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.
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.
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.
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.
Assessments are an important and necessary component of education. The fundamental purpose of assessments is that they give teachers information about what a child knows or is able to do, as a means of informing what should be taught or done next.
Building a Strong Community
One of the things that sets Kingsley apart is the sense of community you feel the moment you walk in the door. Coming inside from the bustling streets of Boston and entering a supportive, collaborative, and fun environment is something that never gets old for our students and families.
We love providing opportunities for our community members to get together; including our alumni!
One tradition that we cherish every year at Kingsley is when students from our upper level classes come back to visit their peers in the younger classrooms and share a favorite book with them.
In the Montessori classroom, students engage in independent work blocks. During these work blocks, students consult their learning plans, select the work they need, prepare their environment, and get to work. This level of independence and motivation begins at an early age for Montessori students.