“The satisfaction which they find in their work has given them a grace and ease like that which comes from music.” -Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child
In Upper Elementary, students who are on top of their assigned work have the freedom to work on an “independent study.” This is often an individual or group research paper and presentation, but can also take the form of a creative story, an extra math exploration, or another project. This week we have enjoyed listening to some interesting and informative research presentations which were chosen as independent studies.
In a Montessori classroom there is great emphasis placed on learning to think. This is different from memorizing information and reciting it back. Thinking requires more effort and brain activity. Students who learn to think, learn to innovate, ask questions, be creative, and problem solve. They are persistent and confident, self-motivated, independent, and courageous. Montessori classrooms are student-centered instead of being teacher-centered. This places the emphasis on their learning, independence, and discovery. My role in Upper El is as a guide, experiencing the curriculum along with the students while carefully observing them, ready to introduce the next concept when each student is ready.
We welcomed two new members to our classroom this week, Fabio and Houdini, our class guinea pigs! Thank you to the Hildebrand family for gifting these sweet class pets to us! The students are excited to help care for them and they will bring our Montessori “care of living things” to a whole new level.
Have a wonderful weekend!