Montessori may be all about student-driven learning and choice, but we still keep track of what they are learning. Above, Terrence is sitting with a student and a diagrammed record of his work in different areas. The guide and the student discuss together what the student has mastered, what needs more work or review, and what the child is ready to move on to.
The abundance and variety of work that takes place in an Upper Elementary environment is impressive. Above you see two girls working in completely different subject areas at the same table; one is working on math with the fraction materials while another is researching in advance of our garden work (part of a science/botany area of study).
The weather was so nice this week that we were able to get outside and start working on our outdoor projects. The spiral, canopied herb garden that we collected rocks for last week is going to be a joint project between Upper East and Casa East. We get to learn about plants and growth, design and building, soil and water, and continue to expand and build the school community.
There is still time for more traditional work inside the classroom. Montessori children learn how to learn and figure out many things for themselves when it is important to what they are interested in, but every now and then a little bit of direct instruction is required, especially for some of the more ridiculous rules, and exceptions to the rules, of the English language.