This is the first of four posts about the Montessori Primary Classroom at Montessori Preschool @ Copperfield.
Part I discusses the beginning of the school day.
Our primary environment (ages 2 ½ – 6 years) is specially prepared to provide growing children opportunities to explore the natural world, acquire language, and develop socially and independently. The Montessori Method teaches children to care for their environment, themselves, and one another with love and respect.
The Schedule: A Summary
The day starts with the child arriving at school – the child places her lunch box and jacket in a designated place and joins the class for a group lesson on the blue line. Children are then invited to have snack. Afterwards, the students are directed to begin the Montessori work period. The child normally will get a rug and unroll it, and the unrolled rug delineates his individual work space.
This work period encourages primary students to find and complete their own activities from a variety of subjects, including math, language, geography, and science. By age 6 (Kindergarten), students are challenged to master multiplication, skip counting, and advanced reading and writing. More importantly, students are encouraged to be holistic and critical thinkers, grounded in an appreciation of the natural world and global cultures, with patience, discipline, and focus.
The work day concludes with outside play time, lunch, and nap time. After nap time, the Montessori work period continues.
Once a child places his lunch bag, he settles on the blue line for a group lesson. Each day, based on alphabetical order, a new child is designated as a class leader. Together everyone says the pledge of allegiance, and the class leader selects an appropriate patriotic song for the class to sing. Roll call follows, where each child responds saying “present”.
The Montessori Directress discusses the weather with the children and the day of the week.
After establishing the calendar date, the class leader counts the children in class out loud and a lesson soon follows.
On this particular day, one primary class conducted an experiment on density. The children are called to sit near the Directress as she follows the scientific method, asking provoking questions like “Which liquid is more dense?” and “Which liquid pours more slowly than the others?” The children raise their hands and offer opinions. The teacher tests their assumptions and guides them to a conclusion using their observations.
Stay tuned for Part II, which discusses the Montessori Work Period and learning activities in Language, Sensorial, and Practical Life.
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