At Kingsley, we regularly invite prospective families, current parents, and educators to observe a normal day in our classrooms. Montessori classrooms operate differently than other types of classrooms, and for some adults this flow might be new. There are a few things that you should be prepared for when planning to observe in Montessori classrooms.
One aspect of the Practical Life curriculum for early childhood students that generates a lot of interest is the "pouring work." The most common type of pouring work is wet pouring or water pouring (as opposed to pouring small solid objects).
People often ask how Montessori schools handle assessment, grading, and testing (standardized or otherwise). While the Montessori method has clear guidelines regarding testing, each school incorporates those guidelines differently.
Schools all over the world offer opportunities for families to visit, explore the school, and learn more about curriculum and culture. The Open House model is not new or groundbreaking, but at Kingsley we pride ourselves on delivering an outstanding experience at each Open House event. Our goal is to provide you with an honest, in-depth look at what Kingsley provides, in an efficient, pleasant experience. We strive for our events to be convenient, welcoming, and forthright.
One motif found throughout Montessori-inspired education is known as The Gift of Time. This concept comes up in a variety of ways when working with Montessori students and educators, but always implies a similar idea. When a student (or anyone, for that matter) is hard at work with something, we give them time and space to work out a conclusion.
At Kingsley, we believe that our students can, and should, be in charge of their own learning spaces. One of the ways that we promote this is by allowing students to work together with their classmates to create their Class Charter. Each classroom chooses their own way to approach this task. In every class, students work together and share their ideas to create a charter that describes their ideal learning environment.
We love being able to bring in authors, speakers, and inspiring personalities to bring a new spark to our curriculum. The insights and perspectives that different people with different experiences bring into our school are immeasurably valuable to our students. On Tuesday, February 26, our Lower Elementary students had the amazing opportunity to meet with two inspiring authors and activists, and their equally awesome service dog!
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.