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The Traits of the Montessori Classroom

Children are engaged peacefully and purposefully in a wide variety of activities

Many parents are often surprised to see the calm environment of the Montessori classroom; in fact, it is designed to help your child become her best self. We support her natural drive for independence by encouraging her to choose activities of interest, without interruption. The resulting feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction engender respect from the children towards others. Through "grace and courtesy" exercises, we teach children how to problem solve conflicts, how to act politely in various situations and how to be kind and helpful to their friends. The result is a cohesive community of young children.

It's a mixed-age class

Because the learning is individualized, your child can work at her own pace while participating in a mixed age classroom community. Younger children benefit from example, and learn from the activities of the older children, while each older child gains the self-confidence that comes with responsibility and leadership.

The children are very independent

Often, children who don't do things for themselves simply don't know how or haven't been given the chance.

Here children have both. We carefully teach your child how to care for her own needs and provide opportunities to practice and improve. When she can successfully care for herself and the environment in which she lives, her demeanor becomes one of self-accomplishment and self-confidence.

The learning takes place through the child's own activity

A Montessori teacher is trained to introduce your child to many activities and concepts each day, based upon her unique development. The learning, however, is not so much taking place in the lesson, as it is through independent activity when she comes back to explore it, repeat it and perfect it.

The classroom is child-centered, not teacher-centered

Unlike traditional classrooms, where your child is expected to pay attention to the teacher, in the Montessori classroom the teacher is trained to observe each individual child.

You wont see a Montessori teacher standing in front of the classroom writing on a chalkboard, but rather down at your child's level, engaged with her or a small group.

The curriculum is highly individualized

The teacher is trained to recognize and respect the unique potentials operating within your child, and strives to connect her to the work best suited to her at that moment. The art of being a Montessori teacher is in finding the work that combines both interest and the right level challenge -not too hard and not too easy. In this classroom, your child will become engaged with an activity, increasing her ability to focus and concentrate.

A wide variety of beautiful, hands-on learning materials help children learn

The scientifically designed materials help to develop a new skill or reveal a new concept through your child's use and exploration. Some provide the opportunity to perfect the practical skills of caring for her own needs or for the classroom environment. Some enrich her vocabulary and open the door to writing, reading and the parts of speech. Others build on your child's natural interest in counting and introduce an understanding of the decimal system and the processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Some encourage artistic self-expression through the introduction of skills and media. Use of the materials builds a foundation of concrete experiences of abstract concepts, such as mathematics, assisting your child to a deeper level of understanding.

While most of the morning and afternoon is spent in self-directed work, there are also times in the day for group activities and play

The teacher may gather a group for songs and stories about social, biological, geographical, and historical themes of interest. Indoor classroom space extends to a safe and contained outdoor environment with gardens and activities, so your child can work outdoors.