• Staying for the 3rd Year of Montessori – Kindergarten

    Understanding the Development of your Student

    By Colleen Noll

    Why the 3rd year is so important begins with “The Four Planes of Development”

    During each plane, students first work through an intense developmental phase of introduction and rapid growth followed by a consolidation phase in which those skills are strengthened before moving onto the next plane.

    The First Plane: Infancy (Ages 0-6)

    This is a stage of physical independence where students ask “What?” as they absorb information and adapt to the world around them.

    The Second Plane: Childhood (Ages 6-12)

    Students focus on “Why?” and “How?” as they gain a sense of self and mental independence.

    The Third Plane: Adolescence (Ages 12-18)

    This is a time to ask “Who am I?” as students gain social independence.

    The Fourth Plane: Maturity (Ages 18-24)

    Now as young adults, students determine their place in the world as they gain a sense of moral independence.


    Analyzing the 3-6 year cycle in which Kindergarten is the final year.

    Year One

    In their first year of the Montessori 3-year cycle, three-year-old’s become explorers. They are exposed to new content and skills and are encouraged to explore their classroom environment independently.

    Year Two

    In year two, four-year-old students begin experimenting with the same skills they learned in their first year, but on a deeper and age-appropriate level. They also begin to incorporate group work over independent exploration.

    Year Three

    The final year is also considered a capstone or leadership year. These are five-year-old’s who have the experience of two years in the same classroom. At this point, they should be confident in themselves and their skills. They are now classroom experts who can use their knowledge to help younger students.


    Montessori for the third year is important because:

    Skipping the third year, or enrolling your student in a non-Montessori setting, risks placing your student in an environment where the skills and lessons don’t follow with best practices for their developmental needs.

    It Helps Solidify Skills

    The 3rd year gives kindergarteners a chance to continue developing the skills they have been learning. This allows them to work on higher order thinking skills, move from concrete to abstract processes, and become a “teacher” to younger students.

    Your Student Achieves Academic Success

    Kindergarteners work with the decimal system and the squares and cubes of numbers, moving then toward the abstract process of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

    The use of literacy within the classroom develops phonetic word building through the moveable alphabet. This opens the kindergartener up to a world of reading, writing and grammar in the third year.


    The growth and confidence seen in your child during their kindergarten year is most impressive. The process of the reading experience moves through consonant-vowel-consonant blending with the manipulation of the moveable alphabet into sentences, phrases, and then sentences that stimulate creative story writing.

    Reading comprehension begins (the lightbulb effect) and then the parts of speech are introduced: article, adjective, noun, verb, adverb, conjunction, and prepositions.

    The 3rd year Builds Confidence

    Finally, when students are allowed to complete their third year, continue in a known setting, and gain leadership experience, it builds their confidence and self-esteem.

    3rd Year Montessori students leave the three-year cycle with a sense of accomplishment and purpose going forward to the next cycle. Visit for more information on the Montessori program for your student.


    The jump from kindergarten to first grade is substantial for all children regardless of where they start. Why not let your child complete the cycle, experience the explosion of learning and be better prepared for the transition to first grade?

    To enroll in Kindergarten at MSOSV, your student must be 5 by September 1st. To ensure you have a space for your student, enroll today.