The first week of school for upper elementary students (4th, 5th, and 6th graders) at Hudson Montessori School means jumping right into learning with the older students' Back to School Night. The six upper elementary teachers helped parents understand what to expect at the virtual meeting. The teachers introduced parents to the curriculum elements—specifically math, language, science, technology, finance, and the students' involvement in the Model Montessori United Nations. These core elements are woven into the curriculum with the performing arts, music, Spanish, and physical education to give students a well-rounded education.
"The upper elementary program builds on all that the students have learned in lower elementary, helping them dig deeper into the details, make connections more intelligibly, and ultimately, develop a deep understanding of the topic," said Stacey Manning, upper elementary co-lead and teacher at Hudson Montessori for 9 years. Since the school is expanding next year to include 7th grade, the upper elementary students moved to a new, larger upper elementary wing this year. It includes a science and technology lab and multiple classroom spaces. As the first—and still one of the only STEAM-certified schools in New Jersey, the STEAM program looks forward to more studies at their outdoor, pop-up laboratories at the Hudson River. The students will continue their data collection on the Hudson River estuary for the NY Department of Environmental Conservation. They will participate in the Billion Oyster Project in collaboration with Columbia University to help restore oysters to the New York Harbor ecosystem. To help students deeply understand what it means to be global citizens, they will learn how to look at world issues as delegates or representatives of other countries. By participating in the Model Montessori United Nations, the students study global U.N. goals, propose solutions, and debate with Montessori students from all over the world. Each comes up with resolutions much like an ambassador would on the floor of the General Assembly.
The school's yearlong theme will be rounding out their studies for the year: the Power of Nature. "Over centuries, humans have been inspired by nature to create, adapt, and evolve," said Michelle Velho, STEAM co-lead. "This year, all of our students will take the time to focus on the wonders of nature."
Click here to learn more about the Upper Elementary classroom environment, course offerings, activities, and more.