One of the ways that we build an accepting and supportive community at Kingsley is when our students host Community Meetings with other grade levels. Our Lower Elementary students regularly host Community Meetings with our entire Elementary division—Upper Elementary students, other Lower Elementary students, teachers, staff members, and guests.
One idea that underpins the Montessori philosophy, is that education must be student-centered. Maria Montessori is famously quoted, advising educators to "follow the child." Allow the child to determine the path of their education—with the necessary support.
In the Early Childhood Division here at Kingsley Montessori School, our approach to assessment depends on a thoughtfully prepared classroom environment, and formative observations by teachers throughout each day. This results in detailed record-keeping, which informs everything from what lessons to present and which classroom materials to emphasize, to how to approach goal-setting and progress reports.
In the Montessori classroom, students engage in independent work blocks. During these work blocks, students consult their learning plans, select the work they need, prepare their environment, and get to work. This level of independence and motivation begins at an early age for Montessori students.
More so than ever before, humans are researching the ways in which we teach and learn, analyzing what the most effective methods for conveying information are. Alongside, and as a result of this, humans are also developing new educational philosophies, materials, and delivery systems at an ever increasing rate. It can be difficult to keep up!
Parent Child Visit Day
Each year Kingsley hosts a special event known as Parent Child Visit Day. One of the highlights of the school year, this event gives parents the opportunity to come into the classroom and not only observe, but participate in the work and learning of their children. Students proudly prepare their favorite and most important pieces of work to share with the adults in their lives, and are thrilled to have the opportunity to show off what they've learned.
Homework: Parent Discussion
The Kingsley Coffee Talk series continued this week with a focus on supporting homework at home. At Kingsley we view homework as a purposeful extension of classroom academics to help students build healthy work routines, increase their work stamina, and establish time management skills, as well as independence with their own work, all while having a positive experience. Our main points in helping support homework at home were:
Sometimes the stars align, so-to-speak, and you can provide an immersive Astrophysics lesson to your Lower Elementary students; harnessing their interests, knowledge, and the awe-inspiring vastness of the universe.
Celebration of Life
Many Montessori institutions, including Kingsley Montessori, celebrate student birthdays with a celebration of life ceremony known in the classrooms as The Birthday Walk. The Birthday Walk gives students an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the life and growth of their classmate, in a positive, collaborative way.