The teachers at North Star Montessori use a combination of observation, record-keeping, and individualized planning to keep track of each student’s lessons, progress, and development. Here are some common practices:
Observation is a fundamental aspect of the Montessori approach. North Star’s teachers regularly observe each student’s activities, interactions, and engagement with materials, keeping anecdotal notes. Through keen observation, our teachers gain insights into individual interests, strengths, challenges, and readiness for new lessons.
While Montessori education values individualized learning, the teachers at North Star also create annual, monthly, and weekly general lesson plans that outline the sequence of activities and materials for different areas of the curriculum. These plans are flexible in order to pivot according to student interest and progress. They provide a framework for presenting lessons and ensure that a broad range of experiences is offered to the students daily.
At North Star, our Montessori teachers tailor their approach based on each student’s unique learning style, pace, and interests. They adjust the sequence of lessons and materials to match the child’s readiness and ensure a well-rounded educational experience. North Star’s teachers plan and execute many lessons (presentations) for each child in the class during the work cycle, based on their age and ability.
Checklists and Record-Keeping:
North Star’s teachers maintain individual records for each student. These notes will include records of the lessons presented, materials used, the student’s responses, and observations of the student’s progress over time. This extensive record-keeping helps teachers at North Star to track individual development and tailor lessons to each student. These tools help teachers track progress in various subject areas and provide feedback to parents. These records include a total scope of all the Montessori lessons to be presented over a three-year span.
At North Star Montessori, Extended-Day/Kindergarten and Elementary students receive Report cards three times a year. These detailed reports outline Social/Emotional development, explanation of what lessons they have been presented from all of the Areas in the classroom (Math, Language, History, Biology, Art, Music, Geography, etc.)and link to the grade specific BC Public School Curriculum and Curricular Competencies.
Twice per academic year, North Star’s Montessori teachers hold conferences with parents to discuss their child’s progress, achievements, and areas for further development. These meetings provide an opportunity for collaboration and sharing insights between teachers and parents.
Assessment through Work:
The student’s work itself serves as a form of assessment in our Montessori classes at North Star. Teachers examine the quality and depth of the child’s engagement with materials to gauge understanding and progress. Once our teachers see that the child has mastered the activity, they know that this is time to move them on to the next level.
Collaboration with Colleagues:
North Star’s teachers often collaborate with their colleagues, especially in mixed-age classrooms. Sharing observations and insights about individual students ensures a holistic understanding of each child’s development.
By combining these practices, the Montessori teachers at North Star create a comprehensive picture of each student’s educational journey. This individualized and holistic approach to assessment aligns with the Montessori philosophy, which values the uniqueness of each student and recognizes that learning is a dynamic and individual process.