What is an authentic Montessori classroom?
Guided by a trained Montessori teacher, children explore a carefully prepared environment that satisfies their senses and curiosities while supporting the development of concentration, problem solving, self-regulation, and social responsibility. At ToTH, we care for ourselves, our friends, and our environment while we explore movement, language, geography, science and the natural world, math, music and art.
Unconstrained by the rigid structures of conventional classrooms, a Montessori program encourages students to embrace their curiosity, think imaginatively, and see the world as an array of possibilities. Students learn concepts primarily from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction. Classroom materials for the toddler age group include activities for engaging in practical skills such as pouring and spooning, materials for the development of the senses, language materials, music, and art.
At ToTH, we strive to offer the predictability and structure that toddlers need, while allowing for the dynamism and creativity that is early childhood. Our children navigate the world of choices, friends, structure, freedom and responsibility with great confidence, purpose and joy.
In 2006, the journal Science published a study comparing outcomes of children from similar backgrounds at a Montessori program versus a traditional school (summary here). The study concluded that while academic tests were comparable for students from both schools, those who attended the Montessori program had better social and behavioral skills, and tested better on “executive function,” which is defined as the ability to adapt to changing and more complex problems. Find more information on what research says about Montessori learning and student outcomes here.
View some of our monthly newsletters, which offer snapshots and discussion of our classroom activities, as well as helpful tips for parents outside the classroom, here and here. Our Head of School also often publishes guidance for parents on sites such as Montessorium.com – read her spring 2017 post on The Art of Peaceful Parenting here.