Six years ago, Montgomery School implemented the Singapore Math method of teaching and learning in PreKindergarten through fifth grade. Singapore Math emphasizes the development of strong number sense, excellent mental math skills, and a deep understanding of place value. The curriculum is based on a progression from a concrete experience (using manipulatives), to a pictorial stage (picture representations), and finally to an abstract level or algorithm. The sequence gives students a solid understanding of basic mathematical concepts and relationships. These concepts are taught to mastery with a focus on early math vocabulary and math literacy.We are building mathematical thinkers who value and appreciate math. The promise of the Singapore Math curriculum and instruction is that students understand reasons before rules. Singapore Math’s framework has problem solving at the heart of the curriculum to foster strong mathematical thinkers who are persistent and confident math students.
STEAM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning and applying skills in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. STEAM is incorporated into the spiraling curriculum in PreK through 8th grade with a number of challenging activities. Our dedicated NOVUS Center contains materials that are available to students when they are completing STEAM projects, which occur in all subject areas. Robotics is an excellent example of STEAM as it combines the areas of STEAM and promotes skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, iterative design, collaboration and communication. Three Montgomery School science teachers have completed a Carnegie Mellon training program in robotics, and robotics is now incorporated into the science curriculum for the 3rd, 5th and 7th grades.
Leader In Me
Our character development program,entitled Leader in Me, starts with the concept that every child possesses unique strengths and has the ability to be a leader. It combines the skills of communication, initiative, problem solving, goal setting, collaboration and self-management to help each student see that they are leaders and can make a difference in the world now and later in life.
Each student in the Lower School has their time on stage to present a Chapel program with their classmates. It is amazing to see young four year olds holding a microphone with great confidence and poise; stage presence and comfort grow from there! We have found that our students actually love speaking in front of a large audience, teaching others about a lesson to enrich and foster strong character.
Montgomery has always taken pride in teaching our students the importance of service to others, which is part of our school mission. The service projects are directly tied to our classroom curriculum, specific to each grade. This approach gives students the opportunity to observe directly the measurable change provided through their efforts, in a grade-appropriate way.
The language arts program in all Lower School grades uses a literature-based approach. The students read a variety of trade books that are selected to meet the needs of the individual child in first through third grade reading groups. Reading for meaning is the main approach utilized, and it focuses on literal comprehension, beginning inference skills in first and second grades which continue to build into critical thinking skills in third through fifth grades, as well as predicting outcomes, and drawing conclusions. Throughout the year, trade books are often read which connect to the social studies curriculum in all Lower School grades. Students explore historical fiction, which gives students a unique perspective of another culture and/or time period.
Junior Great Books Program
Currently, grades three through eight use this series to engage readers in interpretive discussion and activities with outstanding literature. Students and teachers use the shared inquiry approach to connect critical thinking, comprehension, discussion, vocabulary, and writing while being exposed to a variety of literature genres. Comprehension skills are a key component to being a successful learner. Junior Great Books gives us the opportunity to focus on these skills while promoting the essential elements of reading, writing, listening, thinking, and speaking. A typical unit involves pre-reading, first reading, sharing questions, second reading with directed notes, vocabulary, shared inquiry discussion, as well as expository and creative writing. These multiple experiences with the text provide for a deeper learning experience while building comprehension and critical thinking skills.
Six Traits Writing
The program fosters a common language, consistency of writing, and assessment for students and is designed to teach both the craft and quality of writing. The model is comprised of ideas and content, word choice, conventions, voice, sentence fluency, and organization. These traits are taught through literature, teacher modeling, and student examples. The strength of the model is the opportunity to give feedback and individualize instruction in writing. Students compile a writing portfolio that follows them through their years at Montgomery to track growth in writing over time. Common rubrics are used to assess these writing pieces so teachers will be able to focus on individual strengths and needs in writing instruction. This measurable and consistent scoring system and writing model will develop skilled writers who have a clear understanding of writing genre, process, and reflection of their own work.
Wilson Fundations provides research-based materials and strategies essential to a comprehensive reading, spelling, and handwriting program in kindergarten through third grade.
Wilson Fundations makes learning to read fun while laying the groundwork for lifelong literacy. Students receive a systematic program in critical foundational skills, emphasizing: phonemic awareness, phonics/ word study, high frequency word study, reading fluency, vocabulary, comprehension strategies, handwriting, and spelling.
8:15 - 8:30 Arrival via carline
8:30 - 9:00 Morning work (daily edit, review) OR Chapel (Lower School Chapel on Wednesday, All School Chapel on Friday
9:00 - 9:45 Special area subject (Music, Gym, Art, French, Library, Science, or Guidance lesson) will take place at some point during the morning before lunch
9:45 - 10:45 Math or Language Arts will take place (students are taught in ability based groups in fifth grade with the two fifth grade teachers)
10:45 - 11:00 Begin Language Arts
11:00 - 11:30 Lunch (with grades 3 & 4)
11:30 - 12:00 Recess (with grades 3 & 4)
12:00 - 1:00 Math or continue with Language Arts
1:00 - 1:45 Special area subject (Music, Gym, Art, French, Library, Science, or Guidance lesson) will take place at some point during the morning before lunch
1:45 - 2:00 Snack break
2:00 - 3:00 Social Studies/ Character Lesson/ Writing Exercise
3:00 - 3:10 Pack up, review homework
3:15 Dismissal to car, bus, or the Afternoons Program