Pacifica Montessori School


Montessori Classroom

Within the Montessori Curriculum the children, in preschool or elementary rooms, work at their own pace according to their individual ability. Gifted children perform at their own accelerated pace. Children who need more time are given what they need to progress confidently. No child must slow down or speed up to keep pace with any group. Teachers “follow the child” and adapt the curriculum to the interest and aptitudes of individual child rather than impose the same curriculum on all children regardless of their interests and aptitude. Since a child stays with the same teacher for three years the Montessori teacher knows each individual well; she can support and encourage each child knowledgeably and confidently.

Ages are combined within the same classroom, so children from 2 ˝ to 5 ˝ are in the pre-school/kindergarten classes, and children from 6 to 11are in the elementary classes. This means that older children in the class have an opportunity to teach and lead their younger classmates, and younger children have the opportunity to model themselves on the superior performance of the older children. The effect is that there are multiple teachers in each class and progress tends to be accelerated.

Another major difference is the structuring of time in a Montessori class. In a traditional classroom the activities the child engages in are determined by the teacher. These activities will typically last about 20 minutes, then the whole group rotates on. In the Montessori classroom you will see a beehive of independent activities all over the room: two children might be doing math together, some others working on the rug with a map, a child helping himself to snack somewhere else. Children are allowed to follow their intellectual interests and with that are given the possibility of developing a deep and sustained ability to concentrate.

There are some areas in which Montessori schools do not differ from traditional schools. We teach children socialization skills, the many different ways to get along with friends while maintaining individuality. We celebrate birthdays and holidays with food and art projects. We accommodate our diverse population of our children with sensitivity and openness.