Saturday, October 13, 2018

Assessing your Elementary Student after the First Semester of School

Montessori elementary schools do not use a list of topics that all children must learn at the same time. Montessori student assessments cover many non-academic aspects of education as well, limiting the value of traditional report cards. Instead, parent-student-teacher conferences are arranged where the student guide can give you first-hand observation information on your elementary child’s development.

Montessori Teacher-Guides

Montessori teachers are known as guides and play a different role than traditional public school teachers. In addition to meeting state-mandated criteria, guides routinely monitor other aspects of your child’s education. Social, physical, and mental development are all considered part of the child’s total education, and the guide is charged with encouraging development and charting progress.

Parent-Guide Conferences

The guide will discuss your child’s progress at parent conferences. This includes developing issues and discussion on anticipated progress. Guides will also talk about student learning outcomes - your student’s educational plan and progress in many different areas of education and development.

Student Learning Outcomes

SLOs cover many different developmental skills. Together, they form the basis for a well-rounded education which includes social values and independent reasoning. The basic skill sets evaluated include:

·        Sensory Perception - The use of sensory input relating to concrete and abstract experiences.
·        Practical Knowledge - The awareness of self and others. Basic social skills and problem-solving.
·        Language Skills - The ability to read, write, and comprehend written and verbal communication.
·        Mathematics - The use of inductive and deductive reasoning in practical and symbolic applications.
·        Science - The comprehension of the natural world and its order. Learning how to apply the scientific method to problem solving and evaluation.
·        Cultural Learning - The understanding of history and individual relationships to historical events. Includes learning the arts and humanities along with an appreciation for historical achievement.
·        Moral Development - The comprehension of “self” and responsibility toward others. Conflict resolution through teamwork and negotiation, including social etiquette.
·        Social Development - Learning to have a positive influence on one’s community. Cooperation, social sciences, and diplomacy in conflict resolution.
·        Executive Learning - The act of controlling impulses, efficient time management, memory, and adaptive cognitive behavior.

Standardized Assessments

Montessori schools must adhere to state laws on standardized testing. Other Montessori schools have adopted standardized testing to help students who transfer to public institutions at a later time. Academic research has shown that Montessori students do well on standardized tests despite the information being secondary to their educational programs.

Montessori schools do not have a fixed achievement schedule, so the progress of students will vary remarkably between individuals. Instead, attention is given to overall development. Before you are invited to a parent-guide conference, you will receive a full assessment based on your child’s SLOs, so that everyone will be on the page at the time of the meeting.

The Montessori School of Pleasanton invites students and their families to have an open dialog with its teachers and staff regarding a student's progress.  Families and the school play key roles in the continuing education of a child.  To learn more about Montessori Education, contact us today.

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