In elementary school, we begin to transition our students to a traditional style of education. Our purpose for this transition is simple – almost all of the colleges and universities in the United States employ the traditional education model. At Central Florida Preparatory School we make use of textbooks and group lessons in the traditional fashion, while maintaining the Montessori philosophy of individualization. We are able to embrace this philosophy by ensuring a low student/teacher ratio.
We utilize basal readers, which are on grade level, to fully integrate our reading, writing, grammar, and spelling lessons. We individualize in reading by instructing with a Guided Reading approach; we individualize in writing through the use of Write From The Beginning curriculum.
The Guided Reading approach allows our teachers the opportunity to individually assess each student’s reading level, inclusive of decoding, oral fluency, and comprehension, and place those students in appropriately leveled reading groups. The teachers then model and instruct students in the skills necessary to become fluent readers. Those skills include, but are not limited to, decoding, sequencing, predicting, making inferences, and retelling for comprehension.
The Write From The Beginning curriculum affords teachers the opportunity utilize group lessons to teach the various genres of writing, while allowing them freedom to individualize the assignments according to student level and readiness. This curriculum also allows for continuity from grade level to grade level.
The math curriculum consists of grade level textbooks with leveled supplemental materials. This curriculum provides our teachers with the tools they need to re-teach or challenge students. Traditional approaches are used to help students master the retention of facts and build speed in computation so that they may flourish later in the higher level math courses such as Algebra. In addition to the traditional approaches, Montessori materials may still be used to help illustrate concepts. In keeping with our school mission, our teachers still adhere to the Montessori philosophy of recognizing each student as an individual. Therefore, we allow our students to progress ahead beyond the curriculum if they are able.
The areas of science and social studies are generally addressed through group instruction at the elementary level as this fosters teamwork and participation as a whole class. Each of elementary students also receives formal instruction in the areas of music, computer, art, Spanish, and physical education each week.