There are so many different ways to keep a record of the work individual children are doing in the Montessori classroom. I have seen a number of systems, and they all seem to be working well for the teachers using them, which is what counts, really. In my training, we were given a model for record keeping, referred to as an Individual Learning Plan. This plan is a spreadsheet which includes the materials typically found in the classroom, with space to make dated comments about the work each child does with these materials. In the past, I have simply reproduced this spreadsheet and used it for my record-keeping. It is a wonderfully useful document, but it does not perfectly reflect what is in my classroom, however, nor is it perfectly set up for me to include the information I like to record. Continue reading
I’m a little late on this, as with most things, but, um, pin it for next year? My plan for our school year was to focus on settling in during the first couple of weeks, then to focus in our group times and with some themed work, on fire safety to give some context to our first required fire drill. After that, we’d move on to some work focusing on leaves. If all had gone according to plan, we would have started our leaf study in late September, but as some of you know, our first school day didn’t even end up being until late September because, well, licensing is a process. It works out to be great timing in our corner of the world, however, because we’re a couple weeks into our leaf adventures in the classroom, and the trees here seem to have hit the absolute peak of their beauty only just now. I was in complete awe as I drove around today, running my usual errands. I just could not stop staring at the gorgeous fall colors.
Without further ado, here are some photos to give you an idea of how we’ve been exploring leaves in our classroom so far. In addition to what you see here, we’ve been enjoying some favorite leaf-related children’s books from years past, and have discovered some wonderful new favorites. I’ll share those in a separate post later this week. Continue reading
All of the winners for my back to [home]school giveaway series have been chosen, and most or all should have received their prizes, so I thought I’d congratulate them here. I have one sponsor, the lovely Sonnie McFarland, who is offering a discount for those who did not win, too, so I’ll share those details with you. Continue reading
The parents in our program are all welcome to volunteer in the classroom at any time. We are getting ready to welcome our first volunteer during class time, and I wanted to be sure that I had a way of sharing some of the guiding principles used during our work time with parents coming in. My hope is that I and all of the adults coming in can work together in support of the same goals. Some of the ways of being in the Montessori environment are counter-intuitive to adults who are used to working in and around traditional classrooms, so I wanted to explain some of these differences, while giving a bit of the theory behind them. I hope that explaining the goals we have and how we work toward them will be more helpful than listings dos and don’ts with no clarification. We’ll see!
This is one of those articles that I could spend many more hours on, and tweak endlessly. I do think it’s longer than it needs to be, but I am so not good at consolidating things, and if I keep obsessing I will never publish, so here is my imperfect work as it is now. I’d love to hear what you would change, add, or leave out. I hope that this, as well as some other classroom-related documents I’ve put together recently will be of use to other teachers and co-op organizers. I’ll be sharing some of these as printables soon!
We had such a spectacular time with our Montessori community program last year, but the set-up in our old house meant we had no dining room, and materials had taken over our kitchen, too. It was well worth it, but it was hard to separate family life from the rest, and we wanted something a bit different, both for our own comfort, and for the protection of a special prepared environment. There’s something truly magical about an environment designed specifically for and dedicated to the children. Continue reading