Children ages 6-12 years (1st-6th grades) meet from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm (M-F).
Parents who have made the investment in Rock Prairie Montessori School’s Children’s House Program may choose to continue their child’s experience in our Elementary Program. RPMS will accept new students into our Elementary Program; prior Montessori experience preferred but not necessary. To be considered for enrollment the following will be required:
- The student will spend at least three ½ days in the classroom.
- The parents/guardians will meet with the teacher and the Head of School to review expectations in the classroom and Montessori philosophy. To be successful to be in a Montessori Elementary program, the student will need to be an independent worker, have a forming work ethic, and can operate with some autonomy.
- RPMS will have student records in hand and reviewed by the Lead Teacher and Head of School prior to admission.
In the Elementary classroom, children use hands-on materials to continue to explore math and language concepts. At this level, research into sciences, the arts and the universe intensifies as children follow their natural interests and abilities to make associations between themselves and the world around them. The certified Montessori instructor provides individualized instruction and facilitates the exploration of the classroom materials. The environment – with its spatial timelines, zoology posters, live animals, collections of natural specimens and familiar moveable alphabets and map displays – maximizes independent learning. Children may spend several years in this classroom, and the regular order of the room allows it to maintain its history, thereby allowing the child to easily relate new information with previously introduced concepts.
In this mixed-age classroom of first-six graders, the children have freedom of movement and verbalization within boundaries of respect, which enhances not only their social development but also facilitates the free exchange of academic facts and discoveries. Younger children often learn from older children. The older children benefit by reinforcing their knowledge and gaining self-confidence. The children learn to work cooperatively with others in the classroom.
School begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. Children are expected to arrive on time before classes start to maximize opportunities for learning. Tardiness and irregular attendance creates a disruption to the class as well as limits your child’s opportunities to develop social and academic skills. Missing even a half-hour of school a day deprives a child of several days of work a month. Children who have missed excessive amounts of school may not be eligible to move to the next level. As a private school, we are required by law to provide a sufficient number of annual hours of classroom time as set forth by State of Wisconsin mandates. Elementary students are not to be absent in excess of 10 days per school year.
The teacher in the Montessori Elementary classroom is an enlightened generalist in that she teaches all subjects. Unlike an elementary program in which the student learns science from a science teacher, math from a math teacher, and so on, in a Montessori program one teacher facilitates learning of every subject and therefore can integrate math lessons into science discussions, cultural themes into language lessons, etc. This integrated curriculum ensures concepts are reinforced in several areas of study, rather than repeated by drill. In this way, children become more aware of relationships and the interconnectedness of our universe.
The Montessori Elementary curriculum begins with the evocative story of the Universe. From this story, the interrelationship of all science evolves. Each aspect of the story – from the earth’s formation and the Age of Volcanoes to the origin of the solar system to the origin of life itself – initiates study of the sciences of detail such as geology, astronomy and biology.
The cosmic view is emphasized through the use of timelines that introduce geological time, human time, civilizations, American History and more. “This curriculum helps the child find meaning in knowledge and to transcend the narrow confines of a self-centered existence,” according the North American Montessori Teacher’s Association. Art is integrated into the curriculum in a variety of ways. For example, a child may choose to produce a drawing, make a mask, construct a model or paint a picture that reflects an academic theme introduced in a discussion of science or culture. Computers are also used in the Computer Lab to enhance learning.
Music is also part of the Elementary curriculum. The music program incorporates singing, movement and playing musical instruments. In fact, students begin learning a musical instrument as early as age 6. Private music lessons, such as piano, may also be available for children at the school.
Physical education classes in the school’s spacious gymnasium, regular outdoor play time, and environmental studies conducted on the school’s 10 wooded acres and occasional field trips provide opportunities for children to learn and grow outside the classroom.
Spanish work is available to the students in the classroom with a focus on teaching the Spanish language one day each week by a Spanish trained teacher fluent in the language.