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Characteristics of Montessori Classrooms

Independence:  A key component of Montessori education is fostering independence from an early age.  Children are capable of so much if they are given the opportunity to practice!  They take pride in being able to take care of themselves and their environment.  This sets a pattern for good work habits, self-discipline, and a sense of responsibility that will last a lifetime.

Child-Centered Learning:  In accordance with Dr. Montessori’s directive to “follow the child,” Montessori classrooms are individualized to meet the needs of each child.  Our teachers are trained to observe children carefully; to understand when children need more time to master a concept, and when to move them on to the next idea. Children are encouraged to follow their passions and dig deeply into their work.



Prepared Environment: Our classroom environments are designed to meet the developmental needs of each age group.  We select beautiful materials that will invite the children’s interest and assure their success. Materials are grouped on shelves according to subject, based upon a carefully designed scope and sequence.

Extended Work Period:  A three-hour work period gives the children the opportunity to stay with a material for as long as necessary.  During the work period, children choose materials from the shelves, work with them as long as needed, and then return them to the shelf for the next person.  Younger children typically move more quickly from work to work, while older children may spend all morning on the same project. Children are introduced to the materials through lessons with the teachers.  Lessons are usually presented individually or in small groups, so that each child has the opportunity to participate fully.

Multi-Age Classrooms:  In each of our classrooms, there is a three-year age span.  Children love to learn from each other, and older children have the opportunity to be role models for the younger ones.  Staying within the same community for three years helps a child develop confidence to explore learning more deeply.  It also allows us to get a smoother start each year, since 2/3 of the class is already used to daily routines.

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