Montessori Pathways' News

September, 2012

Notes from Miss Alena

Montessori Elementary School in Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills


       The first month of the school year has come to an end and we’ve been able to enjoy some wonderful weather! Thanks to the weather, the children were able to spend quite a bit of time outside, the Kindergarteners and Elementary students had several walking field trips. The whole school visited the Crystal Lake Public Library for the “Police Keeps Us Safe” Program, but it seems like even here the favorite part of the trip was the walk through nature.


Montessori Elementary School in Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills        I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our Fall Mums Sale Fundraiser. We were able to collect $250, which will be used to purchase books for the classroom libraries. A special thank you to our Elementary students, who helped unload the mums from the truck! The kids were so excited, helpful, and fast, that the giant truck with 90 mums was unloaded in a mere 10 minutes!


Montessori Elementary School in Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills        The participation of all of the students in the event is very important. The children were really excited about choosing mums’ colors and taking them home. Some even forced their parents to change their mind and buy one after all! The kids are very eager to be a part of school events. Therefore, we encourage participation in school events not so much for the event itself, but for the important feeling of community that they bring to the kids.


       Two weeks into the school year, we began our enrichment classes. Children have enjoyed weekly gym classes with Ms. Donna, music classes with Ms. Nina, Spanish classes with Ms. Marissa, dance class with Ms. Brittany, as well as monthly art class for Kindergarteners and weekly art classes for Elementary students with Ms. Terri.


        Miss Alena




Working with Montessori materials:
 Taking Care of Environment




Montessori Preschool in Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills        In a Montessori classroom, students are given the responsibility of caring for their environment. This begins at the age of three and continues on through their successive years in Montessori school. At three the main focus is on the care of self and instilling a sense of personal responsibility. This continues as the child gets older, but around age four we turn the focus to helping take care of the classroom environment as well.


       For example, at Montessori Pathways the four and five year old children who do not take a nap are responsible for helping both Ms. Christine and Ms. Ambreen after lunchtime. Their many jobs include carrying the dishes to the kitchen, taking the laundry to the laundry room, sweeping the floor, washing the tables and some of the children help to set up the cots for the nappers. It is truly a remarkable thing to watch how hard the children work and the pride they have in accomplishing these tasks, which seem so “adult.”


Montessori Preschool in Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills        During the Kindergarten year at Montessori Pathways, the children begin having afternoon jobs. These include straightening the shelves, sweeping the floor, washing the tables, checking supplies in the supply cabinet, rolling the rugs and emptying the garbage cans. The Kindergarten children are very excited about this new responsibility. They also take great pride in their work, which in turn helps foster a sense of independence and responsibility.


       The Elementary years bring about even more opportunity for classroom care. After the Kindergarten year, the children have become expert rug rollers and sweepers. Classroom Care in the elementary classroom becomes the main focus of the practical life education. The children receive more complicated tasks and also are working towards jobs that require maturity and accountability. In the elementary classroom the students receive two jobs a day. Some jobs need to be done in the morning, midday and the afternoon.


Montessori Preschool in Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills        Morning jobs include putting dishes away, folding laundry and checking if any of the classrooms in the school need more milk for lunchtime from downstairs. The midday jobs include watering plants, checking the supplies in the bathrooms, washing the glass window on the side door of the classroom, and straightening the books in the library. The afternoon jobs include rolling the rugs, sweeping the floor, taking the garbage and recycling outside, taking the laundry to the laundry room and the most coveted job: job manager.


       The job manager has the responsibility of making sure all jobs were completed and to check whether the classroom is in overall good order. As the children become more responsible, they know that their freedom and choices will increase. Part of that includes the classroom jobs of taking care of our animals, sweeping and cleaning the outside area and vacuuming. As the year goes on, the children will be given the opportunity to add jobs they feel need to be done.


       Overall, the Montessori classroom serves as a safe place for children to gain their independence through challenging, meaningful work. Care of the classroom is a wonderful way to provide this opportunity to children of any age and any level.



Miss Katy