Who we are
We are the Elementary School at MTIS where children from grade 1 to grade 4 can grow and develop their personalities in a bilingual setting, facilitated and cared for by trained Montessori AMI professionals.
What we do
In our Elementary School the children work independently and meaningfully with Montessori materials. The children are experimenting with sensorial, mathematical and language sources. They take over responsibility for their own work. All children from grade 1 to 4 learn together in one classroom. In this way, they easily share their knowledge. Younger children observe the older children and watch how they work which arouses their interest in future assignments. The older children recall what they learned before and practice to communicate their knowledge in an articulate way.
How we do it
- Free work is an important foundation of the Montessori Method. In the free- work periods, pupils can decide which tasks they will work on, within a framework provided by the teacher. They choose from extensive working materials provided for the various subject areas and appropriate to their age level. The speed at which each individual learns also helps them to decide how long to spend on each activity. In addition there are certain compulsory activities that must be completed in a fixed time.
- There is a working area where pupils find all the materials they can use, after an introduction by the teacher, to help them practice and solve tasks, for example in arithmetic, algebra and
geometry. This principle of linking all materials is also applied in the subject areas of biology, geography, history, foreign languages, literature, and elsewhere. Independent and supervised learning is combined here with cross-curricular teaching.
- The presence of the teachers provides security, advice and support if pupils need it. Pupils can work alone or in small groups. This individual form of working requires mutual consideration and tolerance, and therefore promotes social learning too.
- As far as possible, pupils work through the various areas of knowledge using a holistic approach. They gather knowledge in the context of its creation and discovery. They learn with all their senses to gain an idea of the whole, before they move on to the details. Examining the detail opens up the study of the whole while understanding the whole awakens interest in the detail. This approach aids understanding, even of highly complex issues, and maintains children’s interest. The children turn into curious researchers and the school itself grows into a lively community of learning.
- The ability to communicate in a foreign language in a specific professional context, gaining academic qualifications in a foreign language and living and working in a foreign culture are becoming increasingly important. In addition to spoken skills, these include in particular:
- willingness to learn languages, communication skills and interest, interpersonal skills knowledge and understanding of other peoples and cultures
- social and socio-political awareness
- Teachers report on the child’s progress in German or English in that
language. New pupils receive additional support in acquiring the foreign
language during free work.
- English and German-speaking children are taught together in groups, as the
close contact increases the propensity for language acquisition. Lessons are conducted in either German or English, not both at the same time. Bilingual teaching does not mean that lesson content is offered in both German and English. Lessons are provided in either German or English. Teacher presentations during free work are given in either German or English. Subject-specific lessons are provided in one language. The children thus have regular exposure to different languages through the school day.
- Pupils are given the opportunity to sing or play together in the choir, musicals or orchestra. This will introduce them to the fine arts and simultaneously strengthen the community. Performances and concerts help to build the community and our image. Theatre and art promote artistic expression and expression of personality – this will enable the pupils to “practice for life”
- The role of the teacher is a special one, particularly in the elementary school. The teacher has the important task to establish and maintain a pedagogical relationship with the pupil. The teacher’s support cannot consist in stipulating the child’s intellectual development, rather in supporting the spontaneous efforts of the child.
- Our teachers’ focus lays on the important task of observation: to realize a pupil’s progress, to support them in their areas of weakness, to assess the level of intensity a child uses to tackle a task. The teacher, however, also needs to be prepared to wait and not intervene if the desired success does not occur or if a child chooses another way of learning or another method. The key aspect remains the child’s intellectual growth.
- Every day the children receive feedback on their learning progress in form of individual talks. In addition, the learning progress is documented on a weekly basis including fields of learning, work habits, motivation and social behavior. The pupil keeps an ongoing portfolio of his/her work, showcasing his/her abilities. The Portfolio is actually being representative of the pupil’s work and progress. The teachers’ observations are recorded and filed by specific software developed for adequately documenting the individual progress of pupils.
- Montessori education recognizes that children learn in different ways, and
accommodates all learning styles. Pupils are also free to learn at their own pace, each advancing through the curriculum as he is ready, guided by the teacher and an individualized learning plan.
- Classroom design, materials, and daily routines support the individual’s emerging “self-regulation” (ability to educate one’s self and to think about what one is learning), toddlers through adolescents.
- The mix-age classroom—typically spanning 3 years—re-creates a family structure. Older pupils enjoy stature as mentors and role models; younger children feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead. Teachers model respect, loving kindness, and a belief in peaceful conflict resolution.
- Montessori pupils enjoy freedom within limits. Working within parameters set by their teachers, pupils are active participants in deciding what their focus of learning will be. Montessorians understand that internal satisfaction drives the child’s curiosity and interest and results in joyous learning that is sustainable over a lifetime.
- Teachers provide environments where pupils have the freedom and the tools to pursue answers to their own questions.
- As they mature, pupils learn to look critically at their work and become adept at recognizing, correcting, and learning from their errors.