Sunday, July 31, 2011
Yesterday at Rockaway Beach in Brooklyn. This persistent first-time surfer watched and listened as his dad taught him how he rides a wave. The next four hours, he figured he'd learn how to ride some of his own. I didn't catch his best surf - he was really good, but I did catch him riding one of his first waves. No better prepared environment than this! His dad was a great guide, showing him twice and then letting him go.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Next 30 days mine is :
Photo/Video + caption of most Montessori (independent + creative + innovative in this case) moment of day posted on this blog. Chance of success - 65%
Let me explain - it should be somebody doing something to solve a problem they're having or accomplish some kind of goal independently without following specific instructions or examples. You'll see a great example of this tomorrow (hopefully).
Send me Montessori Moments/Pictures if you capture them! Or any other good ideas? I'm also going to see what our students come up with for their 30 days and share...
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
1. The Monday morning meeting begins, children excitedly joining their tables and advisory groups coming together to discuss the past weekend and coming week. Today, the meeting begins and one of the students has a movie review to share, she went to see Mr. Popper's Penguins on Saturday.
2. The advisor shares announcements and schedule changes, forewarns of events in the coming week that will have a bearing on how the students will be able to schedule their time. She also reminds students of longer or less-structured commitments, understanding that for students new to managing their work this aspect will be the most challenging.
3. During the past week, students and teachers have written short notes of thanks or toodles about specific behavior from their classmates that affected them or the environment in a positive way. Some students like their toodles read aloud, some prefer the private note to read themselves.
4. The workplan is handed out to those students that have chosen that their obligations be weekly. The workplan has room for lessons and projects and already includes commitments that are ongoing and repeat weekly such as Aleks math practice, keeping up with daily news, reading comprehension SRA, Rosetta Stone, etc.
5. There were take-home commitments from three of the seven students this week, so the advisor collects the promised work. The work done at home is acknowledged, but recopied into the coming week's workplan, it is not finished until its quality is ensured by the appropriate teacher.
6. The advisor and student leaders of the group have kept close tabs of work and ideas from all the members. Ongoing discussions have transformed those ideas into long term individual projects they are each working on. Interesting advances regarding those are discussed and the projects are re-entered into the new workplan.
7. The lessons for the week are mapped out and penciled into the workplan. The advisor lets the group know when the lesson will be delivered or how to access the lesson if it is material-based or digital. Follow-up obligations engendered from the lessons are also made clear and included in the workplan.
8. Student workplan adaptations now take place, transforming their workplans into a schedule that makes sense for them. These include color-coding by priority, including date and time they would like to complete a lesson, writing who they would like to finish the lesson with, prioritizing 1st to last, and many others. Student adaptations can also include students asking to be included in lessons scheduled for classmates, this can happen at the Monday meeting or any time during the week.
9. The advisor and student leaders confer shortly with all the members of the group, ensuring that everyone understands their obligations. Because follow-up assignments from lessons are created to judge mastery, there are often myriad options that cannot be fully discussed at the Monday advisory meetings and will need to be made clear during that particular lesson.
10. The Monday meeting breaks, the students eager to begin tackling their favorite assignments during the morning work time. There will be a student run advisory meeting on Wednesday to check on everyone's progress and make sure all members complete their workplan by the end of the week.
1. Student share
2. Announcements and schedule changes
4. Weekly repeating commitments
5. Take-home commitments collected
6. Long-term individual projects
7. Lessons and follow-ups
8. Student adaptations
9. Review and close
10. Student meeting Wednesday
Monday, July 25, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The Montessori classroom is able to create an environment that prolongs the interactions that infants and toddlers have naturally with their parents, friends and surroundings. Interactions where the toddlers are innately curious and voracious in their exploration.
- What is this?
- What does this do?
- Why is this here?
- Where does this come from?
- Why are we going there?
We chose to create an International Baccalaureate Middle School because the program is founded on asking powerful questions. The difference in the two philosophies is that in the Montessori tradition our questions are not explicit or necessarily shared. Taking advantage of our MS students moving into a decidedly more social plane of development, we understand that discovery and exploration is not only private and self-driven but has also become a shared peer experience. In our Middle School curriculum we share questions and ideas, we still let the child drive his learning by asking questions, but we now make their questions explicit and available to their classmates. We tell stories and expand on the great lessons and use student curiosity to develop our curriculum.
We are driven by questions instead of content:
- What is order? What is chaos? Instead of Ancient Greece.
- What is a number? Instead of base ten number systems.
- What is an ideal community? Instead of The Giver.
- When is it good to be wrong? Instead of the Scientific Method.