The Montessori classroom is an active, industrious place. Aided by daily and weekly goals set in consultation with the teacher, each student begins the school day by choosing work from a variety of prepared materials. Perhaps today it will be a building project that teaches spatial relationships and essential math concepts, or maybe two or 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 energies. 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. Despite a variety of learning activities taking place at once, the classroom culture promotes an atmosphere of order, calm, and civility that is remarkable. At Ridgeline Montessori, class meetings are held periodically, and decision making follows a consensus model. In this way, students grow to understand and welcome their future roles in productive society.
Ridgeline Montessori generally follows the District 4J calendar for the school year. Below is a sample schedule. (Note: lunch and recess times will vary for each classroom.)
8:25–8:40 Students arrive, greet their teacher, and begin choosing their work for the day.
8:40–11:30 Work time.
12:30–2:30 P.E. or music; cultural studies; work time.
2:30 - 3:15* Classroom cleanup and dismissal. (Monday - Thursday)
*EARLY RELEASE for all students on Fridays: 1:15
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