Thankfully, my Montessori training had adequately prepared me to help guide these parents. Drawing upon my knowledge of Montessori’s planes of development, I was able to reassure parents that the behaviors of their children were not only normal, but developmentally appropriate and expected.
The Second Plane of Development (ages 6-12) is called the plane of childhood. While experiencing great growth both physically and mentally, children in the second plane of development are drawn to more social interactions and are learning about social relationships within their environment. They are genuinely interested in the thoughts, feelings, and treatment of others. They’re also developing and testing their sense of humor.
The multi-age classroom is a dynamic, vibrant environment in which children move through the planes of development in incremental stages. While children progress and develop at their own pace, there are certain characteristics of children at certain ages.
Montessori Planes of Development: Lower Elementary Characteristics in the Second PlanCharacteristics of First Graders
The average first grader is absorbed with herself and learning to understand herself as a person. She enjoys being the center of attention. First graders…
- enjoy being first in line
- have an unending supply of energy
- may act silly, critical of others, or defiant
- are learning to control their emotions and may cry easily
- become attached to their teacher
- enjoy routines
- are developing their imagination and enjoy imaginative play
By second grade, students are more composed. They are continuing to learn about themselves and others. Second Graders…
- are beginning to reason
- worry and are self-critical. They may express a lack of confidence
- demand more of their teacher's time
The average third grader is curious and emotional, becoming easily inspired or upset. They recognize the needs of others. Third graders…
- tend to be extremely active and are sometimes impetuous
- are quick to laugh and can be silly
- are able to assume some responsibility for their actions
- may take on more tasks or projects than they are capable
- are self-critical
- develop a positive, realistic self-concept
- respect themselves and their unique identity
- understand, respect, and build relationships with others
- gain awareness of feelings and how to express them
- participate in groups
- learn from their mistakes
Related NAMC blog: The Second Plane of Development: Ages 6-12 - Montessori Philosophy
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, December 17, 2009.