The Montessori method is known for its three-year cycle of learning: K3–K5, grade 1–grade 3, grade 4–grade 6, grade 7–grade 9, grade 10–grade 12. The teacher encourages children’s growth through all areas of the curriculum to ensure that they are exposed to the full sequence of lessons.
Multi-age groupings enable younger children to learn from older children and experience new challenges through observation. Older children serve as role models, develop leadership skills, and reinforce their learning by teaching concepts they have already mastered. Uninterrupted blocks of work time (typically three hours) allow children to work at their own pace and fully immerse themselves in an activity without interruption. Within the prepared environment of the Montessori classroom, children learn to complete a work cycle that includes choosing an activity, completing the activity (perhaps repeating the full sequence of the activity multiple times), and cleaning up and returning the materials to the proper place.
Because each child’s work is individual, children progress at their own pace.
Lessons and Materials
Classroom design, materials, and daily routines support the students' ability to educate themselves and think about what they are learning.
Lessons are often designed so that children have multiple opportunities to hear other people’s ideas, perspectives, and thought processes. This provides children with the mindset that there are multiple ways to think through an idea, and it encourages creative thinking and problem solving.
Montessori classrooms are thoughtfully arranged to encourage children to move about and choose their own work within limits of appropriate behavior.