NEWS FLASH: Montessori kids come home and make timelines of the earth… WHO NEEDS TV?!!
This was from a parent note sent to our Lower Elementary teacher, Mr. David. The student’s were learning in class about the timeline of the earth. They became so excited they continued the learning experience, not only through the remaining class period, but at home as well. This set of children, a brother and a sister, elementary level 1 and level 3, along with a friend, worked together to design timeline posters. They delegated periods to each person within the group. The other student is working on their chosen periods separately at home. They will bring the completed project together for a presentation in class. These two student’s completed a full timeline, a book, and worked on play costume designs. Their mother submitted a quote to us that she had overheard during the process, “Ah, the Trilobites. I remember when THEY ruled the earth!”
Really? Who does need tv when you have flamed imaginations, sparked by great Montessori education?
I think a quick explanation is needed for the non-Montessori experienced blog readers. These students of varied age were able to work on the same project in class because that’s how it works in Montessori. The older students, who have now had expounded lessons on subjects are able to share and help the younger students. This shared learning isn’t just happening because they are brother and sister, but because it is fostered in every Montessori classroom. An Elementary classroom, for instance, has 1st grade through 3rd together.
How could the students continue the progress of excited learning and not miss other lessons? This is also how the Montessori classroom works. Within certain time limits, students may continue a sparked learning moment. They individually choose work, from a teacher prepared daily lesson plan. If they have busily completed all other daily work, they are free to develop on the things that warranted further curiosity. There is a freedom to the resources in a classroom, in that a student may work quietly by themselves, or within small groups, to research on a computer, check out a book from the school library, fact find within the classroom materials, brainstorm, draw, even work outside in a nearby setting. This is why authentically educated Montessori children are so excited to attend school every day. Children are inherently thirsty for knowledge and Montessori teaches them to seek out how to quench it themselves.
The picture with this story says a thousand words… The tv is directly behind the children’s work area, but remains off. Again, this project is being produced by a 1st grader and two 3rd graders. David & Grace (in the photo), and Samantha working independently at home. Now for the big question – How many of you know what a Trilobite is?