Elementary classrooms are tailored to the learning and development of the 6-12 year old child: 6-9 year olds in Lower Elementary and 9-12 year olds in Upper Elementary. The Montessori elementary classroom provides a unique, interdisciplinary context for learning: math, language, science, geography, history, music and art are all introduced as part of the great breadth and depth of human experience. Working in small groups with specially created Montessori materials, elementary-aged children develop a deep understanding of fundamental concepts in each of these subject areas. As the child becomes increasingly able to work on an abstract level, reading, writing and math become tools for learning about the world.
Throughout the elementary years, the child in the Montessori classroom learns through guided exploration and discovery, rather than through rote learning, using the tools of research to analyze information and to understand subject matter for herself. Above all, the curriculum in the elementary years is designed to capture the imagination of the child and engender a lifelong love of learning.
The Montessori elementary classroom is built on the understanding that children at this stage of development:
- Have logical, reasoning minds and are able to think abstractly;
- Have an active imagination to support learning;
- Have a strong sense of justice and fairness;
- Are building their social skills through cooperative work and learning;
- Need to be physically active.
All elementary-aged children attend school 8:00am to 3:20pm.
Around nine years of age, children transition from the Lower to Upper Elementary program.
The third year of Upper Elementary marks the end of the Montessori program offered at Annie Fisher. From 2013 graduating students will be eligible to continue on the Hartford Public Schools Montessori Pathway of study to a land-based middle school (Erdkinder) for twelve to fifteen year olds, slated to open in September 2013. Students also have the option to enter the lottery for other magnet middle schools or return to their neighborhood schools.