The Beauty of the Process
In the eyes of any Montessorian, there is a firm believe in the process of every work cycle. Each material provides a baseline for developing stronger cognitive, physical, social, and emotional skills. In the Montessori environment, there are different areas of focus: Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, Geography, Science, Art, and Library. All areas compliment each other and the lessons relate to each other inside the classroom. The children learn to understand and value the process of the work cycle and see the benefit in taking out a work, bringing it to their table, completing their work, and bringing it back to the home spot. The lessons tend to be arranged according to the complexity of each work- concrete to abstract, few to many, dry to wet, no tool to tool and so on. The children know that before engaging in a work, they must first have a lesson. Once they have been given a lesson, the children are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to work with and carry out the process of doing that work and possibly even do the extension lessons related to the work. Once the students have an idea and understanding of the materials on the shelves and have mastered them, they can either choose to repeat work or strive for more challenging work. As teachers, we focus on the child’s ability to have and strengthen the following skills: Independence, Coordination, Concentration and Order. The “product” then becomes the capabilities that students show outside of school. All Montessori works are designed to advance a child’s cognitive, academic, social, physical development.
Bubble Making work may appear to be simple, but did you know that it actually involves over 30 steps; all of which follow Montessori’s sense of Normalization. From setting up the workspace (sense of order) to working left to right (pre reading) to grasping and squeezing (gross and fine motor skills), each work provides a control of error as well as various levels of concentration. From the beginning of the work to the completion of the work cycle, there are different characteristics that play major parts for the child and their understanding of the material. Works are designed to emphasize care of the environment, hand strength, and finally respect for themselves and their work, while using the material in the designed way, the child develops an understanding of their concepts.
All materials are child sized to promote independence and confidence. Each step holds value according to the Montessori philosophy and utilizes multiple tools to promote normalization in the classroom.
Creative Story Writing
by: Krista Constantine
The Upper Elementary students have been writing circle stories based on the book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”. Each student chose their own “If You Give a _____ a _______” story to create. They wrote their story, and then illustrated it using Google Slides. Some students shared their stories with the Primary classes. The Primary students enjoyed listening to the stories and welcome the Upper Elementary students to come back again soon!
Each year the primary classes discuss the process of metamorphosis using hands on activities and have caterpillars in the classroom for the students to observe and witness a real life interpretation of the process. The students enjoy watching the caterpillars metamorphosize into butterflies and eventually released them with the other classes on the primary playground.