In our Lower Elementary science lessons, the outcome of an experiment is secondary. Students primarily focus on the process, observations and reflections. This week, they observed a space-gravity experiment by a teacher and as a follow-up, they tried their own experiments using objects from their pencil cases.
Students also enjoy “work block”; this is the open time each day in Lower Elementary where each child selects work from their own individual work plan. They’ve explored the life of Maria Montessori, started Grammar study, practiced shoe lacing, and continued studying the months of the year – even in Spanish!
Each Monday morning our mindfulness instructor, Ms. Galbraith, leads the LE community in a series of breaths and movements to help the children engage in mindfulness practice. We use these skills throughout the day and find them to be a helpful lifelong skill.
In Upper Elementary, Mrs. Kazmi uses a document camera for a Math Extensions lesson with the third grade students. This tool allows her to utilize Montessori materials in a way that is safe and controlled for the benefit of both in-person and remote students.
Students, Sophia and Benjamin, work on a group project for Social Studies. Through the use of Zoom, webquests, and shared Google Docs and Slides, we are able to maintain a Montessori community of student-led and inclusive collaboration for all of our learners.
In Middle School humanities class, students are working on a unit in which they are discussing the idea and importance of freedom of expression and how it may lead to “fake news.” Students have discussed being careful about the sources from which they get information, about fact-checking, and about using critical thinking skills to assess whether information is likely to be factual, exaggerated, or fabricated.
In Art class, Middle School students are working on the task of producing at least one piece of WOW artwork by the end of October, using the materials in the two stations we now have open–drawing and collage. WOW stands for Wonderful Original Work. To qualify as a WOW piece, a student needs to have worked on it for at least three art classes, made a plan before starting, reflected during the process, sought out and used peer feedback, and written an artist statement and gallery label to ready the piece for display. It shows an essential part of the TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior) curriculum, which is to seek out and apply feedback from peers. In the photo, Sawyer has asked Connor to complete a Peer Critique form, and Sawyer will incorporate some of the suggestions he receives in his own work. In the art studio, there is ongoing conversation about how to build a community of artists – by creating an environment of support and positivity where people don’t feel afraid to try new things and take creative risks. Positive peer critiques are an essential part of this process.