There are several components to the Montessori educational philosophy. These fundamental tenets make each classroom a special and inspiring place.
Planes of Development
Montessori education is structured around four distinct planes of development where children in specific age groups share similar physical and cognitive traits. The classroom environment, curriculum and instruction are specially designed to meet these developmental stages. At NNM, we focus on the first three planes:
All of our classrooms are multi-age classrooms, usually with students ranging in three-year spans, structured around these four distinct planes of development.
This allows each child an opportunity to experience being a newcomer and eventually a leader in the classroom community. Strong and meaningful relationships are built among students, teachers, and parents because children stay with the same teacher for three years. These relationships are crucial to providing the best education possible. The classroom is a community of learners who learn from one another and form enduring bonds.
Scope and Sequence
At NNM, we prepare our students for life by offering them a rigorous academic program that develops important skills for success such as creativity, communication, critical thinking, independence, confidence, and resilience. Dr. Montessori referred to this approach as “Educating the Whole Child,” that is, catering to each student’s academic, physical, emotional, spiritual, and moral development. Montessori’s developmental approach recognizes that each child reaches certain milestones at different stages. As such, the Montessori lessons are presented to students when they are developmentally ready and have mastered certain prerequisite activities.
NNM created its Curriculum Scope and Sequence document to help our families understand the progression and duration of the Near North Montessori School curriculum. It is designed to demonstrate the continuum of knowledge from one developmental level to the next and to illustrate the depth of each subject area.
The classroom teacher acts as a guide and facilitator, rather than as a traditional educator, and is continually assessing the progress of each student. The teacher provides lessons and guides the children in the pursuit of their interests and passions and spends most of the time working with small groups of students as the rest of the class works independently under the supervision of the teacher assistants.
While we teach all of the traditional academic subjects, we pay special attention to the social and emotional needs of each child. Responsibility, independence, care of the community, and joy of learning are all valued qualities that the students learn in every classroom. Class performances, week-long trips, cultural field trips, Flex Fridays, and Sandwich Shoppe are further examples of the many opportunities in which students can learn and practice essential life-long skills.