Multi-age classrooms include a three year age span of children. Older children teaching younger children provides a sense of community, while building self esteem and leadership skills.
Children are quiet by choice out of respect for others within the environment. The Montessori classroom allows children to find the “inner peace” that is a natural part of their personalities.
Work and Discovery
The children work for the joy of working and the sense of discovery. Children in the Montessori classroom have opportunities for leadership and they delight in learning new tasks and sharing them with others.
The items found on the shelves in the classroom are “materials” rather than “toys”: The children “work with the materials” rather than “play with the toys”. This allows the children to gain the most benefit from the environment by giving them a sense of worth. This is the same sense of worth adults experience as they go to their jobs and do their “work”.
Self correcting materials within the environment. Children learn through their own errors to make correct decisions.
There is an emphasis on concrete learning rather than on abstract learning. Children experience learning concepts in concrete “hands on” ways.
The environment is “prepared” for the children. Everything in the room has a specific place on the shelf. The work progresses from simple to more complex; having the room organized this way allows the children to choose work that is appropriate for them.
Individual learning takes place within the environment. Montessori curriculum provides a plan for each child to learn at a his or her own pace.
The Montessori classroom provides a child-centered environment. All the materials are easily within the child’s reach, placed on shelves at their levels. The tables and chairs are small enough for the children to sit comfortably while the pictures and decorations are placed at the children’s eye level.
The teacher plays an unobtrusive role in the classroom. The children are intrinsically motivated by their own interests and curiosity.