Montessori Assessment Philosophy

In the Montessori environment, formative assessments are ongoing. Many of the Montessori materials have a built-in control of error, which gives the student immediate feedback on his progress. The control of error allows the student to self-correct his mistakes and continue practicing without adult intervention. This form of low-stakes assessment gently guides the child to mastery. The child has control of his own learning, building self-esteem and self-worth along the way. He knows from the materials when he is ready move on.

Montessori teachers use formative assessments as part of their daily routine, following each and every student. Each student’s interests and progress are individually observed, assessed, and recorded. The teacher makes notations about lessons regarding presentations, practice, and mastery. She closely monitors which materials the student is using and any he is making errors. Based on her observations, the Montessori teacher knows when to present new material and when to modify previously presented material for additional understanding.

The Montessori curriculum naturally meets students at their ability. This means that students who are succeeding and are ready to move on are allowed to move forward even if it is above their grade or age level expectations.

In addition, as a public school, Wausau Area Montessori Charter School must meet state standards and assessment requirements. State required assessments include things like the Smarter Balanced Assessments, PALS, and the Forward Exam. In addition, the State of Wisconsin requires us to implement a Response to Intervention process. What this means is that we must identify students that are struggling in reading and math and implement interventions to further support them. For this reason, WAMCS has implemented screeners, quick tests that give us information on a student’s ability, to gauge the type of intervention to provide.