Individualized Learning in Elementary School – Montessori Works!
Our lower elementary students begin each day with their individual work plans, where they keep a detailed list of lessons and activities to be completed over the course of the month. Each student’s progress is reflected in their plan as they work through the Montessori curriculum. While work plans are developed in tandem with the Ministry of Education guidelines, students are able to choose their work freely within the structure of their personal work plan and the areas which make up the Kendalwood lower elementary classroom.
The Montessori learning environment, where students are able to work independently or join in small groups in various activities, is much different from what one would see in a traditional primary classroom. During work periods, students may be called to learn a new lesson in a small group, others will work independently on a lesson they are mastering while another group might use the computer to gather research for an independent project of his/her interest. This is also a time for teachers to hold one-on-one conferences with students or offer support and reinforcement to students as required.
Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.
– Maria Montessori
Kendalwood provides a program rich with opportunities to explore topics and interests outside of the Ministry of Education’s core curriculum, one of the many reasons parents choose Montessori education for their children. Students gather in groups for French lessons or spend some time learning a musical instrument such as the penny whistle or the ukulele. Music lessons are a time to explore sound and sensations along with learning musical theory and history. Academic lessons are applied to real life situations whenever possible and Kendalwood chooses field trips which help to transfer knowledge in real world context.
Careful attention is paid to social development in tandem with academic development. There is an important balance to be found between the two in order to nurture well-rounded individuals. Character education, public speaking and community outreach are a few of the larger initiatives undertaken at the lower elementary level to support social development, however, our day to day interactions with one another as a school community are the biggest influence on social development. We operate as a team and respect one another’s contributions to the lower elementary classroom.
A Montessori elementary education means that our students are able to work through the curriculum as individuals. Montessori follows the child – only children who are ready to move forward will do so. Those who need to take more time to master a subject or a skill are able to work at their own pace. Once a child is observed to be ready to move forward, the Montessori classroom enables timely progression. At Kendalwood, we often see students learning concepts which are traditionally not explored until the junior grades in the public system.
Learning is a distinct process; the way in which we absorb knowledge is unique to each individual. At Kendalwood, our lower elementary program enables students to progress at a rate that coincides with their current developmental stage – which is so critical to creating a love of learning in the primary years.
The Kendalwood lower elementary program is led by Montessori Directress Christine Lauzon. She is a MACTE Accredited Lower and Upper Elementary Montessori teacher, with Ontario Certification in Elementary Education up to grade 8 and Math and History specialities to grade 10. Christine graduated from Queens University in the Concurrent Education program in 2009 when she also obtained her Special Education qualifications.
Nicole Tal is Upper Elementary Directress and Head of Kendalwood Elementary. With an extensive education including a Masters of Education, in addition to her Ontario Teachers Certificate, Montessori Certification, and Special Education qualifications, Nicole brings the very best in curriculum design and Montessori methodology to our elementary program. Read more about Nicole.
Kendalwood Montessori and Elementary School is very proud to be the first fully Accredited Montessori School in Durham Region, having achieved CCMA accreditation in 2011. Read more about our commitment to quality education.