Can Montessori and Common Core work together?
I work in an AMS-affiliated Montessori school that serves infants – 3rd grade. We have been asked by the administration to make sure we are meeting the Common Core standards for Kindergarten through grade 3. We are making a dedicated effort to address Common Core as we implement the Montessori curriculum. While writing weekly lesson plans we go through the list of standards to see how they map to what Montessori lessons we were planning to give the following week. It is somewhat time-consuming, although interesting to learn what standards have been set for each grade.
Montessori Compass seems to have broached this subject and has mapped the Common Core standards to the Montessori curriculum. This is a paid product so I haven’t seen the complete mapping done myself since our school has not subscribed to this service. I did find that Seton Montessori has published a Montessori and Common Core correlation for 3rd grade, so that should be a helpful guide as we plan for our third-year students.
While we acknowledge that many of the lessons both in language and math already cover many of the Common Core standards, there’s a little frustration when concepts fall in a grade level earlier than than they do in the Montessori curriculum because we need to teach that concept possibly prematurely. Typically these are small, easy-to-cover language lessons, though. By contrast, it’s lovely to see that much work that our children do is addressed at a higher grade level in the Common Core standards.
Earlier this week, one of our first-grade students was working on identifying parts of speech and then symbolizing using the grammar symbols. If I read the language standards correctly, the explicit teaching of functions of different parts of speech doesn’t show up until grade 3. So that made me a little giddy, knowing that we don’t have to worry about addressing that curricular concept later on down the road!
Incorporating Montessori with Common Core is a work in progress for us. We certainly don’t have a smooth system yet to map the two, but we will keep plugging away and hope to create a more streamlined system as we move through the year.
Are you following Common Core standards in your Montessori program? What system do you use to incorporate both?