When you enter a Montessori school, one of the things you first notice is that the classes are not separated by age. Children of various ages will be cooperating and interacting in a Montessori classroom.
For instance, you might see an older youngster helping a younger one with an activity or a younger child fascinated by what his older classmate can do. You might see these everyday situations in a classroom with mixed-age students.
Even though these instances may make you feel warm inside, you might wonder what a mixed-age classroom is. Why are mixed-age classrooms even necessary? What advantages are there? Or do kids have a more challenging time learning in mixed-age classrooms?
Let’s look into some of these questions resolutions.
What is a Montessori Mixed-Age Classroom?
Based on the developmental stage of each child, multi-age mixed groups are created in Montessori classrooms. For the entire three-year cycle, students are in the same class. This three-year grouping begins with the Children’s House, which is geared at children aged 3 to 6, and goes on to Elementary for children aged 6 to 9 and 9 to 12.
In each subject area, the kids are placed in groups with others with similar learning requirements and work with younger or older kids as necessary. Regardless of their chronological age, each child can learn at their rate using this set-up, and students can benefit from one another’s experiences.
The Seven Montessori Age Groups
While most Montessori schools with the appropriate credentials run similarly, their age groups might vary depending on local laws, staffing levels, and other elements.
Although there are seven age levels for Montessori education listed here, there are few Montessori high schools. Finding newborn and toddler programs, as well as Montessori parent-infant sessions, is much more challenging.
The normal Montessori age ranges are listed below.
- Infant (0-18m)
- Toddler (18m-3 years)
- Children’s House (3-6 years) Lower Elementary (6-9 years)
- Upper Elementary (9-12 years)
- Middle School (12-15 years)
- High School (15-18 years)
The 3-6 age range was the primary focus of Dr. Montessori’s research. The most prevalent Montessori primary programs are due to this and the fact that this age group is characterized by rapid brain development and offers opportunities for developing the senses in preparation for life and learning.
Whether they continue in a Montessori program or not, children carry the abilities, learning habits, and love of learning from the primary years (ages 3-6) into their academic careers.
How Do Montessori Teachers Make The Mixed Age Group Work?
A mixed-age classroom is a calm setting with endless potential. You can count on teachers at Montessori to apply their knowledge in each mixed-age setting. The qualified and committed teachers in the Montessori school provide your child with a nurturing environment.
To ensure that the Montessori atmosphere is in line with the child’s home environment, they adhere to the natural timetable for sleeping, eating, and playing that children have. There is much room on the floor for kids to walk around and explore. Children sometimes meet milestones more quickly in an atmosphere where there are infants of different ages because they can
Benefits Of Mixed-age Classes For Children
Scientist Dr. Montessori saw her methodology as founded on observation, application, and revision and as a scientific approach to education. She continuously examined the relationship between causes and effects, changed her approach, and, most importantly, learned from the kids.
She used this knowledge in her approach moving forward after releasing very early on the advantages of the mixed-age classroom. She noted that kids learn in various ways and that mixing up the ages in a group was essential for this learning.
In our experience, students fortunate enough to attend mixed-age classes gain access to 8 wonderful advantages. Below are eight advantages of mixed-age classrooms:
Learning At Their Own Pace
Kids can complete their tasks at their speed. The resources and associated presentations are available to a youngster if they have mastered a specific idea and are prepared to move on.
When a youngster is having trouble with a task, they can keep working on it without feeling “left behind” as the rest of the class moves on. In a school with diverse ages, children of different abilities can succeed.
Increasing Social Skills
The younger child can learn social skills like compromising, using polite language, and more from the older pupils during this fantastic educational opportunity. Furthermore, studies reveal that older kids frequently take on the role of mentor in mixed-age classrooms, assisting everyone in modeling pro-social skills, including giving, helping, and more!
Promotes Emotional Health
Less competition is another advantage of a multi-age classroom. Similar-aged kids frequently contrast themselves with one another. The emphasis in a mixed-age group is on exploration and the fun of learning.
Children can unwind and take pleasure in the learning process when there isn’t as much comparison. Students may concentrate on their learning goals and advancement because they work quickly. This can lessen some of the academic anxiety that many schoolchildren experience.
Both younger and older students can implicitly acquire a growth mindset with the aid of mixed classrooms. Older students learn the value of effort and hard work by watching younger pupils go from one subject to the next. In contrast, younger pupils aspire to be like their older counterparts and look forward to achieving their level of proficiency.
Children sometimes find it challenging to comprehend or remember that their skills and abilities have significantly changed over the course of a year or even a few months. Still, a mixed-age classroom makes this developmental trajectory very clear.
Having a growth mindset is the belief that development and important abilities and attributes exist.
The opportunity for older pupils to mentor their younger classmates allows them to develop crucial leadership abilities. There are always opportunities for a child to “transition” from observer to leader in a school with a range of ages because younger kids naturally look up to and copy older kids. Being allowed to instruct their younger classmates also brings immense delight to older students.
Additionally, regardless of skill level, everyone gets a partner to practice within a mixed-age school. Children are not bored by the repetition of material they have already mastered, nor do they feel left behind if they have trouble with a topic.
It Brings Stability
Children stay with the same instructor and group for a 3-year cycle. It enables teachers to observe students’ particular requirements better and better comprehend and support the development of each student’s different learning methods. Mixed-age classes offer more stability since the kids build strong bonds and a feeling of community with their teachers and peers.
Reading and language proficiency are higher among students in mixed-age classrooms. The ability for kids to work at their own pace while also “seeing ahead” when witnessing their peers can help them improve their math proficiency.
A Classroom With Better Behaviour
It has been demonstrated that mixed-age classes experience fewer behavior problems. This is probably because of the sense of belonging, comfort, and ease that come with self-paced learning.
A Montessori classroom that uses mixed-age groupings has many advantages. A child in a Montessori classroom might have the same instructor for three years. This enables teachers to have a thorough awareness of each student’s strengths and limitations and what they individually need to succeed.
Children who have known their instructor and classmates for some time feel more connected to them and at ease with them. As a result of not worrying about establishing new acquaintances every year, a child experiences less shyness and anxiety.