Saturday, 19 September 2009

First week of school

School reopened and we have had a wonderful very busy week!
I'm so happy that the week went well [I panic a few days before school starts], the children went straight to work and everyone continued as if they have been here all throughout the summer.

This year I have 6 children ranging from the age of 5.5 to 9. We decided not to take on any new children and instead focus on giving these six children 100%.

Day 1 started with a recap of the responsibilities of the class. We have three responsibilities :
1. To respect the environment, each other and the materials
2. To choose suitable work and complete the activities
3. To prevent disturbance

Once the children were reminded of their responsibilities they were allowed to freely choose work. Most children immediately went to the library and looked at the new books we had. Some children got out the maps and another decided to start the school year with a poem.

Last year was very free and easy going, this year I plan to have a bit more structure. The day schedule is as follows

9.00 the children arrive and go straight to the garden. At this age the children come to school full of energy and have lots to say to each other. In the garden, I get them to run around and chat as much as they want so that when we come into the class everyone is calmer and ready to work.

9.30 The children come into the class and we have the morning group. Each morning my group is different, I usually do three things. An action activity, a grace and courtesy lesson, and a little talk about something interesting that is relevant to that day. The group lasts 15-20mins.

9.45 The children set off to work. Some of the children are working from individual weekly plans which I plan with them on Mondays. The other children are working from daily plans which we plan daily. The children can freely choose any activity in the class whether its on their daily plans or not, but they must complete the work on their plans. I check their plans regularly to ensure that everyone is on track. The children are allowed to take their activities to the garden and work, but during the workcycle the children can not run, climb or use the slide in the garden.

12.30 - 1.30 The children tidy the class, check everything is in order and then prepare for lunch. After they eat their lunch they can run around in the garden and play games.

1.30 The children come back inside the classroom for a short group [5mins] and then everyone returns to work.

2.45 The children tidy up and do their cleaning chores.

3.00 Everyone gets ready to go home, except Little-N who always stays late with me as I finish things off

So far this schedule is working great, but I am prepared to change it as needed. A Montessori teacher should always be ready to adapt and change her class to suit the children's needs.

Now for the interesting part, a few pictures of work that I managed to capture during the week:
Sanding the wooden beams in the garden. We purposely left these poles un-sanded so that they children can do them.
Little-N feeling Autumn, working with the leaves cards that I got from
Recap on Grammar work.

These children chose to research about parrots.
Working with the parts of a volcano cards.
Map of Europe work.


nun said...

Great work N....Wish you a wonderful year....i am as excited as you are for the work...

Susanne said...

Great post. I like your schedule. Simple with plenty of uninterrupted work time. I also like the idea of starting group meeting with an active game, and then grace and courtesy, and then announcements. Seems like the best order in which to keep their attention focused.
Thanks for sharing!

Gigi said...

Sounds like a wonderful start! Wishing you a great year!

Jennie said...

Inspirational post and photos, as usual! I would love to know more about your weekly plans - do you have any examples you could post?