All Creo classrooms are balanced with students of multi-age classrooms, creating a three year cycle in each classroom. Students remain in the same classroom for approximately three years, moving from being the youngest to the oldest in their classroom community. This approach is beneficial for students in a variety of ways. Older students act as teachers, showing younger children how to do things, which reinforces their own learning. Younger peers are often motivated to learn by seeing what others can accomplish. They also can learn from observing those who are just ahead of them in skills. Another benefit is that children can progress at their own pace without grade level stigma and can take on challenges when they are ready or without having to wait until the next school year.
The role of the Montessori Guide is to observe each child and present individual lessons when the child is ready for them. They spend their time moving quietly about the classroom observing the class at work, helping a child choose something to work on, presenting a lesson to one or two children at a time, answering questions, and posing provocative questions that promote learning. They don't to have to spend much time managing classroom behavior because the children are actively absorbed in doing activities they themselves have selected. Students in a Montessori classroom tend not to act out due to restlessness or boredom because they are busy concentrating on their work. The guide controls the environment, not the children.
The child's efforts and work is respected, and the guide, through extensive observation and record keeping, plans individual projects and lessons to enable each child the opportunity to learn what she needs to in order to progress. Assessments are not based on grades, high-stakes tests, or homework but, rather, by ongoing observation, compilation of portfolios or work, and by supporting mastery of concepts.