Wednesday, July 27, 2011

10-step Montessori Workplan

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.

Monday Meeting

1. Student share

2. Announcements and schedule changes

3. Toodles

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

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