A hallmark of the Montessori method is the three year cycle in a mixed-age classroom. Through a lifetime of scientific observation, Dr. Montessori noted the many benefits that children receive by remaining in the same classroom for three years. Each year the child takes on a new role in his or her classroom community. The younger children begin by observing the older children. The older children reinforce their own knowledge by mentoring the younger children.
Dr. Montessori emphasized the importance of movement as an essential part of the learning process. During the morning work cycle, you will find a "busy hum" of activity in the classroom as the children become absorbed in meaningful work. Walking, carrying, pouring, and conversing with peers are normal activities that aim to develop the whole child. The continual practice of the classroom ground rules, respect for self, for others and for the classroom creates a nurturing and independent community of learners.
It is impossible to educate the mind without involving the body. Learning is thinking and movement integrated.
- Maria Montessori