Multi-age classrooms and three-year cycles—these are just two of the things that set a Montessori education apart from other educational models. The value of this Montessori Method lies in the way it allows students to deepen their understanding and grow as independent and engaged learners. For teachers, having the same students for three years means really getting to know student—how they learn best, what are their areas of strength and their areas for growth.
For students, being in the same classroom with older and younger students and the same teachers allows for learning at their own pace, mastering concepts, and honing academic and life skills while growing in independence, and developing as leaders when mentoring and role modeling for younger students.
The three-year cycle lends itself to an annual Rising Up Day at MSR. The day introduces the next level classroom, students, and teachers to those children "rising up" in the 2022-2023 academic year.This year’s Rising Up Day on Thursday, Dec. 16, was full of wonderful activities and experiences highlighting what’s to come for students moving from kindergarten to Lower Elementary (grades one-three) from third grade to Upper Elementary (grades four-six), from sixth grade to middle school, and middle school to high school.
Lower Elementary (LE) classes welcomed kindergarten students to participate in a science experiment called “Sticky Ice” which illustrated melting and freezing. While kindergarteners shadowed older students to get a glimpse into the Lower Elementary community and experience, LE students enjoyed the opportunity to practice leadership skills.
Upper Elementary (UE) classes welcomed the third grade students to a fun morning exploring the science of snowflakes. Fourth grade students rose to the occasion showing leadership during some get-to-know-you activities. After learning about how snowflakes form, and looking at their symmetrical designs, students had opportunities to work cooperatively to create their own snowflake models with paper or marshmallows to display their understanding of radial symmetry.
Middle School students and faculty welcomed the fifth and sixth grade students to experience a day in the life of a middle schooler. Students rode the bus to MSR’s Brier Creek Campus (home to the Middle and Upper Schools) and participated in a rotation of classes for Spanish, humanities and science with middle school faculty. Seventh graders were gracious hosts and baked cookies for the UE students to enjoy by the campus fire pit where their morning ended with a community meeting.
Upper School students welcomed eighth graders to experience a day in the life of an upper schooler. The visiting students learned about clubs and had an opportunity to participate in humanities and science lessons. Also included was a performance of "Waiting for Gaphone,” written and performed by the Upper School’s International Baccalaureate (IB) theatre class. Following the show, the cast hosted a Q&A to discuss the project, the inspiration for the script, and the collaboration for mounting the production. At the end of their morning, students had a Q&A with the Upper School faculty.