The Montessori Method at Ross
The 100 year old Montessori method of education differs from more traditional approaches. Students are grouped together in multi-age classrooms (ages 5-6, 6-9, 9-12 and 12-14) allowing older children to master skills by helping to teach the younger children. Classrooms typically are made up of 24-30 students (8-10 of each age ideally) and are staffed by a Montessori trained teacher as well as a teaching assistant.
RMS’s curriculum is extensive in its scope and diversity. Its major aspects include: Practical Life, Sensorial, Arithmetic, Language, Writing, Reading, Geography, History, Botany, Zoology, Art, Music, Spanish, Science and Outdoor Education.
There are few textbooks found in Montessori classroom, with the exception of our Middle School program. The classroom is set up as a prepared environment with numerous learning works in which the child engages at his or her own pace. Various teaching styles such as visual, auditory, and hands-on are used in each classroom. Maria Montessori deemed that the hand is the chief teacher of the child. Because of this hands-on experience, second language learners often do well even before they are fluent in English.
Students have long blocks of uninterrupted work time (typically 3 hours) every morning to allow in-depth exploration of a particular subject or material or to engage in as many activities as is deemed applicable to their age-level.
Dr. Maria Montessori understood that children learn best through their own efforts, thus the teacher's primary role is to follow each child's developmental progress and gently guide him/her toward progressively more challenging academic pursuits. Teachers frequently give small group lessons as well as individual instruction rather than whole class lessons. Students are always encouraged to use the tools provided to work toward their academic potential, persevere with difficult challenges and personally correct their own work. Students are able to work either alone or in small groups and move freely about the classroom during the day. Parents are also an integral part of Montessori schooling and volunteering for activities is common and encouraged
The main goal of the Montessori approach is to develop the joy of learning. In essence, Montessori helps bring out each child's gifts. The Montessori method of teaching helps students reach their academic potential through directed but non-competitive activities producing students who are confident in their academic knowledge as well as in their problem-solving skills. These students often go on to become leaders in their communities because of the skills developed during their school years.