Our child centered classrooms are designed to allow movement and collaboration, as it also promotes concentration and a sense of order. Shelves in the classroom are designated to specific curriculum areas and materials are in order of difficulty. Students have access to materials and are responsible for their care.
The goal of Montessori education is to foster a child’s natural inclination to learn. VMS teacher’s guide rather than instruct, linking each student with activities that meet his interests, needs, and developmental level. The role of the student is to develop organization and to own up to their responsibility of doing their best work. Elementary II students begin to budget time between curriculum areas, meet deadlines, work collaboratively and independently.
With the freedom to move in the classroom you would expect chaos to ensue but this is not the case. Students are taught at a young age to be aware of noise level and personal work space such as you would encounter in an adult work environment.
Our teachers monitor each student’s progress daily. Through classroom observation and knowledge of the three-period lesson the teacher is aware of each student’s development towards mastering skills, leading him/her to the next level of learning. Parents receive detailed information about their child’s progress during Parent-Teacher conferences in October and May. Children that are on an IEP will receive a progress report 3x per year. Parents may contact the teachers to schedule additional conferences at any time. Parents will receive a written evaluation sharing each student’s progress at the end of the year. Good communication between home and school is highly desirable and should be the principal vehicle for questions that may arise.
You may have heard of the Montessori Moment which is another way of saying the Aha Moment. However, instead of knowing the answer through rote memorization, or by teachers teaching to the test through skill and drill practices as in traditional school, we see more depth than breadth with each lesson as students move from a concrete experience, to abstract understanding, and finally to full mastery. the point at which they have the epiphany through the use of a material the Montessori Moment taking place.