As soon as you enter the Elementary Classroom at La Bella Vita Montessori, you know that something different is afoot. Montessori classrooms are immediately recognizable. The classes are small but the learning is monumental. You will see children working independently and in groups, often with specially designed learning materials; deeply engaged in their work; and respectful of themselves and their surroundings. The Montessori Method fosters rigorous, self-motivated growth for children and adolescents in all areas of their development – cognitive, emotional, social and physical. Montessori education is student-led and self-paced but guided, assessed and enriched by knowledgeable and caring teachers, the leadership of their peers, and a nurturing environment. Our Montessori work environment is supportive and inclusive. Our children undertake daily self-directed work, as well as ambitious projects, in both partnerships and small groups, learning to collaborate and problem-solve respectfully and effectively.
Within the community of the multi-age classroom at La Bella Vita – designed to create natural opportunities for independence, citizenship, and accountability – children embrace multi-sensory learning and passionate inquiry. Individual students follow their own curiosity at their own pace, taking the time they need to fully understand each concept and meet individualized learning goals. Given the freedom and support to question and make connections, Montessori students grow up to be confident, enthusiastic, and self-directed learners and citizens, accountable to both themselves and their community. They think critically, work collaboratively, and act boldly and with integrity. Students choose their work and work partners during the daily work cycle, learning to set goals, challenge themselves, and tackle complex problems. Each child practices leadership and responsibility, playing a role as a mentor to younger students, caring for the school environment, and engaging meaningfully to resolve classroom issues.
Challenging academic work inspires La Bella Vita elementary students to rise to the occasion, master difficult skills, and develop a broad base of foundational knowledge. Within this framework, careful attention and support is given to each student so that they’re motivated to pursue their own goals and go beyond typical curriculum requirements. Elementary students have mastered basic physical independence, and are ready for the dramatic step of practicing living independently thoughtful lives. We take full advantage of the Montessori three-hour work cycle, where students choose and organize their own work. Our students come to create, understand, structure, and interrelate their learning goals – to work both independently and collaboratively – and to persist in difficult thinking and abstract creative work.
Students at La Bella Vita Montessori move through the curriculum at their own pace which allows them to strike a balance between challenging themselves and allowing time for full understanding of a concept before moving on. The elementary classroom includes learning materials that spark the interests and abilities of each individual learner. This creates a highly enriching environment. Younger students are motivated by their older peers while older students enjoy the role guide for their younger classmates. The materials are integrated and multifaceted in use to allow expanded exploration as the student’s understanding grows. Mixed age grouping also allows a teacher time to truly get to know her students so that she can better follow their lead. Having a large returning group of students in the classroom each year creates a wonderful continuity of structure, organization and community.
For content, the elementary-aged student is hungry for structured, abstract thinking—for the whole edifice of human knowledge. La Bella Vita’s elementary program satisfies that appetite and then some, challenging students to grow their knowledge and knowhow across every discipline.
A program of hands-on materials and a precise, rigorous sequence of mathematical content;
Learning about human nature, through a curriculum of great works and a pedagogy of deep, personal comprehension;
The La Bella Vita Montessori elementary student graduates with an unmatched inner discipline and an internalized system of foundational knowledge. They are well on the trajectory towards becoming a modern citizen of the world—independent, versatile, knowledgeable, and self-possessed. Studies have shown Montessori graduates transition well and excel academically and socially in traditional educational environments. Coming from the unique Montessori multi-age environment, they make friends easily and have a balanced outlook on life.