During the third year of the Children's House program, the five and young 6 year olds move into the role of "oldest students" in the mixed age classroom for the morning. This approach to kindergarten allows the children to experience being role models to the younger children and learn to patiently help the children. The kindergartners also are given the opportunity to develop leadership skills. This third year in the classroom allows them another year to work with teachers who know them very well and to be in an environment in which they are comfortable. This permits them to put much of their energy into cognitive activities, rather than having to expend a great deal of energy to settling into a new social environment.
After lunch, they are in a separate kindergarten classroom with a highly experienced Montessori teacher. In this setting, they are able to work on group and individual projects which may take longer or may not be appropriate for younger children.
Montessori Kindergarten: Empowering & Essential from American Montessori Society on Vimeo.