Lower Elementary (1st to 3rd grade)

We have eight Lower Elementary communities, which were named for groups of indigenous people around the world. 

  • Inca and Maori (Missouri Avenue facility)

  • Livingston and Piaroa (South Dakota Avenue facility)

  • Ainu, Roatán, Yoruba, and Zulu (Walter Reed facility)

Community Structure And Work Cycle


Each community has around 25 students who are a mix of first, second, and third graders. The class is lead by two Montessori teachers, one who is Spanish dominant and one who is  English dominant. Trained special education teachers support students with disabilities who have IEPs (individualized educational plan).  

Lower Elementary students can work independently or in groups, and they may choose their own work within guidelines established by the teachers. This freedom within limits builds the students’ sense of independence. At the same time, it encourages accountability and responsibility. Each student has an individual work plan which tracks their progress through the curriculum. Teachers make daily observations, take notes, provide students with feedback and guidance, and determine future lessons based on the students’ interests.

The Lower Elementary communities are dual language immersion, with the students and teachers learning and communicating in both English and Spanish. Students learn to speak, read, and write in both English and Spanish. They use cursive handwriting for Spanish and print for English. Additionally, students participate in weekly art, music, technology, and physical education classes. 


Montessori Curriculum

Students in the Lower Elementary communities (ages 6-9 years old) use Montessori Cosmic Curriculum. Teachers at this level present stories, demonstrations, and charts--a set of materials and topics we call the Great Lessons. The subjects are interwoven to show connections among the fields of biology, botany, astronomy, math, language, geography, anthropology, music, social studies, art, and others. Students study how all l things on earth are interrelated. They practice using resources wisely and taking care of the environment.


  • Class starts at 8:15 a.m. Students can enter the classroom 10 minutes before classroon starts.

  • Lower Elementary students have a work cycle in the morning. Just like in Primary, during this time of uninterrupted work, students engage in a combination of individual and small- and large-group work. Teachers observe the students and give them lessons, individually or in small groups. 

  • Students have lunch and recess after the morning work cycle.

  • Students have one more work cycle in the afternoon.

  • Class is dismissed at 3:15 p.m.

LAMB offers an after school program for a fee. The program, which runs from 3:15 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., is conducted in full Spanish immersion.

After 3rd grade, students move up to Upper Elementary.