The Upper Elementary Community
At LAMB, upper elementary (grades 4 and 5) students are gently guided through the developmental leap away from young childhood and toward emerging adolescence. Our focus is on building the foundations of organization, self-confidence, cooperation, and curiosity essential to success in middle school and beyond. Our teachers provide a growing academic challenge while remaining respectful of the ever-complicated emotional responses of children as they deepen their understanding and empathy towards the world and its people.
LAMB’s upper elementary class is called Piscataway. In the upper elementary community, students receive 50% of their instruction in Spanish and 50% of their instruction in English. The community is served by two Montessori-trained teachers who each maintain a separate “full-immersion” Montessori environment, one in Spanish and the other in English.
While studying in the Piscataway community, LAMB students build upon the skills and content mastered in the lower elementary curriculum and make the passage to abstraction – becoming less dependent on Montessori materials as they internalize the concepts represented by the materials. Students demonstrate their learning regularly through projects, performances, and research papers. In addition, the students have specials classes three days per week to study art, music, and physical education.
Another major component of the Montessori elementary program is “going out.” Students and teachers are encouraged to plan both small group and large group excursions that take advantage of the diverse resources in the Washington Metropolitan area and bring classroom learning to life in vivid detail. Older students who plan “going out” experiences are responsible for pre-trip research, logistical plans for the trip, and a post-trip presentation to the community about what they have learned. The Piscataway community also participates in overnight camping and field study experiences twice per year as a way to develop independence, community bonding, and leadership for students.