Ferndale Lower Elementary Montessori Program


As part of our commitment to innovation and quality programming that serves all the children of our community, from preschool through graduation, Ferndale Schools is now offering a 1st-3rd grade Montessori classroom at Ferndale Upper Elementary School.

"Montessori is a revolutionary method of observing and supporting the natural development of children. Montessori educational practice helps children develop creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking and time-management skills, care of the environment and each other, and prepares them to contribute to society and to become fulfilled persons. The basis of Montessori practice in the classroom is mixed age group, individual choice of research and work, and uninterrupted concentration. Group lessons are seldom found in a Montessori classroom, but learning abounds, and because it is enjoyed, children remember what they learn." from www.montessori.edu


   from www.montessori.edu

The Ferndale Elementary Montessori Child

The Ferndale Montessori program is designed to meet the academic, social, developmental, and emotional needs of 6-9-year-old children. In a Montessori classroom, children are grouped according to what Maria Montessori called "planes of development." The three-grade-level grouping allows for the older children to exercise leadership and solidify their own learning by teaching their younger classmates while the younger children are supported in their learning and motivated to excel.

As children grow into the 2nd plane of development, they experience many changes. They develop a strong sense of imagination that is rooted in reality. Whereas a younger child is looking to have the things in their world labeled, the older child wants to know the "why" of things. They are very curious. They also begin to look for social connections outside of their family; friendships are tremendously important. A Montessori environment works to meet all needs of the child, leading to enthusiastic learning and healthy peer relationships.

The Teacher's Role

Within the classroom, the teacher acts as a guide or facilitator. She works with children in small groups and individually. She is a link between the child, the environment, and the hands-on manipulatives. The materials are designed to lead the children to learn through discovery. The teacher aids in the revealing of concepts and promotes a safe, respectful learning community.

The Ferndale Elementary Montessori Curriculum

The Ferndale Montessori Elementary curriculum is designed around what Dr. Montessori termed Cosmic Education. Cosmic Education is the intellectual and social/emotional work of the child during this plane of development. All subject areas are intertwined, resulting in cross-curricular connections and integration. The children are given five big impressionistic stories (The Five Great Lessons) at the beginning of the year, and all of their curriculum studies stem from these lessons. Building relationships between content areas creates meaningful learning for the children and increases motivation.

There are 3 main areas of the Ferndale Elementary Montessori Curriculum. They are Language, Mathematics, and Culture. Culture includes the sciences, history, and geography. Children are also taught life skills through practical life work, grace and courtesy lessons, and peace education/conflict resolution. Additionally, Ferndale Upper Elementary School offers physical education, art, media/technology, library, and music classes. The arts and technology are also used to aid in further exploration of language, math, and cultural concepts.

At Ferndale Upper Elementary School

(Grades 1-3)
2610 Pinecrest
Ferndale, MI 48220

Amy Pommereau

Amy Pommereau

Montessori Certified Teacher

Email Amy Pommereau

Amy Geiser Pommereau has over 10 years experience in a Montessori program. Mrs. Pommereau holds a Masters in Montessori Education from St. Catherine's University, a Lower-Elementary Montessori credential through the American Montessori Society (AMS), and is Montessori certified through the North American Montessori Center. Mrs. Pommereau says she sees her role in the Montessori classroom as more of a facilitator. "I really don't teach a lot of whole-group lessons, but much more often I  pull children in for small-group or individual lessons. When people walk in and look for the teacher, they won't see me standing at the front of the room. I will be down helping the children."

The Five Great Lessons



Expert Testimonial

Dr. Adele Diamond, is one of the world's leading researchers on the development of cognitive function and a supporter of Montessori education.

"Programs that address the whole child (cognitive, emotional, social and physical needs) are the most successful at improving any single aspect - for good reason. For example, if you want to help children with academic development, you will not realize the best results if you focus only on academic achievement (though at first glance doing that might seem the most efficient strategy); Counter-intuitively, the most efficient and effective strategy for advancing academic achievement is to also nurture children's social, emotional, and physical needs." 

Characteristics of a Montessori Education

  1. Active Individualized learning through stimulating, multi-sensory teaching materials.

  2. Ungraded class is a natural social environment that includes a wide range of ages and fosters self-motivation. Students enjoy working for their own sense of accomplishment.

  3. Freedom of choice involves decision-making. Students select work according to interest with guidance from the teacher. A long period of Independent work time is provided daily.

  4. Child works at his or her own pace for long periods without interruption. True engagement in activities with a specific purpose.

  5. Integrated education that balances freedom of movement and harmony. Physical, social-emotional, and cognitive activities are inter-related between subjects.

  6. A sense of independence is fostered by a classroom that is uniquely designed to encourage maximum potential.

  7. Students learn to self-evaluate through the use of self-correcting teacher materials, individual work with the teacher, and as they grow older personal reflection activities.

  8. Reality-oriented education which means the day is organized with concrete, first-hand experience.

  9. There is a close teacher-student interaction that enables complete and precise evaluation of students' progress in all areas of development. As students stay with the same teacher for up to 3 years. Relationships are essential.

  10. The environment of the room is important and is thought of as the '3rd teacher' The room is organized to support each child's learning, development, and needs. Montessori classrooms are peaceful, calming, and promote a natural homey feeling.

The Ferndale Elementary Montessori Program is housed at Ferndale Upper Elementary School focused on students ages 6-9.