“Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core.”

-Maria Montessori

Who is the 9-to-12-year-old?
During this time period, children continue to operate in the Intellectual Period of the elementary stage and now rapidly move towards abstraction in learning. They are moving beyond basic facts, and beginning to look at connections, cause and effect, and patterns in their learning and understanding of the world. At this developmental stage, students show strong ability in both imagination and abstraction.
Fourth, fifth and sixth grade: focus on social development
The 9-to-12-year-olds are very social at this time in their lives, and for the first time in their development, they may look more towards their peers than their families when deciding the right way to do certain things. Their strong social instincts lead to most work and play being done in groups.
Intellectual independence and love of learning
In 4th, 5th, and 6th grade, the child demonstrates a more refined sense of logic and greater ability to think in the abstract. The academic program encourages intellectual independence, rigor, and a love of learning. In response to the need for peer contact, Montessori classrooms encourage social interaction and group work as part of each student's academic work. Social and moral development are interwoven into all aspects of the curriculum, responding to the 9-to-12-year-old's interest in fairness, justice, and morality.

From 4th and 5th grade, Papillon Montessori students:

  • Strengthen language skills through research, report writing, public speaking, and projects
  • Focus on Spanish verb tenses, writing, and conversation
  • Study Ancient, World and American Civilizations through research and art projects
  • Combine Montessori math with textbooks and worksheets
  • Multiply and divide fractions and decimals
  • Explore geometry
  • Hone time­ management and organizational  skills
  • Continue to find joy in learning every day 

What is the Upper Elementary program like?
Our Upper Elementary program supports academic experience, exploration, and individual progress, while providing for the social and imaginative development so vital to children 9-12 years old.
With guidance from teachers, students take ownership of their academic journey and play an important role in designing their own educational plan.
Learning takes place in varied ways, including direct instruction by the teacher, individual and group work with peers, and independent efforts by the students. 
Students use concrete, hands-on math materials to work toward the abstraction of math concepts, naturally formulating rules and formulas themselves.
Students develop strong language skills through research, outlining, report writing, public speaking, and project work.
Cultural studies offer students a panoramic view of the universe and a sense of humanity across time.
The value of work is not so much determined by results as by the process the students have used to attain the result.
It is the journey, not the destination, that matters most.
Upper Elementary FAQ
How do parents see student progress?

At Papillon Montessori, we value academic, social, and practical skills. While high standards are upheld in all areas, a love of learning for its own sake is essential to our school's philosophy.

Our Elementary curriculum is not graded. Instead, academic progress is observed according to a specific sequence of skills in each subject area. Twice a year, teachers complete very detailed progress reports on each student. These reports are sent home to parents and discussed at conference time. 

Teachers will always arrange a time to speak with you if you have any concerns. Parent meetings and seminars on Montessori education at each level of child development are an integral part of our school's culture. 

Each year, elementary students in grades 4-5 take nationally recognized standardized tests. We view test results as one assessment tool, to be considered in conjunction with all of a student's school work.

What are the results of the Upper Elementary program?
Our Upper Elementary students…

  • become confident, self-respecting individuals who possess a love of learning.
  • learn to initiate and complete work independent of constant teacher direction.
  • progress from concrete experiences to abstract awareness.
  • seek real understanding and study to learn, not simply to get good grades.
  • tend to be leaders, helpers, and creative thinkers, as well as problem solvers.
  • take responsibility for themselves and for each other.