Back to Montessori School
Going back to school is always an exciting time for teachers, moms and children. With all the excitement how do teachers plan for phasing in the Montessori curriculum? This year was especially challenging for me because we have the most new students we have ever had. We only have 4 2nd year students and no elders (Kindergarteners) so the remaining students are all brand new to the Montessori Method. When I am starting out the year my practical life shelves are empty with nothing but trays on them. This year I am trying a new method of color coding trays and shelves to help with classroom management. Carrying the trays, walking the line while carrying the tray and returning the empty tray to the correct shelf has all been a part of my phasing in process this year.
My math shelves start out with basic Montessori materials, sorting, counting and shapes. Right now we have our back to school sensory box out as well.
Our science shelves are empty with the exception of a nature tray for exploring.
Our line activities begin during circle time and then we extend the line to the bathroom and eventually the main flow of the classroom has a line. While planning walk the line activities I always make sure to incorporate the theme, fun songs and activities to go along with it. The children do not know that while we are singing fun songs and doing different arm movements or sounds that they are mastering walking the line in the process. Dr. Jean www.drjean.org and http://www.jackhartmann.com/ are two great artists that I use for line songs.
It is incredible how valuable these simple phasing in activities are. Usually around week 4 you can walk into the classroom and see the children working on mats, walking on lines, carefully carrying trays with glass pitchers and bowls on them, and using grace and courteousy with their friends and teachers. I do not think the Montessori Method can work without proper time for phasing in. Let me know how you phase in your curriculum or classroom management for back to school. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.