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A Day at Ridgeline

The Montessori classroom is an active, industrious place. Each student begins the school day by choosing work from a variety of prepared materials. They are aided by daily and weekly goals set in consultation with the teacher. Perhaps today it will be a building project that teaches spatial relationships and essential math concepts—or maybe three students will choose to collaborate on a project that combines Greek history and geography. 

Throughout the day's generous work periods, teachers move around the multi-age classroom challenging, encouraging, and—when necessary—redirecting energy. Whole-group lessons and assignments are used sparingly, in recognition of the fact that students are engaged in learning that is focused on individual abilities and interests.

In Montessori classrooms, appropriate conduct and respect for others are fully integrated into the curriculum and the environment. A variety of learning activities take place at once, and still the classroom culture promotes an atmosphere of order, calm, and civility that is remarkable. At Ridgeline Montessori, class meetings are held regularly, and decision making follows a consensus model. In this way, students grow to understand and welcome their future possible roles in society.

Ridgeline Montessori generally follows the Eugene District 4J calendar for the school year. Below is a sample schedule. (Note: lunch and recess times will vary for each classroom.)

8:15–8:30   Students arrive, greet their teacher, and begin choosing their work for the day.

8:30–11:20  Work time. 
This may include a morning meeting, when new materials or lessons are introduced, and current events or classroom concerns are discussed. This nearly 3-hour block contains the core curriculum: math, language arts, and cultural studies (science, geography, and history).
11:20–11:50  Lunch.
Lunchtime is instructional time, and it's held in the classroom, with the teacher or assistant. Lunch includes lessons in grace and courtesy, positive social interaction, problem solving, and conflict resolution.
11:50–12:20  Recess.
12:20–2:20    P.E. or music; cultural studies; work time.
P.E. and music classes are held twice a week for a half hour each. This is also time for cultural studies (science, geography, history, etc.), small group presentations, and additional work time.
2:20 - 3:05 (or 1:05)*  End of the day activities, classroom cleanup, and dismissal at 3:05 (Mon.-Thurs.) or 1:05 (Fri.).
*EARLY RELEASE for all students on Fridays at 1:05