OUR CLASSROOM

About Us      Our Philosophy       The Montessori Method       Independence       Our Classroom

 

Montessori & Me provides a child-centered learning environment.  A number of low tables and chairs suited to the preschooler, allow children to work in small groups or to work individually without distractions. Materials at each level are arranged on student-sized open shelves, separated according to subject matter and ordered from simple to complex, concrete to abstract. These are largely self-correcting didactic materials, many designed by Dr. Montessori herself.  Dr. Montessori noted that most children do not learn by memorizing what they hear or read; instead, they learn from concrete experience and direct interaction with their environment. Concrete learning materials are provocative and simple; each carefully designed to stimulate logical thought and discovery.






The curriculum is organized into a spiral of integrated studies that span programs, rather than traditionally compartmentalized into separate subjects that may not be repeated in subsequent years. In the early years, lessons are introduced simply and concretely, and are reintroduced several times over succeeding years at increasing degrees of abstraction and complexity. Subjects are integrated into studies of the physical universe, the world of nature and the human experience. Literature, the arts, history, social issues and science all complement one another. This integrated approach is one of Montessori's greatest strengths. For example, when students study Italy, they will also read about a number of the Caesars, construct models of Roman arches, investigate Roman coins, prepare a Roman meal and study the ecosystems, flora, fauna and natural resources of Italy.


Since liberty is fundamental to our educational philosophy, students are provided with varying degrees of lesson and activity choices. Students may choose to complete any lesson that the teacher has presented or request a presentation on new material. Our program provides large blocks of uninterrupted work time to allow students to spontaneously repeat lessons, arrive at new ways of completing lessons through exploration and experimentation, discover relationships between various classroom materials and pursue topics of special interest. Additional reference and hands-on materials are always available so that students may expand learning beyond what is usually presented in a classroom lesson.


Multi-Age Grouping


Current educational theory and research indicate that learning is an individual process, in time frame, style, interests and also that children learn from one another. Even though most schools are organized by homogeneous, single-age grouping, research has not found this to be beneficial. Conversely, heterogeneous grouping, by ability and age, improves relationships between all students and facilitates the use of learning objectives and expectations. This results in a strong sense of classroom unity, peer instruction and role modeling.


For over 100 years, the Montessori Method has supported multi-age grouping. This concept has recently moved into the mainstream due to the work of many educational theorists, researchers and practitioners. Several childhood organizations are recommending or requiring multi-age grouping in preschool and elementary settings.


At Montessori & Me, children are grouped in mixed-ages and abilities from 28 months to 6 years of age.  There is constant interaction, problem solving, child-to-child teaching and socialization. Children are challenged according to their ability and able to find an intellectual peer.



“Education is not something which the teacher does, but it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.  It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment.  The teacher’s task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child.”

  1. -Dr. Maria Montessori




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