Elementary (Lower: grades 1-3; Upper: grades 4-6)
The Montessori elementary community is noticeably different from classrooms in conventional schools. Unlike traditional classrooms with rows of desks and textbooks, students are found sitting comfortably around the room, working with hands-on materials on the floor or at small tables. Teachers are not the focal point of the class; and can be found subtly working with one or two children at a time. The environment is set up to stimulate collaborative, project-based learning which fosters social and academic engagement. Children learn to make choices about their work, choosing challenging activities from a variety of curriculum areas. Through this approach, students learn important life skills such as time management, prioritization, and organization. Materials at the elementary level reflect the more abstract concepts and advanced requirements expected of more mature students.
In elementary communities, assessments take place in a variety of formats. Montessori students are taught to be reflective. Individual meetings with their teacher give students the opportunity to be an active participant in planning their own education. They are not told what they must do, but they are asked how they plan to accomplish specific goals. Some of these goals are set by the teacher but others are set by the child. When needed, teachers will give strategies and suggestions, but the aim is for the child to eventually develop these skills on their own.
In this classroom you will see:
- Open space with large windows
- Students working in a small group, independently, or in small group lessons with a teacher
- Freedom of movement within the classroom
- Engaging curriculum designed to meet individual needs and learning styles
- An emphasis on the values of independence, cooperation, and self-discipline
- Purposefully designed materials (not worksheets) which allow children to develop abstract and critical thinking skills
- No homework or standardized tests
- Low student to teacher ratio
- Degreed teachers working towards MACTE Accredited Montessori certification