The Lower and Upper Montessori Elementary classes offer students wide-ranging lessons that inspire a love and excitement for learning and encourages independent exploration. Teachers and Assistants in each classroom carefully and beautifully orchestrate student’s optimal achievement through independent, small and large group learning opportunities.
Our Montessori materials facilitate learning in a hierarchy from simple to complex and concrete to abstract. Cultural Studies are taught with Science and Social Studies as interdisciplinary subjects. Earth science, physical science, astronomy, geography, biology, and history are intricately interwoven. Music and Art activities are incorporated regularly into the curriculum.
Our Teachers further children’s imaginative engagement with work through stories about the history of the universe, the coming of life to the earth, and the progression of human civilization. Lessons with the elementary Montessori materials offer children “keys to the universe.” As children delve independently into their personal interests, the teacher provides guidance and encouragement.
Language and Literature
The elementary language curriculum emphasizes creative and expository writing, interpretive reading of literature and poetry. We focus on word study, spelling, grammar, punctuation, penmanship and capitalization. Research skills are introduced, practiced through individual project work and refined as students work with a wide range of research materials. Students practice and use their reading and writing skills throughout the curriculum. Students further enhance their reading, critical thinking, and writing skills through participation in book groups.
The mathematics curriculum is presented with concrete materials, which reveal arithmetic, geometric, and algebraic connections. Work with the Montessori mathematics materials ensure that mathematics is not simply memorized but understood.
We extend the children’s knowledge of decimal system as they explore its quantities & qualities. Students practice operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We study number hierarchy, fractions, decimals, negative numbers, squaring & cubing. Throughout math work, we are continuously applying what we learn to how it relates in daily situations.
Elementary students continue exploring geometry on a sensorial level. Students gain a strong understanding of fundamental geometric concepts through consecutive lessons with Montessori materials. Students begin with a study of congruency, similarity & equivalence, preparing them for later area and theorem work. We introduce the study of lines, measurement of angles and the construction of geometric figures.
History work in the elementary class begins with the study of each child’s personal timeline, and then we study the history of the earth, development of the solar system, and early life on earth. Students study aspects of early civilizations, the development of humankind, and recorded history. Students learn how the contributions of humankind throughout history have brought us to where we are today.
Elementary students extend their knowledge of continents and countries with further research about the people, language and culture of different lands. Map work continues with the study of geographical features and landforms.
In this area, the children’s natural curiosity is stimulated through discovery projects and experiments, from which they draw their own conclusions. The study of botany, zoology, physiology and physical science are the focus of our science curriculum throughout the elementary years.
The Montessori Specials classes are attended each day by every Montessori student. The mixed age PE class takes place in the gymnasium each morning. PE is a time when all of the Montessori students are able to work on team building skills and group participation, while also getting to know the students in different Montessori classrooms. It is a fun and beautiful time of growth for all of our students, as the older students take great pride in helping our newer and younger children learn the rules of games and sports. We celebrate and honor all ability levels and accommodate all students in our community PE class.
In STREAMS, we focus on supplementing the Montessori curriculum with project based learning in science, technology, reading/writing, engineering, art, math, and social studies. Since we have an hour together each day for STREAMS, we are able to dive into long-term projects that can be differentiated for the various levels of learning and developed to enhance the wonderful curriculum that Montessori students already receive in their classrooms. During a typical STREAMS class, students have the ability to work on a variety of projects, which gives them the power to find their own passions. Our STREAMS classes take place in our Makerspace, a new area which houses our library and workspace for building, creating, and tinkering. We take things that may otherwise end up as trash and make it all into something beautiful, and our open recycled art sessions are a particular favorite of the Montessori students.
One of the most peaceful and fulfilling parts of the week is time spent in the Montessori Gardens for Outdoor Environment. All students in the Montessori program, from toddler through elementary, participate in Outdoor Environment time. Not only do we garden, do experiments, make art, and take care of the chickens, but we also build community through our excitement and love for the outdoors. The students come together several times a week to explore the wonder of a radish peeking up from the ground, or gather around our worm bin to see how much compost we have made. All of our collective experiences are shared, discussed, journaled, and remembered as our care for nature helps to strengthen our community.
We are so excited to open our Peace Room for the 2020/2021 school year.
Dr. Maria Montessori is considered by many to be the original founder of peace education. Her pedagogy for peace is something that we still practice today. This year at San Tan Montessori, we have been striving to create peace within our community, with our celebration of Peace Friday each week, the peace pole and peace rocks we created, and our observance of the International Day of Peace. As we continue to evolve our peace curriculum, we hope to expand upon Dr. Montessori’s vision of peace in education by building a place where community members can come together to not only get inspired, but to also leave with the tools needed to build everlasting peace. Our dream is to create a Peace Room with that vision in mind: all conflicts can be resolved peacefully, we just need the tools, time, and knowledge to do so. In creating a peace library within our warm and inviting space to support discussion and resolution, we will continue to focus on the development of the whole child. By encouraging relational and critical thinking skills, we will be able to incorporate peace education into the natural learning practices that we are already immersed in on a daily basis.
Our Montessori Music program is unlike any other elementary music program you will find. Not only do the children receive music instruction twice a week from a highly qualified music instructor, the curriculum is designed to make their classroom an extension of the music room every day. The teachers at San Tan Charter School, attend each music class alongside the students learning, dancing and singing with the children. The classroom teachers receive materials from the music teacher especially catered to the Montessori methods that they can use in works and group time to reinforce musical principles all week long. Musical instruments are also available for checkout to the classrooms for children to practice music skills throughout the week.
Music is hand picked world music rich in tonality and meter, providing students with wonderful musical vitamins for their brains. The curriculum also helps children learn basic music theory that will give them a strong musical foundation. In addition, children study many of the great composers and their works, through dance, puppet shows and listening exercises.
NWEA – MAP testing
Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) yields rich data that can be used to individualize instruction and analyze programs. Based on over 30 years of research, MAP is a key tool for measuring growth and predicting proficiency over time. Understanding each student’s academic level gives teachers the power to help them excel. MAP computerized adaptive assessments are the tools that make it possible – providing educators with the detailed information they need to build curriculum and meet their students’ needs, one child at a time.
Character Counts – Six Pillars of Character
San Tan Charter School firmly believes in promoting character education in all areas of the school day. Whether at work, at home, or at play, there are basic values that define ethical behavior. These values are not political, religious, or culturally biased. Josephson Institute calls them the Six Pillars of Character, and they form the basis of all Institute programs at San Tan Charter School. To learn more about the Six Pillars of Character Visit our Learn Happy page