“Staff teach the whole child – academic, emotional, creative, social”.
“Staff teach the whole child – academic, emotional, creative, social”.
Students in the second plane of development, that is 6-12 years of age, are attracted to working with others. They are beginning to explore the wider society outside of family and friends. This is a stage of immense intellectual drive and the emerging “reasoning mind”; the power of the imagination.
An inner change has taken place, but nature is quite logical in arousing now in the child not only a hunger for knowledge and understanding, but a claim to mental independence, a desire to distinguish good from evil by his own powers, and to resent limitation by arbitrary authority. In the field of morality, the child now stands in need of his own inner light.” Dr. Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential
Responding to the childrens’ natural tendencies and needs, the Clanmore Social Curriculum has been designed based on Diane Gossen’s “Restitution Theory.” The Clanmore Social Curriculum is the presentation of good social and moral standards and guidance on how to achieve and maintain a state of peace and harmony.
Care of the environment, care of the self, grace and courtesy and personal reflection continue to be important life skills and are called upon regularly. The work of refining and strengthening the hand which started at the preschool level, continues through gardening, food preparation and science experiments. Students also plan group endeavours; fundraising for charities, social events such as talent shows, group projects and occasional field trips.
The sensorial materials comprise a series of hands-on activities focusing on visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, and kinesthetic concepts. The visual sense is refined, for example, using geometric shape and colour exercises. Further experiences with classification, categorization, and exploration follow. Observation, comparison, judgement, reasoning, and decision-making skills are all supported by the sensorial materials.
The children in the elementary program are introduced to the story of language, both oral and written. With the story of communication in signs, the children are exposed to pictographs, hieroglyphs and early alphabets.
In the highly social environment of the elementary year, spoken language is central. Communication through elevated conversation and discussion is encouraged. Further work in this area results in oral reports, speech making, drama, history of spoken language (related to history work) poetry, sound rhymes, class meetings and discussions.
In the lower elementary program the children fully immerse themselves in learning to read and write while the upper elementary students are now reading and writing to learn.
The writing process starts with the mechanics of writing (the perfection of letter formation, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, contractions, paragraph writing and composition for example). Composition includes short stories, biographies, reports, journals, letters, diaries, invitations, proposals, book reports, myths, fables, descriptive writing, poetry, plays, and summaries.
The learning to read continuum starts with the names and sounds of consonants, short and long vowels, phonograms, silent letters, double letters, suffix work and follows on to work with comprehension, and interpretive reading. Story elements are highlighted: setting, characters, plot, action, predicting, genre. All literary genres are introduced, including historical fiction, biographies, fantasy, poetry, and novels.
Clanmore has also adopted the Junior Great Books Programme for children in years 3-6, which explores interpretive reading through a socratic seminar format.
Grammar is also covered and includes word study and the function of words as well as sentence analysis.
The children in the elementary program are introduced to the story of mathematics which includes the history of numbers and numeration (Babylonian, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Greek, etc.).
Children continue to use the Montessori materials to help them internalize mathematical concepts, gradually, moving from concrete representation (materials based) to abstraction.
Work is done on understanding the decimal system up to 1,000 and then to 1,000,000, and thereafter includes expanded notation, comparison, rounding and estimating. Arithmetic operations are further explored: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division starting with materials and leading to abstract long division. The memorization of arithmetic facts and tables continues with repetition and the use of materials.
The commutative, associative, and distributive laws of arithmetic are introduced, as are multiples, factors and divisibility. Further math concept studies include: money, measurement of length, area, mass and volume, fractions, decimal fractions, operations with fractions and decimals, squaring and cubing, square roots, introduction to algebraic ideas, graphing, data management and probability, ratio and percent, integers, scientific notation, rational numbers, powers of numbers, order of operations, basic equations and problem solving.
Later work in the mathematics curriculum includes prime and composite numbers, continued work with greatest common factor and least common multiple, constructing, reading and interpreting: tables, graphs of all types, understanding mean, medium, range, mode, frequency, and tree diagrams. Problem solving and logical reasoning appears throughout the math curriculum as does ratio and percent. Work continues with integers.
The story of geometry marks the introduction of geometry work in the elementary environments. Children start with the concepts of point, line, surface and solid, and are introduced to lines (angles, types, parts, measurements), triangle study, polygon study, and the study of circles and associated concepts.
Perimeter, measurement, equivalence, area, volume, sensory-motor exploration is then followed by formulae, such as the Pythagorean Theorem. Reflections, rotations, translations and transformations of geometric constructions with compass and straightedge are explored.
We begin with the concept of time including the telling of time, days of the week, months of the year, seasons, and the history of the calendar. The Timeline of Life (one of the elementary Montessoi Great Lessons) is then presented to the children and begins with the Paleozoic era on through to the Neozoic/Ecozoic eras. This is integrated with zoology, botany, and geology studies. The formation of the Earth, life on earth, and the clock of the eras is also covered. The BCE/CE time line is explored and early civilizations are introduced (Early, Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Medieval, Renaissance, Modern), as is the Timeline of Humans Charts I and II and The Fundamental Needs of Humans and Migration Charts (all Montessori lessons).
Later studies include research of civilizations, archaeology, anthropology.
growth of cultures and migration throughout history. A preliminary exploration of Canadian history is covered and includes an introduction to the study of First Nations, the fur trade and explorers.
The staring point for geography is The Story of the Formation of the Earth.The composition of the earth’s core, mantle and crust, land and water forms, continents, oceans, barysphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere
rocks and minerals, mountains, and volcanoes are all discussed.
Political geography introduces the study of continents and introduces map skills: (imaginary lines, equator, latitude, longitude, political, physical, road maps) and
map work (using puzzles and pin maps including continents, countries, capital cities, flags and oceans).
Human geography starts with the fundamental needs of humans (see History). Product production, the interdependencies of humans and people in different climatic zones are topics.
Further work in geography includes astronomy (black holes, galaxies, life cycle of a star), continued study of the Lithosphere (continental drift, mountain building, faults, plate tectonics), work of wind, work of water, work of rivers and the water cycle.
Canadian and provincial natural resources and industries are studied as are provincial productions of goods, imports and exports and the concept of taxation.
Through the story of the formation of the earth and the story of the coming of life, the children are introduced to various science sub-topics (physics, chemistry, botony, zoology, anatomy, human physiology, weather and climate, astromony). Simple experiments are conducted (states of matter, solutions, mixtures, precipitation, chemical reactions, crystallization, and gravitational and magnetic attraction.) Students research topics of their choosing and present, perform and evaluate their work.
Nature walks are also a frequent occurrence at the elementary level as Clanmore is situated on the edge of woods, a creek and Lake Ontario.
At this level of development, the children are still refining their motor skills and require the manipulation of hands-on concrete materials to solidify three dimensional concepts in their minds. Research is carried out through the use of carefully selected books, and the refinement of handwriting occurs through the use of paper and pencil.
Keyboarding commences at the upper elementary level and incudes various skill-specific computer programs. The children have limited computer access and the safe use of the internet is of primary importance. Computer use is primarily for project research and occasionally for presentation by the children of their finished work.