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Any Trained 4th -6th Year Montessori Teachers here?

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Hi There,


I'd love to know how a Montessori School for Upper Elementary usually looks like. Wondering if you have set curriculum available? Is it devise your own each year/week/day?  I'd really love it if some of you could tell me the good and bad of Upper Elementary Classrooms.....


Hope there are some Montessori Teachers on here! :)

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Keys to the Universe has a good Elementary Montessori training class online-not FULL certification, mind you, but it will give you a good overview.  Otherwise, search for "Erdkinder", which is a little older than you're looking at, but you'll often find the info mixed.  There's a huge amount of info on Primary Montessori out there and finding older grades is more difficult.  

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I taught in a Montessori school for a couple of years, but I was not Montessori trained. I did take a class (Language) over the summer between the school years to begin working on this, but I did not teach as a Montessori teacher. I was the co-teacher in the 4-6 classroom and then the following year in the 1-3 classroom. The co-owner of the school and principal of that location (there were 3 locations) needed someone to handle her classroom (the 4-6) while she handled many of her other duties.


Our location was the only one of the three schools which included the upper elementary grades (4-6) and the middle school (7-8). Because there was not a Montessori high school available, the students would leave our school and go on into the local public high school (I think some students went to a private school but most students went to the public school.) Our co-owners included textbooks to supplement the Montessori work, because they felt that the students would need to be prepared to integrate well into the high school. Textbooks were used in reading (Open Court readers) for grades 1-3 and 4-6 and in math (Saxon) beginning in the 4-6 classroom. We also used the Great Books Foundation program for reading beginning in the 1-3 classroom. I cannot remember what was used for spelling, except that I was given a large binder with spelling lists. The students were to write the words, use them in sentences, etc. and were tested on Friday. We had a Spanish teacher and a Science teacher too. The students went to a club nearby for swimming and tennis lessons as part of their PE class. This was the more traditional side of the school and this was the side for which I was responsible.


The teacher/co-owner/principal for the 4-6 class would have specific groups of children with her on the floor for the Montessori presentations. She would do this in math and language primarily but would also give presentations in science, history, geography, etc. I managed the day-day tasks along with teaching spelling, Great Books, Open Court, additional assigned reading and I also spent some time every day going from student to student with individual help in all subjects.


I thought the atmosphere was great as the school was very small (we had roughly 25 in the 4-6 classroom) and everyone was very involved in handling the students and their day-to-day experiences. Our principal/co-owner was very attentive to discipline and was quick to handle it, when needed. I enjoyed teaching at this school and I felt like I had learned more about teaching than I had at Auburn or during my time teaching in public schools.


Of course now that I have been a homeschool teacher for so long now, I would have to say that it was, in many ways, very similar to public education in terms of overall academic outcome for each student. I would say that it was better, but not as much as I had hoped.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest jweasmama

I am not a Montessori teacher, but I can second the Keys to the Universe course. I took it a couple years ago and have been using the albums with my children. The discussion community and online support is fantastic.  In general, there are albums (teacher manuals) in 8 subject areas: language, math, geometry, history, geography, biology, art and music (as well as a theory album). There is a general flow of presentations to give to the child with suggested age ranges, but for the most part, it is follow the child. At the beginning of each term, I highlight as far as we might go that term. Then, each week, I choose what we I feel my children are ready for next from that list. As my children pass into abstraction, I have started to introduce more traditional curricula, including Challenge Math, IEW, Famous Men and Latin for Children. They create a workplan each week. There are several required history readings, follow up work from previous presentations, IEW sessions, etc. that they schedule and I usually give each student at least one additional presentation per day. I am not sure if you were looking for how to implement in your home or if you were looking for what to expect if you were to send your child to an Upper Elementary classroom, but I hope this helps. The only down side I have found trying to replicate the environment at home is that my children don't see others working, so they aren't encouraged to go deeper with the material as much as if they were with more peers.

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