MORNING WORK CYCLE:
Each day after the class begins students go to work. This work is called Montessori work cycle. This cycle is not interrupted by other activities and it is one of the key features of the Montessori method. During the work cycle students take work they like, repeat it as many times as they like and put it away, then they take another work out, etc. They are also allowed to observe other students working or another lesson being given to someone else. The student might also want to go and eat snack or sit in the library or rest quietly. Every child is doing something else and the students are working by themselves developing focus and concentration, which is another important feature of the Montessori method. During the Montessori work cycle, students are encouraged to work on their own, respect each other’s work, use indoor voices, not interrupt or shout across the classroom. The students are also given grace and courtesy lessons as they arise or as a lesson. Grace and courtesy is demonstrated and practiced at all times. This routine happens daily from morning to lunch.
Childress play, work and socialize during outdoor time. Montessori outdoor time is incorporated into recess and this includes purposeful outdoor materials such as rakes, gardening tools, buckets for collecting nature, mini- wheel barrels, mini wagons, small polished logs to build or transport. Outdoor time and the exposure to different seasons and elements is crucial to children as they are finding the connection to the greater world. Being outdoor engaging in active and productive social time is calming and essential for healthy and happy childhood.
AFTERNOON WORK CYCLE:
After outdoor time children eat snack and some prepare for a nap and some continue with the afternoon work cycle. The afternoon is a more peaceful time as the number of children is smaller; children can work peacefully with their chosen materials.
Just before lunch 2 students will help to prepare the classroom for lunch. They will clean up the tables, set up the tables with plates, cutlery, set up the serving table with bowl, jug of water. They will also help to make sure the rest of the classroom is tidy. While 2 students and the directress are preparing for lunch, the other students are sitting together reading a story or singing a song or having a discussion. Half day children will be getting dressed to go home.
All children are required to eat independently, lunch is a calm and quiet time and the focus is on eating nutritious meal. After lunch students clean up independently, they sweep the tables and floor. Everyone is required to help and older students can help younger students.
As soon as all is tidy, children use washrooms and get dressed for outside.
Contrete to abstract is how the child learns math. The first step is to count the concrete quantity and recognize it "by heart". It must be obvious to the child that rod number 10 is much bigger than 2. Once this knowledge is solid the child is introduced to the symbols (numerals) representing the concrete quantity.
An independence is a huge part of the Montessori method. The dressing frames enable the child to learn how to do buttons, laces, bows, zippers and snaps on his own. Being independent brings a lot of joy!