Our Montessori Classroom
Underlying the curriculum in a Montessori classroom is the understanding that children love to learn and that they do so best in an orderly environment, supported by nurturing adults, and with as few interruptions as possible.
If there is a single defining characteristic of a Montessori classroom, it is the freedom for each child to pursue as many or as few activities as she chooses each day. While one student might move through a half-dozen activities in rapid succession, another might focus for 30 minutes or more on something that draws him in.
During our “work period” (yes, we call it that) teachers are available to help children but do not intrude on their work unless invited to do so. Teachers seek invitations however, perhaps sitting next to a child learning to use scissors and asking, “Can I show you a different way to hold the scissors that will make cutting circles easier?”
A mixed-age classroom is a hallmark of the Montessori model, so having first year students, possibly as young as two years, nine months, working alongside third years who may turn five before winter break, is what we strive for. Older students thrive on mentoring younger friends when they take a break from their own work. Opportunities for “over-the-shoulder learning” abound as everyone moves freely about the classroom.
The children’s pride of ownership in their classroom is evident in the care they invest in maintaining a peaceful and beautiful space that they are eager to enter each day. Their teachers are grateful to be included.