Within Children’s House, three- to six-year-old children use manipulative materials to train their hands and minds. Certified Montessori teachers provide individual lessons that enable each child to advance at his or her own pace. Lessons and activities are grouped into five general categories, including practical life, sensorial, language, cultural subjects (history and geography), and mathematics. The lessons foster independence, confidence, self-esteem, and self-control, laying out a foundation for academic success.
Children in lower elementary classes continue their work with educational materials as they develop skills for abstract academic work. These learners demonstrate reading across the curriculum, realizing that literacy is a vital element of every subject. Students exhibit an understanding of math concepts, use scientific reasoning, and begin to understand their role in society. To help communicate the importance of cross-curricular literacy, MPS staff teaches children to communicate knowledge in all subject areas through constructed written responses.
During these years, written and oral communication skills are strengthened; specifically, vocabulary development and usage, correct capitalization, and effective punctuation. In the area of mathematics, children develop problem-solving strategies, grasp the value of decimals and fractions, interpret data through graphing, learn algebraic relationships, and begin to understand estimation, statistics, and probability concepts. Science lessons focus on developing an appreciation of nature, understanding the life cycles of living things, and discussing technology’s impact on the world. Students study different cultural traditions as well as states and regions as they advance their social studies skills.
Students in the upper elementary grades demonstrate higher level thinking and develop their interpersonal communication skills, which are addressed in the human growth and development and general Montessori curricula. Including upper elementary children in community service projects gives them a greater understanding of their place in the Milwaukee community.
During these years, students establish stronger language arts and reading skills by focusing on vocabulary development, reading for meaning, and understanding effective sentence and paragraph structure. Mathematics activities include interpreting graphs and charts, applying skills to word problems, and continuing discussions regarding in-depth algebraic relationships. Students further their scientific knowledge by learning scientific terms, constructing sketches and models, interpreting scientific observations, and investigating a variety of topics through hands-on experiments. As part of the social studies curriculum, learners discuss the foundation of the U.S. government and examine major events in our nation’s history.
Adolescent curriculum promotes the acquisition of intellectual, practical, and leadership skills. Challenging academics, enhanced by service projects, travel, and physical activity, ensure that students are well prepared for the social and intellectual demands of high school and beyond. In this plane of development, students become “humanistic explorers,” interested in the quality of society for themselves and other people. At this level, young people develop a respect for and commitment to a code of civility.
During their adolescent years, students read with fluency, accuracy, and expression while connecting literary themes to personal experiences. They also evaluate materials from different sources for accuracy and value. Language arts lessons equip students with the ability to judge effective writing and presenting, create multimedia research projects, and exhibit strong writing skills. As they approach graduation, adolescents explore all strands of mathematics while justifying their strategies and using appropriate mathematical terms as they prepare for higher level mathematics in high school. Science instruction focuses on important scientific events throughout history. In order to fully grasp new concepts, students are encouraged to pose questions and predict results. The U.S. government is discussed in greater detail as students continue to examine our nation’s history during social studies lessons. Students are introduced to a market economy and discuss various social issues. In addition, they compare the modern world to ancient and medieval civilizations.