Montessori schools have mixed-aged elementary classes for 6 to 12 year old children. Children ages 6 to 9 (1st through 3rd grades) learn together in a lower elementary community. The Montessori elementary curriculum offers wide ranging lessons that awaken interest and encourage independent exploration. Lessons with the elementary Montessori materials offer children “keys to the universe”. As children develop independently into their personal interests, the teacher provides encouragement and guidance.