6585 Green Valley Circle, Culver City, CA 90230

Elementary

The child is both a hope and a promise to mankind.
-Maria Montessori

Elementary

Elementary

Our Elementary program is designed to meet the needs of your elementary child’s insatiable curiosity and prodigious imagination. Walk into our classroom, and you’ll see children doing individual work at tables, on a rug, at the computer, or on a wall. They are diagramming sentences, conducting experiments, researching an animal, and solving equations. A group may be seated with the teacher, receiving a lesson, which the next day they will repeat on their own or with a classmate, until they master it. There is less physical movement than in the Primary classroom, as children have achieved their physical independence and now strive for intellectual independence.

During the ages of 6 to 11 years, children have a much greater capacity for abstraction than younger children. They pose a barrage of “Why” questions, as they are naturally driven to understand the causes of things. Our program is designed to harness this inherent appetite for learning and quest for achievement. Tactile experiences and experiments are offered to specifically prompt these questions directly by the child. Thus, through personal motivation, they become fascinated with concepts, such as infinity, microscopic worlds, and extinct species, and they become adept at researching and recording their findings — a process which leads them deeper into each subject area. Our curriculum equally emphasizes each child’s social development, and discussions about topics such as respect, honesty, trustworthiness, inclusion, and responsibility occur daily.

Our Elementary program is designed to meet the needs of your elementary child’s insatiable curiosity and prodigious imagination. Walk into our classroom, and you’ll see children doing individual work at tables, on a rug, at the computer, or on a wall. They are diagramming sentences, conducting experiments, researching an animal, and solving equations. A group may be seated with the teacher, receiving a lesson, which the next day they will repeat on their own or with a classmate, until they master it. There is less physical movement than in the Primary classroom, as children have achieved their physical independence and now strive for intellectual independence.

During the ages of 6 to 11 years, children have a much greater capacity for abstraction than younger children. They pose a barrage of “Why” questions, as they are naturally driven to understand the causes of things. Our program is designed to harness this inherent appetite for learning and quest for achievement. Tactile experiences and experiments are offered to specifically prompt these questions directly by the child. Thus, through personal motivation, they become fascinated with concepts, such as infinity, microscopic worlds, and extinct species, and they become adept at researching and recording their findings — a process which leads them deeper into each subject area. Our curriculum equally emphasizes each child’s social development, and discussions about topics such as respect, honesty, trustworthiness, inclusion, and responsibility occur daily.

Our Elementary program is a window to the world,
structured around five main subject areas:

The language area includes creative writing, research, a comprehensive spelling curriculum, and word study (including antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, and compounds, as well as other parts of speech). Reading of every kind is highly encouraged, as we introduce children to poetry, folk tales, nonfiction, and classic literature. Children are also given many opportunities to read out loud, give presentations on what they have read or written, or dramatize the work of an author in an acted scene.

The math area begins with the “Golden Bead” material to teach foundational math concepts: place value; quantity/symbol association; and concrete addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The materials bring a “hands-on” quality to the classroom, with children learning through trial-and-error, self-discovery, and lessons from other children. The materials quickly move the child to an abstraction of math concepts, including problem-solving, fractions, borrowing and carrying, graphing, measurement, long division, and algebraic equations.

Geometry is a fascinating area in the Elementary classroom. Actual wooden shapes are used to master the terminology of all the plane figures and solids. Matching cards are used to introduce types and positions of lines, types and positions of angles, and special characteristics of shapes. Experimentation with other materials leads children to their own discoveries of spatial relationships, including congruence, symmetry, and equivalency.

Botany and zoology provide our entry points to the broad fields of biology and geology. Matching cards are used to learn the characteristics of many plants and animals, and charts aid in the classification of the plant and animal kingdoms. After this foundational knowledge is gained, children begin to research on their own, using their knowledge of specific plant and animal species. Our weekly gardening class includes the study of botany and plant reproduction.

Geography and history provide entry points to the broader study of civilizations and countries in our classroom. Materials include wooden puzzle maps of each continent, with children learning the names, flags, animals, cultures, and geographic features of each country. History begins with the study of time, including clocks, calendars, and timelines. As children explore how the world’s people met their needs — such as shelter, transportation, food, and clothing, as well as artistic expression — they observe and chart changes in these trends over time and in different cultural contexts.

Practical life is integrated with the day-to-day care of the classroom. Tasks may include preparing snacks, baking, gardening, and caring for classroom pets. Elementary children start each day with a task, such as dusting the shelves, organizing and straightening the materials, sweeping and vacuuming. It is their responsibility to keep the classroom neat and clean.

Our Elementary program is a window to the world,
structured around five main subject areas:

Language & Grammar

The language area includes creative writing, research, a comprehensive spelling curriculum, and word study (including antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, and compounds, as well as other parts of speech). Reading of every kind is highly encouraged, as we introduce children to poetry, folk tales, nonfiction, and classic literature. Children are also given many opportunities to read out loud, give presentations on what they have read or written, or dramatize the work of an author in an acted scene.

Math & Geometry

The math area begins with the “Golden Bead” material to teach foundational math concepts: place value; quantity/symbol association; and concrete addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The materials bring a “hands-on” quality to the classroom, with children learning through trial-and-error, self-discovery, and lessons from other children. The materials quickly move the child to an abstraction of math concepts, including problem-solving, fractions, borrowing and carrying, graphing, measurement, long division, and algebraic equations.

Geometry is a fascinating area in the Elementary classroom. Actual wooden shapes are used to master the terminology of all the plane figures and solids. Matching cards are used to introduce types and positions of lines, types and positions of angles, and special characteristics of shapes. Experimentation with other materials leads children to their own discoveries of spatial relationships, including congruence, symmetry, and equivalency.

Earth Sciences

Botany and zoology provide our entry points to the broad fields of biology and geology. Matching cards are used to learn the characteristics of many plants and animals, and charts aid in the classification of the plant and animal kingdoms. After this foundational knowledge is gained, children begin to research on their own, using their knowledge of specific plant and animal species. Our weekly gardening class includes the study of botany and plant reproduction.

Cultural Studies

Geography and history provide entry points to the broader study of civilizations and countries in our classroom. Materials include wooden puzzle maps of each continent, with children learning the names, flags, animals, cultures, and geographic features of each country. History begins with the study of time, including clocks, calendars, and timelines. As children explore how the world’s people met their needs — such as shelter, transportation, food, and clothing, as well as artistic expression — they observe and chart changes in these trends over time and in different cultural contexts.

Practical Life

Practical life is integrated with the day-to-day care of the classroom. Tasks may include preparing snacks, baking, gardening, and caring for classroom pets. Elementary children start each day with a task, such as dusting the shelves, organizing and straightening the materials, sweeping and vacuuming. It is their responsibility to keep the classroom neat and clean.

Our Integrated Curriculum

Our Elementary classroom offers children time, materials, and open-ended activities to develop artistic skills and nurture their abundant creativity. Art is both an independent subject and a bridge to understanding other subject areas. Science and nature are also integrated into all areas of our classrooms, as children explore, create, and express themselves.

Our classroom also holds lessons in music and theater arts, and piano instruction is available as an add-on. From time to time, outside teachers come in to give a program or a series of lessons on subjects such as chess, Lego engineering, dance, and improv.

Inherent to Our Curriculum: Time Management

Children in our Elementary classroom record and keep track of their own work. They draw up a Work Plan for the week consisting of any topic they are interested in researching, exercises they need to practice, and choices from the subject areas they are required to cover in each of our subject areas. The children then follow through their Work Plan and are responsible for managing their time, collaborating with classmates, and seeking the teacher’s help when needed. By keeping track of their work, children learn how to make good choices, meet deadlines, and manage their time. It also lets the teacher see which exercises have been completed and which are still needed.

Outdoor Time and Physical Education

Our elementary students enjoy a long daily recess and physical activity in our open green space, spotted with shady trees. Here, they play kickball, soccer, and other group games, such as Capture the Flag, or climb on the play-structure and imaginatively play “pirates” or “restaurant.” This secure, quiet space also offers swings and an oval sidewalk around the perimeter, where children regularly run laps or walk together, discussing their day.

Our Integrated Curriculum

Our Elementary classroom offers children time, materials, and open-ended activities to develop artistic skills and nurture their abundant creativity. Art is both an independent subject and a bridge to understanding other subject areas. Science and nature are also integrated into all areas of our classrooms, as children explore, create, and express themselves.

Our classroom also holds lessons in music and theater arts, and piano instruction is available as an add-on. From time to time, outside teachers come in to give a program or a series of lessons on subjects such as chess, Lego engineering, dance, and improv.

Inherent to Our Curriculum: Time Management

Children in our Elementary classroom record and keep track of their own work. They draw up a Work Plan for the week consisting of any topic they are interested in researching, exercises they need to practice, and choices from the subject areas they are required to cover in each of our subject areas. The children then follow through their Work Plan and are responsible for managing their time, collaborating with classmates, and seeking the teacher’s help when needed. By keeping track of their work, children learn how to make good choices, meet deadlines, and manage their time. It also lets the teacher see which exercises have been completed and which are still needed.

Outdoor Time and Physical Education

Our elementary students enjoy a long daily recess and physical activity in our open green space, spotted with shady trees. Here, they play kickball, soccer, and other group games, such as Capture the Flag, or climb on the play-structure and imaginatively play “pirates” or “restaurant.” This secure, quiet space also offers swings and an oval sidewalk around the perimeter, where children regularly run laps or walk together, discussing their day.

” The best parenting decision we’ve made so far was to keep
our son Jett at Pacifica Montessori for elementary school.”

-Annie Brunholzl

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