Lower Elementary (Grades 1-3)

Welcome to Bluffview's Lower Elementary Program

Lower Elementary is for children in grades 1-3. Take a peek inside Bluffview's Lower Elementary classrooms by visiting our Virtual Tour. The best way to learn about Bluffview, however, is to visit in person. Call 507.452.2807 to schedule your visit.

Program Overview

  • Extended, one-on-one or small-group instruction is our “normal” way of teaching
  • Individualized instruction maximizes each child’s learning potential
  • A lead teacher and assistant teacher in every room (our average student-teacher ratio is 13:1)
  • Lead teachers are Montessori trained and certified, in addition to state teaching licensure
  • Hands-on learning materials bring abstract concepts to life
  • Children are allowed to choose their work within the limits of the curriculum
  • Montessori education nurtures self-discipline, creative problem-solving, independence, and a love of learning

What Will My Child Do?

  • The core Montessori elementary curriculum includes mathematics, language arts, practical life skills, cultural studies (history, geography, etc.), geometry, and science.
  • Long-term projects may include science fair projects, May Display Day, and 100th Day projects.
  • Our curriculum meets all state and federal standards.
  • Children work through all curriculum requirements by following individualized weekly work plans
  • Students also take classes taught by certified specialists in art, health, music, and physical education, and regularly visit the school library. See the special programs page for details.
  • Field trips are considered an extension of the classroom learning environment; lower elementary children go on multiple field trips every year.
  • Counseling, math and reading intervention, and special education services are available to students who need them.
  • After-school care is available.

Examples of Lower Elementary Curriculum Topics

The following list offers examples of topics covered in the lower elementary curriculum; it is not the complete scope and sequence:

First grade
  • Geography: Parts of the Earth; South America study
  • Zoology: Vertebrates/Invertebrates; amphibians
  • Reading: C.A.F.E. strategies (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, Expanded vocabulary)
  • Time: Months, clocks, calendars
  • Culture: Presidents
  • Geometry: Quadrilaterals
  • Language: Parts of a sentence (articles, adjectives, nouns, verbs); grammar symbols (for diagramming sentences)
  • Math: Math fact addition mastery; subtraction and multiplication using Golden Beads; place value; money; addition and subtraction using the stamp game
Second grade
  • Botany: Parts of a leaf
  • Geography: North America and its flags
  • Zoology: Parts of a Porifera (animal sponge); coelenterates (jellyfish, corals, sea anemones)
  • Geometry: Quadrilaterals and polygons
  • Culture: Civilizations study; BC/AD history timeline; Timeline of Life
  • Language: Adverbs; conjunctions; verb tenses
  • Math: Fractions; division and place value; mental math addition and subtraction
Third Grade
  • Geography: Landforms and water forms
  • Botany: The plant kingdom
  • Zoology: Characteristics of vertebrates;
  • Culture: Ancient civilizations study; reports on U.S. presidents
  • Geology: Types of rocks
  • Language: Main idea of an essay; verb tenses
  • Math: Division; fractions; elapsed time; multiplication facts; geometric concepts; pre-algebra; types of graphs
  • Geometry: Perimeter
For more about how the Montessori philosophy of education plays out in the elementary learning environment, please see the North American Montessori Teachers Association page, "The Montessori Elementary Program."

Questions You May Have