Creating Community: Differentiation in Secondary Montessori Classrooms

1.5 CPDs, Run Time 1:13:58


At the Secondary level, as at other levels, tracking students by ability is not in line with best practices for Montessori education—but when teachers/administrators don’t have a thorough understanding of how to differentiate instruction, schools sometimes see tracking and/or pull-out programs as their best options.

In this webinar, we will describe methods useful for enabling an interdisciplinary, thematic, and collaborative approach to Secondary subjects in which students are not grouped by abilities or age. To do this, we will incorporate the compelling rationales for, research of, and best practices around differentiation. We will provide an overview of how differentiated instruction fits within the Secondary Montessori classroom and examine how it provides an alternative to tracking or pull-out programs. The disciplines of math and English/language arts will be particular highlights, but examples will span multiple disciplines to ensure utility for a variety of Secondary teachers.

We will discuss:

  • Checklists and student work contracts
  • Student goal-setting (both individualized and collective)
  • Workshop approaches to content
  • Peer tutoring and feedback
  • Tracking student progress
  • Individualized support for students
  • Providing useful and timely feedback for students
  • Organizing and managing a Secondary work period

Learner Outcomes

  1. Articulate how practices for leading and managing a differentiated classroom can provide an alternative to tracking students by ability.
  2. Apply several of these practices to your own classroom or school contexts.
  3. Find additional resources for differentiation strategies to meet the needs of your diverse learners.

Katie Keller Wood, MEd, is the co-director at Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program (CMStep) in Cincinnati, OH and an Ed.D. candidate in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. AMS-credentialed (Secondary I – II).


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Certificate of Professional Development
1.50 CPD credits  |  Certificate available
1.50 CPD credits  |  Certificate available