Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Classroom

My coteacher and I had two weeks before school began to thouroughly prepare our classrooms.  Because the main classroom we are working from is a tight fit, meaning that not all the appropriate sections will fit in that classroom, we decided to utilize the classroom right across the hall.  After getting feedback from an experienced coworker, we decided to have the geography, culture, history, science, and language sections in one classroom, and the geometry and math materials in the other classroom. 

Last year was our first year as Montessori teachers, so our classroom dramatically changed from the previous year.  Such was this case this year as well- furniture was moved around, materials added to the shelves, new ideas implemented.  Our newly-acquired awareness of the importance of the prepared environment made us quite particular, but also at a loss at times because we are still fairly new to Montessori. 

The following are photos of our main classroom.  We give culture lessons here, and the students conduct their research, do their reading and writing here as well. 

This is a photo of our classroom library, showing the comfy bean bags for students to feel comfortable. 

This is our circle area, even though we have "big" kids (ages 9-12), we still have circle as it is a nice way to begin the class, and a more unified way of sitting rather than in desks or tables.  I feel the circle is much more intimate, the children are all sitting next to each other and everyone is facing one another.  Everyone is literally at the same level: seated on the floor, including the teachers.  If you'll notice on the shelves, we have our culture and science sections.  We were just studying a mini-theme of Ramadan, including the phases of the moon.  Our next theme will be of the Mughal empire in India.

The photos from the language section did not turn out, so I will post those later.

The follow photos are taken from our other classroom:

This is the math section, with all math materials on surrounding shelves.  You'll notice there are still empty shelves, we are still in the process of acquiring all materials. 

Here is our geometry section.  As you will notice, again our shelves are bare: materials are so expensive!  But our generous parent teacher organization allocated $2000 for math and geometry materials.  However, fellow Montessorians will all understand that that is not nearly enough, but it's a start! 

This is student seating, and the teacher's desk in the back.  The shelves along the wall are for art materials.

Welcome to our classrooms!  Now, we have 17 students, and are thinking of changing it around, as 17 do not fit in our main classroom at the same time, so we are trying to figure out what to do.

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