3 year cycle
In a Montessori school, the children are grouped in these three year cycles, where they have the additional benefit of remaining with the same teacher who can observe and assist the child through the entire cycle. Changing teachers every year in these early years adds unnecessary challenges for the child. Having the same room and the same teacher frees the child to concentrate on the learning process without having to waste precious time getting to know a new adult and a new environment. It is also beneficial for the teacher, giving her the time to get to know the child over a longer period. The more time the teacher has with the child, the more understanding is gained, giving her the ability to base the education on each individual child's needs. This is one of the main benefits of the three year cycle in a Montessori classroom.
Hands on learning
One of the greatest benefits of the Montessori Method, particularly during the early learning experience, is the focus on hands-on learning. The emphasis is on concrete, rather than abstract learning, as students work on activities that teach language, math, culture and practical life lessons. Teachers encourage students to concentrate on tasks, and they discourage students from interrupting one another, allowing students to focus on activities until they are properly mastered.
Uninterrupted Work Cycle
The purpose of long, uninterrupted blocks of work time is to allow students to select work freely, eventually becoming absorbed in work that has a particular fascination for them at this point in their development. Interruptions, no matter how valuable the alternative activity might seem to be, disturbs the fragile development of the child'ss focus, concentration, and intellectual exploration on his or her own.
Individualized, Independent Instruction
Children at Montessori Radmoor School benefit from focused, individual and small group instruction offered by highly-skilled teachers. This approach is successful because children in lessons receive more individualized instruction and children who are not receiving a lesson are deeply engaged in independent work. Teachers provide guidance and structure, and intervene when specific help is needed, yet give children ample room to grow on their own. Classrooms are organized to create the energy and sufficient number of choices to naturally motivate children.
Mixed Age Classrooms
Our mixed-aged classrooms (generally spanning a three-year period) are extraordinarily rich in developmental opportunities. Children can progress at their own pace without "grade level stigma". Younger children learn from older children and aspire to do what they are doing. In turn, older children further their mastery of subject matter by acting as teachers to younger children. Our mixed-aged classrooms also assist social and emotional skills by creating a society in which all children have input and agree upon the rules that will govern their community. Since older children often teach younger children as a means to master their knowledge, the teaching affect is multiplied.