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This article is mainly based on one particular person's experiences in a Montessori school, almost all Montessori schools are different to varying degrees, keep that in mind in choosing if Montessori would be right for you.


Montessori Schools

Montessori is well known for it's self-learning and self-pacing. The children are allowed to choose when they want to do their subjects (math, science, English, art, etc.) and the teacher helps them set how much of each subject they should do in a week. It is then that child's goal (or “Workplan”) to complete all the work (jobs) on the list. One great thing about that is that, if the teacher sees the student struggling, the teacher will meet with the student and adjust their workload, likewise for students who are not challenged enough, the teacher will work to give the student harder work, not just more.

Montessori schools are also famous for their work with primary age children. The children are given materials to learn to read, learn languages, learn math (etc.) and materials to learn everyday tasks, (keep in mind Montessori schools can start at age 3) such as tying shoes, pouring pitchers, mixing food, sorting, washing, sewing. One favourite of many primary children is the time they get to write to 1000, when they finish, they get to parade around the older children's class rooms. Older children carry on this idea with “Responsibilities,” responsibilities are small chores to keep the class clean.



Montessori are built on trust of the student. Children are respected as adults and are asked to help out with things that people would normally think adults should do such run a book fair: handle money, work as cashier, help little kids shop.


Age Seperation

In Montessori, the children are usually divided up into groups within three years of age of each other. Ex: 3-6, 6-9, 9-12. And many time all three of those age groups do projects together, mixing the ages.



Every week Montessori students have a set number of jobs (which can be changed by the teacher). What kind of job it is, how high level the job is, and how much of it they have to do depends greatly on the student. Example: Child 1 is really good at math, not so much at English, they might have to do 10 level 4 algebra cards a week, and maybe only 2 level 2 DOL (daily oral language). Child 2 might be great English and horrible at math,they might have something like: 3 level 1 Pre-algebra pages to do, but maybe 5 level 6 grammar cards. What's great about Montessori schools is that Child 1 and 2 could both be in the same grade and class.

Students have the choice of choosing a job in a subject and doing little bits of it through out the week, or they can do it all at once and be done with it for the rest of the week. Kids usually have to do about 20-30 jobs a week. They can choose to do them whenever they want, as long as they get done by the end of the week.

Example: say Child 1 chooses to do her measurement job, word problem job, algebra/pre-alebra job, and geometry job all on Monday, then they are finished with math for the week. They can do more and get credit for the next week, if they choose to. Many do.



One unique thing about Montessori is that there are no letter grades. There are reports sent home that address things such as time management, responsibility, teamwork, etc. on a scale of 1-4. one being ideal.

And it's also set up to where kids can't just turn in everything wrong and still pass. They have to correct things. When a child turns in a completed job to the teacher, the teacher marks what's incorrect and gives it back to the student. The student then has to correct the work and turn it back in. This can happen several times, but once it's past about four times, the student has to start the work over with a lesson from a teacher. That way they do learn how to do the things they don't understand.


A day in the life of a Montessori student

There is no way of knowing exactly what a child will do on a regular day at Montessori other than asking the child, since alot of it is choice, so below I wrote an example of a day in the life of a Montessori student, based on my time enrolled in one:

• 1) 7:46 - Arrive/Play some chess with friends

• 2) 8:00 - Circle/“Show and Tell”

• 3) 8:14 - Circle dismissed

• 4) 8:20 - Start first job/ (a job is a set amount of work in a certain subject)

• 5) 8:54 - Sign up for a lesson with the teacher (when a student doesn't understand the material enough to do their work, they sign up for a lesson with the teacher, the lessons are one on one, so it is easier to learn. The student signs up and waits for the teacher to be available for the lesson)

• 5) 9:00 - Set out snack for my class mates/eat snack

• 6) 9:08 - Go to the science lab/ do my work there

• 7) 9:47 - Do another job (this time it's math)

• 8) 10:01- Work in the art station

• 9) 10:15- Spanish Class

• 10)11:15- Lunch time

• 11)12:15- Recess

• 12)1:30 - Go inside-take off shoes put on slippers

• 13)1:41 - Feel tired so I decide to rest my head on my desk instead of working-as long as my work is done by the end of the week, my teachers are fine with that–sometimes even encourage it.

• 14)2:10 - Responsibility time: my chore is feeding the fish

• 15) 2:30 - Go home.

As a comparison- this could be the same day for a different student:

• 1) 8:00 - Arrive-right on time

• 2) 8:00 - Circle

• 3) 8:14 - Circle dismissed

• 4) 8:15 - Go to music class

• 5) 9:00 - Snack time/ate with friends

• 6) 9:23 - Went outside to sketch the pond

• 7) 9:53 - Decided to stay outside to work on my journal book

• 8) 10:11- Helped a 4th grader with his math work

• 9) 10:36- Turned in last job, if it is correct, then I have finished my work for the week

• 10)10:41- Got work back–it was incorrect

• 11)10:42- Corrected work and re-turned it in

• 12)10:55- Got work back–it's correct! I am finished working for the week–and it's only thursday.

• 13)11:00- Talk to some friends/go outside and draw

• 14)11:15- Lunch/ate with someone new

• 15)12:15- Recess

• 16) 1:30- Go inside/take off shoes-wear socks

• 17) 1:35- Get some water

• 18) 1:37- Do next week's vocabulary

• 19) 2:00- Play games with friends/Play on computer

• 20) 2:10- Responsibilities: my job is to wipe the counters

• 21) 2:30- Stay after school to help set up for the book fair next week

• 22) 3:14- Go home.

Where to next? Pick one!

Posted in: Knowledgebase on May 30, 2023 @ 6:45 PM

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