Montessori education is based on the research of Dr. Maria Montessori. Maria Montessori developed this style of learning based on the child’s intrinsic desire to explore, discover and learn from the world around them. Montessori focuses on educating the whole-child to reach academic success. By following the child in a child-focused environment, we provide materials and instruction to facilitate and challenge them. By allowing children to select their own work, they can increase their concentration and master content more easily.
By studying children, Maria Montessori was able to go beyond what was known of children at her time and developed an extremely detailed account of when skills developed and aligned the curriculum to those developmental milestones. As a result, children feel empowered in the educational decisions they are making, while being gently guided by the framework that has been put in place.
Below, you can explore general themes within our classrooms. We invite you to explore pages for individual programs to learn more about individual classrooms.
Pre K – Kindergarten
Grade 1 – 3
Grade 4 – 6
Our educated staff is our greatest asset. Not only do we work to recruit Montessori-trained teachers, but require all teachers to have a four-year degree. Many of our teachers also go on to complete their Master’s in education. Our teachers use their extensive understanding of Montessori practices and child development to create a harmonious and academic environment. All teachers are expected to have Montessori training in the age group which they serve.
While we bring a highly qualified team of teachers to each classroom, they are not the focal point of the classroom environment. Instead, teachers move about the classroom observing the children working, presenting small group lessons, or helping children select work.
At Bozeman Summit School, children are respected and educated as individuals. We offer an individualized curriculum that focuses on student-initiated learning. We believe that when a child is allowed to explore what interests them, their concentration and the mastery of skills and concepts is greater.
The Classroom Community
Our Montessori classrooms includes children of multiple age levels on the same developmental plane. Generally, children are mixed in three-year cycles. While low student/teacher ratios are not required in a Montessori classroom, we annually consider the needs of the students and the teacher experience when selecting our teacher teams.
As children move from the youngest to the oldest in the classroom, they are exposed to different roles. Older students act as teachers and leaders – which reinforces their own understanding of various concepts. Younger students are often motivated to learn as they see what others are capable of and as they observe those who are just ahead of them in a skill. In this approach, children can progress through the curriculum at their own pace without grade level stigma, or without waiting a school year if they are excelling.
The Classroom and Materials
The entire classroom – space, materials, and climate – support the child’s education and is calm and inviting. The true sense of community in a Montessori classroom gains a child’s trust and enables them to build self-confidence. Materials are arranged in a way that makes it easy for children to select work and progress through the curriculum.
Our classroom materials are not just educational, but support the developmental needs of the child. Most materials are multisensory, sequential and self-correcting. By using Montessori materials, we are able to teach abstract concepts through hands-on activities.