A robust, thorough, and flexible math curriculum based on Montessori principles is a cornerstone of the educational program at SMS. Throughout the school and across grade levels, students work on math concepts. Much of the strength of the math curriculum rests on the high quality of the materials in each room. Every classroom has the necessary materials for a complete Montessori math education for that age group.
In the Children’s House classrooms math materials are readily available on the shelves and invite the children through their simplicity and beauty. In the Lower Elementary classrooms, math is a component of each student’s weekly work plan. In the Upper Elementary classrooms, students include math in their work each day. Students learn math by engaging independently or in pairs with Montessori materials, and working with teachers in individual or small-group lessons. Teachers are careful to monitor student progress so that they know when a student is ready to proceed from concrete representations of concepts and numbers to abstract representations.
The Montessori method gives students an opportunity to see abstract concepts through concrete material and understand the reasons behind algorithms and other calculation strategies. Even in the upper grades, teachers reinforce the value of concrete materials and monitor student progress and understanding, so they are able to understand the meaning of numbers and advanced mathematical concepts. Teachers carefully monitor children’s progress and recognize students’ individual progressions.