Assessment, Accountability and Common Core Standards
Process of Assessment & Accountability
The Montessori Method of teaching aims to educate the whole child, ultimately preparing them to be self-directed life long learners and engaged global citizens. To that end, our school philosophy on assessment and accountability is based on consistent communication and sharing of goals between parents and teachers.
Montessori education has a long history of careful observation and development of curriculum to meet the needs of individual children. We begin the year with individualized goal setting between teachers and parents. Our focus is on your child and the best way we can work together to ensure a great school experience for them – both academically and socially.
Curriculum and Student Learning Instructional Plan (SLIP)
Our Montessori curriculum is based on an overall scope and sequence. This is aligned at the highest level with the National Common Core Standards. We present every concept with a hands-on, concrete and “brain friendly” lesson or experience. Then we proceed with activities that use the Montessori materials in each subject area.
Follow-up activities are done in the class and then as “homework” where you can see a slice of what your child has learned in class.
From the overall scope and sequence we develop a robust curriculum that will integrate all that we have to teach in coherent and manageable yearly, monthly, weekly and daily lesson plans. Lessons are given in small groups with plenty of follow up or discussion time based on ages and on the subject manner.
Taking into consideration the goals stated by parents, we work as a team throughout the school to develop an individual SLIP (Student Learning Instructional Plan). In addition, resource staff in the Library, Writer’s Workshop and Computer Lab supports group and individual classroom instruction.
Our assessment of the children is through observation and careful recording of the choices children make from the range of materials on the classroom shelves. We compile profiles of your child’s progress and interests, which we share at the January, and May Conferences.
Parent Communication & Observations
Throughout the school year our goal is to provide parents with ongoing opportunities to stay up to date with their child’s individual progress and the school community. Here are several ways parents stay in touch with their child’s progress:
Parent Education Nights explain the scope and sequence or “How your child moves through the Montessori Curriculum.”
Parent Information Envelopes (“PIE”) are sent home with your child every Wednesday and may include school or class announcements and specific requests. The PIE is also supplemented with the weekly school email communication.
Monthly Newsletters give you periodic highlights of what is happening in the classes in each subject area.
Classroom Observations are scheduled throughout the year, preceding Parent/Teacher conferences. This is an opportunity for you to observe your child in class and to find out what it is like in a Montessori classroom environment.
Parent – Teacher Conferences are the scheduled times when we go over the details of your child’s progress that semester.
Parent & Child Night is held once a year in your child’s classroom. This is an opportunity for your child to show you how they learn through the use of the hands-on Montessori materials in the classroom.
Common Core Standards & Montessori
For over 30 years, Rising Star has been committed to providing children with a solid academic foundation and the necessary tools to adapt and succeed in life. As seasoned Montessori educators, we have found that aligning state standards with the Montessori curriculum reassures parents that their children are receiving an excellent education. It is important to note that in our program we are not teaching to the state standards (i.e., teaching to a test). Rather, we are teaching the content by way of Montessori and traditional methods in tandem.
What are the Common Core Standards?
There is currently a lot of debate and discussion over the Common Core Standards (CCSR) and education reform, including many of us in the Montessori community. The mission of the CCSS is to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what children are expected to learn at each grade level. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With children fully prepared for the future, they will be best positioned to compete globally. Like many AMS schools, Rising Star has chosen to align state standards with our rigorous Montessori curriculum in order to provide parents that extra reassurance that they have made a worthy investment in their child’s education.