E1 – Lower Elementary
Our E1 classrooms consist of 1st through 3rd grade students. At this age children are transitioning from concrete to more abstract thinking. The E1 Montessori curriculum is designed to spark their inquisitive minds while addressing their need for social interaction.
Through ongoing observation, teachers are able to provide individualized weekly work plans that are appropriate to each child’s developmental level. Children are encouraged to learn both in cooperation with others and independently. The classroom is child-directed with a certified teacher acting as a guide.
A Typical Day in the E1 Classroom
- Children begin arriving at school at 7:45. After caring for their belongings, they are greeted at the door and welcomed into the classroom. The children take responsibility for their various morning tasks, which may include caring for our fish, preparing snack for the class, math or writing journal work, etc… and then join together at the circle for a short community meeting.
- At the community meeting the children greet each other and then various activities take place, such as listening to and sharing announcements, learning a short group lesson, sharing a song or movement activity or playing a cooperative game.
- After our community meeting the E1 class attends a rotation of Specials Classes Monday through Friday from 8:10-9:10. These classes include Art, Library, Music and Physical Education.
- Children return from Specials at 9:10 and go immediately into our morning work cycle. During work cycle, lessons are typically presented to individuals or small groups of children, who are then free to follow up with independent work of their own related to the lessons and areas of study. Some children may be memorizing land/water forms and countries of a certain continent or doing continent research, another student might be multiplying large numbers on the large bead frame, others might be learning the parts and characteristics of the amphibian or laying out the cards of different kinds of amphibians. A child may choose to join a friend at the snack table to prepare and enjoy a simple, nutritious snack. The morning work cycle allows for a long uninterrupted block of work time (one of the defining qualities of a Montessori classroom) which encourages concentration and extended attention spans. While doing their individualized work, the children learn to set goals and manage their time, make meaningful work choices, and use a wide variety of resources.
- Following the work time, the children head outdoors for a twenty minute recess.
- The children return from recess, care for their belongings and then head to lunch in our cafetorium.
- After lunch, the children return to the classroom for some silent reading time. Children find a comfortable spot in the room and read independently for twenty to thirty minutes. During this time the teachers will listen to different students read or conference about a book.
- The rest of the afternoon may include time for guided reading groups, writer’s workshop, daily math work and word work. The afternoon includes another twenty minute outdoor recess or class game time if the weather does not allow for outside play.
- Children begin classroom responsibilities and tasks at 2:45 and prepare our room for tomorrow’s day.
- At 2:55, the class gathers at the circle for a short closing which may include affirmations, a song or reminders for the next day. Goodbyes are said and the children depart for the bus or parent pick up.