I read another blog post today that I thought was really interesting because it got me thinking about the differences between gauging accomplishment in traditional schooling (grades) and in Montessori schooling.
The other blog post I read is here
All teachers want to bestow knowledge and impart wisdom. No one gets into teaching children for the money or prestige. The idea behind the Montessori method is to provide that knowledge and wisdom in a safe environment that encourages exploration and learning for its own sake. Because of that, there is no grading it Montessori. We don’t compare children to each other and we don’t compare them to an arbitrary standard. Instead, we pay attention to the kids in the class and talk to their parents about their interests, strengths and the works they focus on.
Montessori classrooms also have time set aside for working together on specific things. “Circle time” can be used to talk about new concepts, introduce new works to the whole class and talk about things the entire class is learning together. You may have reading, phonemic and spelling works out, but you can do some of these things with the entire class during circle time. This way, children who are not interested in reading yet still get some exposure to it and it allows you a little opportunity to evaluate their skills in that area so their parents are aware. This is also true of the traditional math works.
Often, children develop interest in an area of work when they see how it relates to something else that interests them. A child otherwise uninterested in reading may enjoy dinosaurs and decide that learning to read means he can enjoy the dinosaur books during work time. A social kid who doesn’t take well to the traditional math works may like being the banker and handing out the thousands, hundreds, tens and units to the kids who are doing the math works during work time. There are many creative ways to encourage interest in all the work areas of a Montessori classroom. Be careful not to be too intrusive though: remember that through all of this, you need to follow the child wherever he may lead.