In a Lower Elementary class, we have a mix of first, second and third graders, who take a turn as learners, workers, and teachers in our multi-age classrooms. We use a combination of Montessori materials and supplemental materials to teach in a developmentally appropriate way that reaches state standards. During reading instruction, we use leveled books so that children are practicing and learning with books that are “Just Right” for them. Our writing program is built around a workshop model and is also integrated in the Work Cycle.
Teachers present the Five Great Lessons which are part of the Montessori curriculum, and social studies and science lessons may come from those themes or from the district’s Foss science kits. Individual teachers also incorporate art and other special learning activities as the class demonstrates interest or need. Field trips, homework projects, and other events are planned collaboratively so that there are common threads across the classrooms.