Children in lower elementary classes continue their work with educational materials as they develop skills for abstract academic work. These learners demonstrate reading across the curriculum, realizing that literacy is a vital element of every subject. Students exhibit an understanding of math concepts, use scientific reasoning and begin to understand their role in society. To help communicate the importance of cross-curricular literacy, the MacDowell Montessori staff teaches children to communicate knowledge in all subject areas through constructed written responses.
During these years, written and oral communication skills are strengthened; specifically, vocabulary development and usage, correct capitalization and effective punctuation. In the area of mathematics, children develop problem-solving strategies, grasp the value of decimals and fractions, interpret data through graphing, learn algebraic relationships and begin to understand estimation, statistics and probability concepts. Science lessons focus on developing an appreciation of nature, understanding the life cycles of living things and discussing technology’s impact on the world. Students study different cultural traditions as well as states and regions as they advance their social studies skills.