What does a typical day in my children’s Montessori classroom look like? As I have mentioned previously, I now have two children in the Montessori Children’s House (Cycle One), but just not in the same classroom. My son attends the Half Day Program which is from 9:00am -12:00, four days a week and my daughter attends the Full Day Program which is from 9:00 am 3:00 pm, five days a week.
I can only give you an idea what my children’s classroom is like, unique to their school. I obviously have no idea what other Montessori Schools and classrooms are like in comparison.
- Doors open at 8:50 am and children are greeted by their classroom Director/Directress. Children put away their own belongings Independently.
- The children have a three-hour morning work cycle. The children have the freedom to choose what they would like to work with. A lesson is given if the piece of work is new to the child. The child works independently of the adult as long as they need to. Once they have finished with the work, it is then packed away on the shelf and a new piece of work is chosen. Some work is to be done independently but there is also work that can be done with a friend or in small groups. Children can choose to work inside in the classroom at a table or on the floor, on the veranda or in the garden. There are plenty of outdoor options such as painting, raking leaves, watering plants, playing in the sandpit, using the outdoor climbing equipment including mini trampoline. Work is purposeful though.
- Morning tea. The children are able to eat their mid morning snack when hungry. They are able to use the Practical Life section of the classroom to prepare their snack such as cutting an apple or banana or spreading dip on a cracker or making a fresh orange juice or pouring themselves a glass of water.
- 12 midday is home time for the younger children. The children gather their own belongings, say goodbye to their Director/Directress and wait to be collected. At this time the older children gather their hats and water bottles and put on sunscreen ready for outdoor play time.
- Play time is for the older children who do the all day program. Play time is approx 30 minutes and the children get the chance to play with other children from the neighbouring classrooms.
- Lunch time. All the children and Teachers have lunch together at an outdoor table that has been set by the children (table-cloth, placements and plates).
- Afternoon work period
- Home time
- Mixed age classrooms made up of 3-6 year olds.
- There is no school uniform
- No home work policy school.
- My children’s school is a ‘healthy food school’ so children are encouraged to eat healthy food with minimum waste. It is also a ‘nut free school’ due to allergies.
- The classroom is divided up into four main areas (Practical Life, Senses, Language and Mathematics) however there are classroom materials that cover other areas such as Art, Music, Geography, Zoology, Gardening and cooking/baking for example.
- Music class is one day a week and is usually late morning. Both the younger and older children attend. Both of my children love music class.
- Throughout each school term there are incursions (an activity held at school). So far, we have had visits from the Fire Department, Wildlife sanctuary and Sea Life aquariums and some one has come to the school to talk about recycling.
- If there is a school event coming up such as a dance or sports day, the children may practice during the morning session.
- In class Birthday celebrations for the younger children are during the morning session and for the older children it will be during the afternoon session.
- If the classrooms have any visitors doing an ‘observation’ this will be in the morning usually 9:15- 10:15am.
- Parents or caregivers are encouraged to help out in the classroom with reading for example or do some work in the garden with the children or to teach a new skill or talk about their occupations or cultural customs. There are lots of ways to get involved.
The one thing that I am very conscious of is how much time my children may or may not be getting to play outside during the day, so that is why I try to be intentional about providing opportunities for outdoor play before and after school.
I have booked in to do a ‘classroom observation’ for Lower Elementary (Cycle Two classroom for 6-9 year olds) in a few weeks time, so I will write about that soon.