At Rowntree Montessori Schools we offer a progressive, well-rounded education, with a structured schedule for our students from Pre-Kindergarten Montessori to Grade 8. In Kindergarten Montessori (JK), although books and worksheets are great learning tools, we also leverage many different Montessori materials, which each have a specific purpose in the learning process. For example, at the beginning of the school year, some of our Kindergarten students in one of our classrooms were not able to recognize, print or say the phonetic sound of letters. Our teachers then quickly brought in the Sandpaper Letters (which are Montessori materials) during learning circle time. During lessons, the students who were struggling with learning letters, had the opportunity to explore the materials correctly, and then apply what they learned by trying to print or trace each letter onto blank paper. Soon after, students began to print the letters independently, using the correct formation. They then graduated to exploring the Large Moveable Alphabet, which is another Montessori learning tool (as seen below).
Our Kindergarten students are now able to practice and spell short words for their weekly spelling tests, and some of our Pre-Kindergarten Montessori students (aged 2 years 8 months and above) can even spell their full names. One of our Kindergarten teachers recently said, “As a teacher, I enjoy teaching using a traditional and hands-on method to teach my students, and I often use available Montessori resources to help enhance my students ability to better grasp a concept. During question and answer time, the students also really enjoy demonstrating and helping out other peers with these materials. All in all, books and worksheets are an excellent learning tool in the Kindergarten classroom, but leveraging Montessori materials along with traditional teaching aids, offers a hybrid and balanced approach to learning, and gives our students a learning advantage, not offered in public schools.” Click here for more information about the value of Montessori materials for young children.