ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
(1st - 6th grade)
EXPLORE
BREAKFAST CLUB
The school day officially begins at 8:30, but the Academy opens for students as early as 7am. Between 7-8:00 a.m. for families who enroll in our before/after-school program.
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WORK CYCLE
An uninterrupted work cycle is a hallmark of Montessori. After their teacher provides them with a lesson to start things off, these students are off to work, independently engaging with classroom materials and working together to manage the classroom.
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LEARNING BY DOING
Elementary students are pretty much totally responsible for running their own classrooms. They all have job assignments at school, like Class Botanist or Crossing Guard. These roles and responsibilities prepare our students to be leaders in the modern world.
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INDEPENDENCE
The Montessori approach emphasizes independence. As they track and execute their own individualized work plans, our students master skills and attributes required to succeed in middle school and beyond: initiative, curiosity, accountability, planning & time management, conflict resolution, and self-regulation.
Preston's teacher has asked him to work with the map of Australia from the classroom's Culture area.
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CLASS CHARTER
The Academy employs Yale's RULER program as its social-emotional learning curriculum. One component of the curriculum is the charter, a collaborative document that helps classrooms establish supportive and productive learning environments.
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LITERACY
From kindergarten through 6th grade, the Academy has implemented Lucy Calkin's Units of Study Reading & Writing program, developed at Columbia University's Teachers College. It's a program based on over 30 years of research and has been successful in thousands of schools in the country and throughout the world.
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THE WHOLE CHILD
We aim to educate the whole child: physically, academically, emotionally, socially, and even spiritually. To that end, when they feel the need, elementary students can take some time to help themselves feel regulated and well-balanced.
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ENRICHMENTS
Elementary students aren't just all work and no play. They also attend the following classes:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Spanish
  • Technology

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LUNCHTIME
The Academy provides a nutritious lunch catered by Organic Life, including a full salad bar. Every day, elementary students prepare their classroom for a family-style lunch and clean up afterward.
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COMMUNITY
Community time happens every day. It is an occasion for sharing and connection and is always facilitated by a student.
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FIELD TRIPS
Elementary students take a field trip each month to locations like the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo or the brand new, state-of-the-art West Loop public library.
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NATURE'S CLASSROOM
Students at every grade in the Academy, starting at 1st, attend Nature's Classroom Institute (NCI), in Wisconsin, for one week every year. NCI is the the nation's premier outdoor environmental education program.
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SERVICE TO OTHERS

One of the many things about the Academy that makes it unique is the fact that it houses both elementary and nursery programs at the same site.

In addition to assisting in our nursery classrooms, elementary students help younger colleagues during the morning "car line" and work with our facilities manager on fixing any problem spots on campus as part of our Green Team.

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INTEREST PROJECT
Upper elementary students cap off each year with a final presentation about a subject near and dear to their hearts. The Interest Project requires research, problem-solving, planning, and interpersonal communication skills.
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Our authentic Montessori elementary classrooms both challenge, and also allow for, our students to become successful, independent learners. Progressing from 1st through 6th grades, elementary students are expected to learn by doing, and do by learning, through exploration of the Prepared Environment and the use of unique Montessori materials. Our students excel in the traditional reading, writing, and arithmetic skills via hands-on, experiential learning.

 

With each year, lessons on subjects as rich and diverse as zoology, cultural studies, the history of math, and the evolution of ancient life are coupled with practical experiences in the classroom like preparing lunch and caring for plants. This combination of modalities, and the leadership traits they develop, produces students who are independent thinkers and self-assured problem-solvers. Students progress from simple, concrete experiences to mastery of complex, abstract studies.

 



ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM

Our Elementary program is divided into two mixed-aged, 3-year cycles: Lower Elementary (1st – 3rd grades) and Upper Elementary 4th – 6th grades). In the Montessori tradition, our elementary curriculum centers around the idea of a Cosmic Education – an integrated, thematic approach to education that develops a student’s sense of community and love of learning, driven by their innate desire to understand and explain the world around them. Traditional skills and subjects are integrated with, and learned through, presentation of the 5 Great Lessons.

Our students excel in the traditional reading, writing, and arithmetic skills via hands-on, experiential learning. Students progress from simple, concrete experiences to mastery of complex, abstract studies.

The Great Lessons of Montessori are engaging oral stories that paint a broad, interconnected picture of knowledge and provide a framework for further, independent study for students. The Great Lessons give Elementary children the universe and invite them to wonder about it.

  • The Story of the Universe
  • The Coming of Life
  • The Coming of Humans
  • The Story of Writing
  • The Story of Numbers

SUBJECTS & SKILLS

LOWER ELEMENTARY


Math

Numeration

Operations

Time and Money

Problem Solving

Fractions

Measurement

Graphing

Geometry

Language

Grammar

Word Study

Mechanics

Writing

Reading/Spelling

Cultural Studies

History

Geography

Physical

Science

Botany

Zoology

UPPER ELEMENTARY


Math

Numeration

Operations

Multiples/Factors

Problem Solving

Fractions

Decimals

Percents

Pre-Algebra/Algebra

Readiness

Graphing

Geometry

Language

Grammar

Word Study

Novel Studies

Cultural Studies

History

Geography

Geology

Botany

Meteorology

Zoology

Chemistry

Physics

ALL ELEMENTARY LEVELS


Literacy

From kindergarten through 6th grade, the Academy has implemented Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study Reading & Writing program, developed at Columbia University’s Teachers College. It’s a program based on over 30 years of research and has been successful in thousands of schools in the country and throughout the world. The Units of Study program enhances our literacy goals by ensuring our students are armed with strategies and skills that will aid them towards becoming strong readers that find joy in connecting to the world around them through written language.

Standardized Testing

Elementary students at the Academy take the NWEA MAP test twice per year. MAP is used by Chicago Public Schools for student assessment and placement. The Academy never “teaches to” the test or places great emphasis on high test scores. However, we recognize that standardized testing is a reality of today’s educational system, and it would be doing our students a disservice to leave them unprepared for succeeding in a standardized test-taking environment. MAP scores provide us one more tool to help parents understand how their children are learning in relation to state and national standards, and provide indicators to teachers regarding areas of success and future growth. Our goal is to facilitate students’ test-taking skills while also demystifying the process for children and parents alike. Scores are discussed at parent-teacher conferences along with other, more qualitative, forms of student assessment.