Why do Montessori Schools Phase-in?

The phase-in period is carefully designed and implemented. It is a process in which we strive to create a peaceful and welcoming learning environment for your child. Phase-in serves as a stabilizing period in which the children and teachers get to know one another. During this transition, we foster security and comfort in a small group before the whole class meets.

The children are eager and excited about the year ahead. The learning environment will be stimulating and exciting; it is a place where independence, freedom and choice of materials is the rule. The children will gradually learn how to handle this choice and freedom while respecting and caring for each other, the materials and the classroom!

Phase-in allows the new children to get an overview of how things work in the classroom, and the returning children receive reinforcement of the previous year’s ground rules.

Phase-in sets the stage for a successful year of learning.

Are you the only Montessori school doing this? 

No, Montessori schools all over the world have phase-in. Important reasons include:

  • – Children need short increments of time to establish and re-establish procedures and ground rules. They familiarize themselves with classroom materials and the physical space (bathroom location, cubbies, etc.)
  • – In smaller groups, the teacher can establish or re-establish a relationship with each child individually, by moving slowly, creating an atmosphere of security and emotional comfort.
  • – The gradual phase-in allows the child to absorb and digest new concepts and ideas without becoming confused by too much information.
  • – Phase-in sets the tone of the classroom by respecting and caring for each other and the environment. It sets the stage for making choices and independent learning.

The classroom looks a little empty… why?

We begin the year with a few core materials on the shelves that focus on specific skills and on the completion of the work cycle (taking a task from its beginning to completion). These materials introduce the child to the classroom and allow returning children to re-establish good work habits. Each day, more materials will be placed on the shelves until they are full.

As always, if you have questions, please ask!