorphosis in insects; the levels are neither distinct nor easy to define. Hence, we define them as “re-births” in the child, where the child presents different characteristics as he / she enters the different stages of their life.
For the period 9-12 years – the period immediately preceding adolescence – we provide a different plan of education as that of the earlier period.But for this it is important to understand this child who has entered the second part of his “second plane”, as Maria Montessori defines it.
At 9-12 years, the child is not the same as what he/she was at 6-8 years. And neither would it be fair for us as adults to expect and treat them the same way.So who is this child of Upper Elementary?
The upper elementary not only focuses on the acquisition of knowledge, but adds a level of thoughtfulness by inspiring children to think and question.
Our Upper elementary classroom is divided into four main areas of work: Mathematics, Language, Culture (which includes history, geography) and Science. Each child is supplied with their work books to record their daily work and presentations. These serve as organizational tools for the student, fostering his independent learning.
In addition to core subjects offered, our curriculum includes, Physical Education, Hindi, Tamil, Art, Music and Movement and Theatre.
Emphasis is put on fluency, comprehension, correct grammar, creative writing, and the use of references both in the school and the community. All of this is interrelated with the other "core" subjects.
Continuing from the pre-school foundation, all concepts are introduced with concrete materials-from basic operations through squaring, cubing, prime factors, fractions, Geometry, and Algebra. All concepts are given when the child is ready and not at a given chronological age.
Culture and Science are subjects which captivates every child’s interest and curious eye. The children actually participate in their learning and link all cultural aspects together. Science is enhanced with experiments and study of models that are available in the classroom.
Moral activities and discussions about the virtues and vices are done with the children, to bring to their conscious mind the aspects of right and wrong and also to empower them to conclude the same for themselves.
At Upper Elementary the children are given opportunities to be a part of theatre, dance, art and other cultural co-curricular activities organized by the school.
Annual Day and Sports Day are two mega events, which is planned and executed on a grand scale at the school, where every child gets the opportunity to be a part of the event. As the “seniors” of the school, Upper Elementary children this year are compering the whole event; giving them all a sense of responsibility and realization at the great role they play.
Christmas carnivals are fun and very productive event, where our children put in all their creative minds and life skills to work. Every year there is a fund raiser by our children, where they sell products made by them. The funds raised go towards buying materials and equipment for their classrooms.
Celebrations at Upper Elementary are never stereotyped, and every time through discussions with the children, interesting and innovative formats are chosen for them to work with;
This self-assertive, judgmental and wanting a reason for all that is presented to him, is not an easy child to handle. It is of utmost importance that the adult is aware and understanding of the characteristics of this plane child and not compare him or expect him to behave like the other children.
It is the role of the adult, to allow the child to carry out all the activities independently, which the child feels capable of doing, irrespective of the outcome. This gives the child the dignity he needs at this stage, where he is trying to balance between the child in him and the suddenly “socially conscious” being that he is becoming.
Children who feel good about themselves, are able to resist negative peer pressure and gain a sense of responsibility within themselves.
The role of the adult is to help, guide and understand the child; and NOT to hand-hold them in their day to day activities. The vision of the adult is focused at the horizon; which is to make the child independent and confident, not only in his work but also as an individual, ready to face the outside world.
The children are regularly exposed to Physical Training and Art during school hours as a part of their holistic development.