At around the age of six, children change physically, socially, and intellectually.  They become more social and interested in working in groups rather than alone.  They can grasp more abstract ideas, are interested in the why of things, and are preoccupied with fairness.  They are entering what doctor Montessori called a new plane of development. 

Characteristics of Allegro Montessori’s Elementary Program.

  • Mixed age groups
    • Your child gets to be a peer, a mentor, and a mentee during their time at Allegro.
    • It provides natural leadership opportunities for the students.
    • Each child works at their own pace, at the level they are at, independent of artificial age cut offs. 
  • Extended, Uninterrupted work periods
    • Here is what happens during that time:
      • Study in the areas of math, algebra, area, volume, geometry, reading, grammar, sentence analysis, language mechanics, word study, peace education, treaty education, geography, human history, physics, chemistry, biology, art, French, and drama, to name just a few.
      • Individual and group lessons.
      • Practice of skills until they master them.
  • A carefully prepared, beautiful environment
    • Children need to move and think to do their best work.  In our classrooms students work at child-sized tables, or on a rug on the floor, or a floor table,
    • Children are trusted to move about the classroom and attend to their own needs.  Having snack, drinking water, and going to the bathroom happen at their discretion not the teachers.  They do not need to ask permission to get up.
  • Freedom within limits
    • Responsibility and independence provide the scaffolding for independent action and behaviour.  Freedom within limits is an approach founded in trust and respect, rather than control and command. 

What separates Montessori elementary from public elementary?

  • Classroom look and feel
    • We create a home using child sized furniture, rugs, plants, animals, and decor
  • Grouping of children
    • A mixed age community, just like real life. 
    • Students are, during their stay with us allowed to be the peer, the mentee, and the mentor in the classroom depending on their age and maturity.
  • Schedule
    • An uninterrupted work period in the morning, followed by specialty subjects and group lessons in the afternoon.
    • Each child has the opportunity to start and complete their tasks.
    • Each child works at their own pace, choosing when and where in the classroom they do their subjects.
  • Motivation
    • Intrinsic motivation
      • Built on each student’s interests, on curiosity, on making content relevant and engaging, on the joy of mastering an activity, on the natural desire of younger children to do the work they see admired older children do in class.
      • Authentic assessment of mastery of subject matter rather than assigned arbitrary grades.
        • We master (understand and perform a piece of work without aid) an activity, and then move on to a new more difficult exercise. 
  • Role of the teacher
    • Teachers act as guides and mentors to the students
    • It is a Montessori teachers’ job to foster the natural curiosity and desire to learn that is in every student. 
    • It is a Montessori teachers’ job to foster the independent and responsible nature of the child.
  • Role of the student
    • Active members of a Montessori community
    • Plan their work schedule and take responsibility for getting it done.
    • They help each other by modeling responsible and independent behaviour, peer teaching, and mentoring.
    • They take responsibility for their classroom code of conduct and for solving class problems.
      • It is the students’ room not the adults, therefore they must have a hand in how it is run. 
  • Curriculum approach
    • A curriculum is embedded in hands-on materials that move slowly from concrete to abstract concepts throughout elementary.
    • A balance between foundational skills and expansion into science, geography, history and the arts.
    • Children move through the curriculum at different paces, having options on which areas they want to explore deeper, and on what subject matter they want to use to practice their skills (i.e. research, reading, writing).
  • Educational goals and standards
    • Enabling children to acquire Knowledge for Life—the essential knowledge, thinking skills and strength of character children need to flourish as joyful children today, and as successful adults tomorrow.

Key Resources