A Closer Look at the Montessori 3-Period Lesson

In Montessori schools , teachers build their classrooms around three-period lessons. The idea behind this approach to teaching is that each child thoroughly learns a concept through three distinct periods of instruction. By the end of the third period, students should have achieved mastery of the material. Here is a look at the three periods and what they mean to the overall Montessori education process.


Period one is the introduction period. During this part of the lesson, teachers introduce a new term or concept to students. The topics introduced during this time are referred to in Montessori schools as nomenclature. For example, an image and a label with the name of the image would be considered to be nomenclatures that are introduced during the first period of the lesson. The time spent on introduction varies, but it will not be rushed, allowing each student to develop a basic understanding.


Period two is a more in-depth introduction to the topic. Students are not asked to master any of the material in the lesson but rather practice with it so that they become comfortable with their knowledge. During this second period of learning, students should handle any materials associated with the lesson to facilitate the learning process. As with the first period, this second period can last for as long as necessary for students to achieve the goals the teacher has.


This final stage of learning occurs when students have mastery of the topic. During this period, students should be able to provide information that they have learned in the other periods without prompting from the teacher. Teachers will not move students to this period until they are sure that the students are ready to succeed.

Do you have questions about what happens in the Montessori classroom ? Schedule a visit to the Montessori School to tour our campuses and find out more about this style of education. Arrange a school visit by calling our school in North Dallas at (469) 685-1732 or our campus in Allen at (972) 908-5055.

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