Lower Elementary

Grades 1 through 3  (Ages 6-9)

Children in Montessori environments move around and communicate more than students in traditional classrooms. They cooperate on projects and are encouraged to discuss their work with and help each other. Our Montessori Elementary program is divided into two sections – Lower Elementary (Grades 1-3) and Upper Elementary (Grades 4-6 — read more about the Upper Elementary program here).  Each class of 6-9 year-olds consists of approximately 25 students with a full-time Montessori trained guide and an assistant.

Lower Elementary students want to know the how and why of things and this curiosity necessitates a great deal of discussion. In a more formal fashion, students present oral reports and class discussions are held on a variety of interesting topics. Students gain a respect for each other as they listen carefully, and wait for a speaker to complete her thought.

Most classes go on two overnight “Earth Experiences” (camp-outs) each year. Such an experience provides much more than the immediate knowledge gained. One child suddenly sees a talent in a friend she hardly knew before, and a friendship is begun. Another child becomes proud that he has survived several days without parental help – an important step on the road to independence. A community is forming and learning.

An example of the integrated Montessori curriculum would be like a child looking at fruit and seeds takes the students into the garden, dissecting fruits, learning math concepts and new vocabulary, developing cooking skills, and creating beautiful artwork.

Lower Elementary students have many opportunities beyond their primary classroom for additional activities during school hours, including the garden program, foreign language, P.E, art and Atrium (optional).  Child Care is available before and after school as well as a variety of extracurricular activities including sports/exercise and music.

We welcome you to visit to learn more about our elementary Montessori education. You are invited to sign up for an Open House Tour.

The pioneering Elementary Montessori in Portland, OR, the Franciscan Montessori Earth School & Saint Francis Academy was established in 1977 to continue the Montessori education experience from preschool to elementary level. Our Montessori program extends through middle school, providing a continuity of educational experience on our spacious ten acre campus in SE Portland.