Upper Elementary

Upper Elementary

Upper Elementary at Free Horizon Montessori is a two-year, mixed-age classroom for 9-11 year-old children in 4th and 5th grades. Similar to Lower Elementary, the curriculum is still individualized to accommodate all learning needs and is still stocked with shelves full of hands-on Montessori materials.

Students in the Upper Elementary program are able to think more abstractly and critically, and they are more interested in investigating how the world works around them. With that in mind, students study everything from Early Humans to Ancient Civilization to US History, Earth Science, Physical Science, and Human Physiology. Language becomes a tool that students use to comprehend the world, as well as to communicate their findings.

Students take at least five field trips every school year in order to attach experiences to content studied in the classroom.

Students are also developing executive functioning skills and utilize tools such as weekly planners to help organize both short and long term due dates.

Social development is paramount to the Upper Elementary child, and they are offered more opportunities to work in groups and collaborate on projects as they seek to find their place socially and globally.

New Teacher Welcome Letter 

Developmental Needs

  • Socialization is key
  • Move from concrete to abstract thinking
  • Development of reasoning ability
  • Consciousness is extended
  • Outward imagination is a key to learning
  • Keen sense of justice/morality

Developmental Support at FHM

  • Student mentors
  • Restorative conversations
  • Community meetings
  • Collaborative learning
  • Shared care of the environment

Academics at FHM

  • Cosmic Curriculum guides cultural and science studies
  • Structured math curriculum covers all standards through use of patterns, drills, and word problems, and spiraling
  • Intentional writing instruction uses a Writer’s Workshop model
  • Real-life use of reading comprehension skills through rigorous book studies
  • Student interest drives project learning (Mystery History Biography, Science Fair, Critical Thinking Persuasive Essay)

It Takes a Village

We know that true learning cannot happen until the basic needs of the child are met. We want to build strong relationships between school & home. Your support is critical in helping your child succeed in the upper elementary years. The following are skills that you can support at home to help your child prepare for 4th & 5th grade:
  • Organization & delegation of tasks 
  • Positive self-talk
  • Time management
  • Math facts through 12
  • Abstract multiplication 
  • Asking for help 
  • Emotional regulation
  • Paragraph writing



Upon transition to Upper Elementary, your child may come home saying, “I have a lot of work to do!” They are telling the truth. Upper Elementary IS harder, works ARE more complex & take longer, rigor is INCREASED, & this is GOOD! It is exactly where they should be :)


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