Inside the Montessori Classroom
While some instruction is given to the group, focus during work time is on each student working at his/her own challenge level.
The multi-grade environment allows students to work at their ability levels in addition to having the opportunity to be part of the teaching (and learning) process by assisting fellow students.
The Montessori classroom is a cooperative learning environment, not a competitive environment.
Individual growth and accountability are key components of the program. For example, students participate in the care of their classroom. They help develop their own learning plan and lesson delivery. They are also involved in extended activities outside their classrooms in the community.
A student will generally spend three years in the same classroom, which builds a sense of family and community.
Parents are actively encouraged to participate in all aspects of the child’s education in the classroom and at home.
Parents are encouraged to take part in classroom activities by sharing personal experiences about jobs and skills, volunteering as teachers’ assistants, leading after-school activities and field trips, and of course sharing in homework activities.
Choices in Curriculum
The basic curriculum follows the Central Kitsap School District’s essential learning guidelines in addition to focusing on higher-level thinking skills. The curriculum also provides a wide variety of choices to meet students’ individual interests and learning styles.
The spiraling curriculum allows the student to build on past learning experiences which moves the student to higher, more abstract levels of learning.
Students work in both age and ability peer work groups. The curriculum is open-ended and students progress according to their own ability. They may advance beyond grade-level requirements.
Content areas include mathematics, language arts, social studies, science (including botany and zoology), health and fitness, music, and art. The processes of reading, writing, and communication are emphasized throughout.
Montessori teachers assist children to develop their own potential and self-identity.
Children are the link between the past and the future. They are the preservers of culture and civilization. They become purposeful as they develop a sense of history and understand they are part of that process.
Children operate best in a climate of trust. They need encouragement and experiences that are successful. Therefore, the positive aspects of behavior and work are emphasized.
Children learn in a climate of respect. Because the Montessori philosophy views education as more than a mere transfer of knowledge, and because the program is based on universally observable characteristics and needs of children, teachers in the program foster a strong sense of community among children from diverse economic and social backgrounds.
Children take responsibility for learning and developing ownership of the work accomplished. They become self-managers as they become more independent and learn to take risks and learn that mistakes are a part of the learning process.