Montessori classrooms are a bit like an office, except that everyone wants to be there! There's collaboration, team work, presentations and lots of productivity.
Most of the time, children work individually or in small groups with different materials in the classroom. There are times when they come together in groups to discuss or participate in particular presentations or lessons. Here are some examples of group presentations that occurred during the last fortnight in one Cycle 2 class (6-9 year olds).
Our youngest group has started exploring the different Fundamental Needs of Humans with the ultimate aim of considering how humans satisfied these needs through time. So far, we have had lively discussions on the difference between 'wants' and 'needs'.
Nouns and their different properties was the main topic for revision and new presentations for the middle group. They also had some practise on word problems.
The oldest group of children looked at the concept of equivalence using a Montessori material called the square insets. They tried their hands at addition and subtraction of like fractions and as part of honing their reading comprehension (following instructions) skills, made muffins for the class.
When they're finished their work, they put the materials away ready for the next person, and write in their diary what they have accomplished for the day including a personal reflection.
Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from children in a Montessori classroom.