“The cohort system, where older children help teach younger ones, is like having a reading buddy – not for an hour once or twice a week – but all day long. It’s really effective.” Primary Parent.

During these years, your child absorbs information effortlessly. That’s why the Primary classrooms at Mountains Shadows are filled with an array of colorful, exciting, and stimulating Montessori materials. Children in the Primary classes are encouraged to move, touch, and explore their classroom. This carefully prepared classroom environment encourages discovery and fosters your child’s development of independence, concentration, sequential thought, and controlled physical movement.

We encourage sensory development, introduce math and language concepts, and help the children develop the practical skills they need in everyday life. We enrich this curriculum with an assortment of cultural explorations.

Practical Life

Activities develop independence and self-direction. Pouring, sweeping, folding, buttoning—with these activities children learn to become more independent and feel proud that they can do things for themselves. Children learn to say “excuse me” and “thank you” and to make requests politely. Classroom maintenance becomes, by and large, the children’s responsibility as they put materials away and care for plants and animals.


Materials in each classroom clarify and refine the five senses. Sensory experiences include, for example, matching color tablets, comparing sound cylinders, and discriminating different textures. This refinement helps children make finer distinctions and sharpens their perceptual skills.

Mathematic Exploration

Uses concrete objects to demonstrate abstract ideas. This means your child will learn not only counting, but also how many items constitute a quantity, what numbers are even and odd and, at later stages, what it means to subtract or divide. The mathematical concepts built at this level help your child make sense of the world of numbers and provide the foundation for more complex mathematical operations.

Language in the Primary Classroom

More than just learning to read and write. Language is an investigation of our cultural world, defining  particular sounds, letters, vocabulary, and usage. We present vocabularies of animal and plant names and how words function in our speech. Your child will also analyze sounds in our speech, match those sounds to letters, and use the letters to compose words and sentences using the movable alphabet materials.

Cultural Experiences

Includes art, music, geography, and the beginnings of history, botany, and zoology. These areas of study help children orient themselves in the world around them. Art, music, movement, and a variety of cultural activities are an integral part of this joyful learning experience.