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Montessori method


Montessori classes are learning laboratories in which children are allowed to explore, discover, and select their own work. This model recognizes the importance of student choice in creating engaging learning experiences and building independent learners. Students learn and understand the values of compassion, empathy, service, integrity, self-reliance and tolerance. They develop confidence in their ability to ask questions, puzzle out the answer and learn at their own pace. The Montessori program at Emerson Elementary is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion across all lines of differences – a safe and caring place for all.

Montessori Classrooms Include:
  • Multiage groupings that foster peer learning;
  • Uninterrupted blocks of work time;
  • Freedom within limits;
  • Guided choice of work activity;
  • Specially designed Montessori learning materials;
  • An aesthetically pleasing classroom environment; and
  • An emphasis on cultivating leaders of the future who live with integrity and show gratitude, demonstrate persistence, excel, and respect and help others and the environment.


Montessori Guides

Montessori teachers are known as guides and serve as facilitators and guides who are responsible for ensuring that students work at their own level so they make the most efficient and effective progress. Teachers create classrooms that feel like a "second family" and are positive and productive learning communities. We are educating innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, scientist, engineers, teachers, and humanitarians.

Montessori vs Traditional Education

Montessori Traditional
start school early (2-3) start school late (5-6)
multi-age classroom single-age classroom
freedom to move around room seated at desks
family atmosphere little socialization
individual and small group lessons large group lessons
learn by using all five senses learn by listening, watching, reading
long, free work periods planned activities
enhanced curriculum grade-level curriculum
student progress and mastery of concepts peer comparisons as test
observation-based progress report graded report cards
progress at individual rate annual promotion
natural and logical consequences rewards and punishments
peace in education punishment
emphasis on learning emphasis on grades
emphasis on individuality emphasis on conformity
freedom within limits controlling environment
child-centered schedule and environment teacher-centered schedule and environment


Child-Centered Environment

Child-Centered Environment Teacher-Centered Environment
children complete work children interrupted by teacher or end of period
children learn by doing teacher lectures
self-correcting materials teacher as source of answers
children choose their materials teacher chooses curriculum
children set own page teacher sets pace for entire class
children work out of joy and curiosity teacher tells children to work
self-motivation teacher motivates children
children stimulated by curiosity and love of learning teacher stimulates children to learn
children free to work independently teacher guides children
children help each other teacher helps children
emphasis on self-control and self-discipline teacher as disciplinarian


Freedom and Responsbility

Choose daily work
Appropriate work choices and variety of presented materials



Amount of time on an activity
Staying on task and interested



Permission to be idle
Watching, sitting, or wandering without interruption



Eating a snack when hungry
Proper food handling and fair share



Use of bathroom
Good hygiene and proper use of facility



Resolve own conflicts
State needs, no physical contact, seeks adult help when necessary
Teach other children
Appropriate interaction, key points



Movement in the classroom
Walking, maneuvering between student work areas



Choose place to work
Appropriate space for activity and not interfering



Work outside
Stay within sight of windows



Travel throughout building
Walk in hallways, know how to get to destination



Nap in classroom
Get enough sleep at night, know when rest is needed


Diane Beckham