6th -8th Grade 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Philosophy

Mountain West Montessori Adolescent Community opened its doors in August 2011. The program continues to base its educational principles in the Montessori pedagogy and experience.

Maria Montessori's model of secondary education is based upon her understanding of the developmental needs and learning tendencies of early adolescents. As they transition physically, cognitively, socially, emotionally and morally to adulthood, the demands of puberty require more than traditional lecture-based instruction. She envisioned a school where the young would grow their own food and live close with nature; she called her program the Erdkinder, German for Earth Children.

Instead of confining students to classrooms, she proposed a community of teenagers and adults working side by side, developing a deep sense of their connection to the land and to nature in order to learn the value of work. She envisioned students, under adult supervision, developing their own micro-economy. The students would sell farm goods and other products in their own store. These farm management and store economics would form the basis of a meaningful program that would help them accomplish two key developmental tasks: becoming psychologically and economically independent. The main goal of this independence is to prepare the adolescent to escape from the pettiness of traditional schooling and engage seriously in the realities of life in society.

Areas of Study

LANGUAGE
Literacy is the biases of all other areas of study, so reading, writing and verbal communication hold an important place in all of our curriculums. Montessori students work with sensorial grammar and phonics materials at early ages so they are not only ready to begin learning to read and write and young ages, but are deeply interested in language. The Lower Elementary certified teacher promotes creative writing, guides self-directed research, and fosters productive pre-reading and reading habits.

MATH
The student uses higher-order thinking skills to solve problems in relation to a variety of challenges, from practical money transactions to algebraic relationships; explores in-depth numbers, properties, simple equations, higher measurement, computer calculation and graphics, geometric proofs, and algebraic equations. Real life experiences provide critical thinking and problem solving skills.* Some students use Montessori materials for specific presentations as a support to reinforce concepts.

HUMANITIES, SCIENCE AND GEOGRAPHY
The student integrates history utilizing themes from earlier studies in natural and cultural history, including interdependency, evolution, life cycles, matter and energy, behavior and culture, mental health, physical health, agriculture, government, manufacturing, communication, world systems, earth preservation, and so on, in the context of social responsibility and governance.*

OCCUPATIONS
The student engages in elements of farming as an economic enterprise through the care of plants and animals, the maintenance of simple machines, the understanding of land use, and the operations of accounting, sales, personnel records, and working relations in ongoing projects.*

PRACTICAL MANAGEMENT
The student manages reality-based operations in economic enterprises including agriculture, fund-raisers, apprenticeship, and computer programming.*

SELF-EXPRESSION
Theater, art, music, carpentry, provide opportunities for students to reflect and express their feelings in a safe environment as they go through the profound physical and emotional changes that is an integral part of adolescence.

SERVICE LEARNING
Students extend learning beyond the classroom meeting a genuine community in need. Service learning helps foster the development of a sense of caring for others.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Promotes neurological and hormonal responses, leading to better health, actual strength and core stability, agility, and flexibility. It develops students’ confidence and generic skills, especially those of collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, and aesthetic appreciation.

Field Trips

To museums, special presentations, interest-based sites, day trips to the city and preparations to attend the Montessori Model United Nations contribute to the development of students who possess stronger critical thinking skills, more knowledge about art, display stronger historical tolerance and empathy, and who appreciate the breadth of human accomplishments.

Montessori Model United Nations

Students use drama and role-playing when undertaking the important part of a delegate discussing serious issues that affect the world’s population. MMUN conference puts a big emphasis on the students learning of cooperation and the art of compromise.

http://www.montessori-namta.org/The-Montessori-Middle-School-Program

How does a Montessori Adolescent Program Prepares Students for High School?

Setting up young adolescents for success in high school comes down to incorporating creativity and choice, collaboration and the social nature of adolescents, and strengthening growing independence through organization and time-management skills building.

Giving students opportunities to choose, providing challenging projects and presentations, and giving them opportunities for creating unique responses will strengthen their engagement and produce lifelong learners.

Adolescents are social beings. Friends are critical at this stage of development. The Adolescent Program integrates opportunities for socializing into their learning.

Students work in small groups where they collaborate and learn to practice acceptance, share responsibilities and accountability Most students find out that group working can be productive and fun and by the time they enter high school, they are more skilled and patient when working with others.

Capitalizing on their creative problem-solving skills, ability to collaborate effectively, and organize and manage the demands of school, means an incoming freshman class of students who are equipped and ready for the rigor of high school.