Upper Primary (Kindergarten)
Our Upper Primary Community offers the opportunity for children to continue their Montessori education at an academic level appropriate for their maturity. The hallmark of our UP program is the individualized attention that our children receive. At this crucial time in their lives when children are developing such foundational academic skills, it is essential that their academic program is tailored to their needs, capabilities and interest. With small class sizes, our teachers are truly able to get to know your child, how they learn and how best to challenge them. The major subject areas of language and math are learned individually, so each child is working at a level that is challenging for him/her. The other subjects are studied as a group, fostering enthusiastic exploration and the sense of community learning. We are proud to boast an academically rigorous program that is taught in an engaging and exciting way.
The study of language is central to the Upper Primary classroom. The mastery of independent reading and beginning writing are the primary goals for each student. In addition, children work on spelling, alphabetizing, oral presentations, and literature study. More advanced readers begin word and sentence analysis, grammar and research (dictionary and encyclopedia work.)
The Montessori math curriculum provides a sequence of materials that give a concrete base for math concepts. As children understand the concept through the use of tangible materials, they move on to master abstract work with the same concept. They also then begin using the next step of concrete materials with more advanced math concepts. This sequence begins in the Preschool community and continues in Kindergarten. Children work independently through place value concepts, single and multiple digit addition and subtraction, beginning multiplication, geometry, fractions, and math patterns. Students also learn to participate in group lessons with applied math (i.e. measurement, telling time, money and graphing).
The Upper Primary child has reached the point of maturity when his imagination and curiosity expands beyond the immediate environment and out into the world. Our curriculum seeks to introduce basic science concepts in an exciting way that satisfies these young learners' thirst for discovery. Scientific concepts are brought to life through field trips throughout the year.
Science studies give an overview of the physical phenomena and biological existence on Earth. Children learn about gravity, states of matter, magnetism, and the water cycle as well as characteristics of plants and animals, life and environmental studies, and animal classification.
In addition to the Montessori lessons, the children also use an outstanding traditional curriculum, which includes units on Living Things, Five Senses, the Sky, Pushes and Pulls, and Body Parts.
Our Cultural Studies curriculum focuses in depth on three continents: North America, South America, and Europe. Children learn about the political and physical geography, flags, cultural traditions, and animals of each continent. The students will also delve into the study of prehistoric and ancient civilizations.
We use the yearly cycle of holidays as a foundation for discussing historical and geographical topics in a way that is understandable for our Upper Primary students. Cultural Studies concepts are reinforced through fun and educational field trips throughout the year.
Our Outdoor Environment program extends from our Primary Community through Upper Primary. Our Outdoor Environment specialist continues to prepare a rich curriculum filled with experiments, observations, sensory experiences and of course, a lot of composting, planting and harvesting, while now incorporating more age-appropriate scientific learning.
This curriculum provides a great avenue for children to learn about physical and life sciences in a way they can experience firsthand. Here at Manhattan Academy, our children develop a profound appreciation for the world around them and all that we can learn from our environment.
Our Upper Primary Spanish program continues to include the songs and games that children love, but now extends more into reading and writing. Students will continue expanding their vocabulary, while also beginning to learn about more advanced parts of speech, such as verb conjugation and pronouns.
At this age, we introduce cultural studies into our Spanish program, learning about various Spanish-speaking countries and their customs. Many classes are devoted to cooking authentic foods, celebrating various festivals, and other activities that bring these vibrant cultures to life.
As with all Spanish classes taught at Manhattan Academy, the Upper Primary program is taught by our Spanish specialist and is conducted in an immersive fashion.
Art & Music
All Upper Primary students attend art and music classes taught by specialists in their respective fields. In both of these classes, we seek to instill in our students a love of and comfort with creativity and self-expression.
Our formal Art program focuses on The Elements of Art and The Principles of Design. Each year, the students are challenged with art projects that open their minds and use a variety of art techniques. We also infuse art history into our curriculum, focusing on different artists each year.
Children work with various materials, both in directed and open-ended projects. Oftentimes, art projects are tied to learning taking place in other subjects, like language arts or cultural studies, giving the children a way to bring their curriculum to life. The students are able to showcase their work at our annual Art Gala, a hallmark event at Manhattan Academy.
In Music class, children will sing, dance, play instruments, and hone their understanding of basic musical concepts, like volume, pitch and rhythm. They will also practice their performance skills twice yearly at the Holiday Show and Spring Concert.
Here in Upper Primary, we begin our formal Technology program, taught by a specialty teacher in the STEAM Lab. The main goal of technology class in this grade is to teach basic computer skills, such as turning on and off the computer correctly, typing, rules for operating the computers and more. Students will also begin learning about the foundations of graphic design and enjoy playing educational games.
The main goals of the Upper Primary P.E. program are to develop a greater understanding of our bodies and how they work, and also learn the rules of popular games and sports. Children spend class stretching and doing different exercises, learning about various muscles and parts of the body, and playing many different games, such as volleyball, field hockey and soccer. Our large sports field provides a great place to exercise and have fun!