Friday, October 30, 2009

Marvelous Montessori

Lola's teachers rock.

Today is Historical Halloween. In her mixed-age (1st, 2nd & 3rd grade students) classroom, everyone was given the following assignment:

"Choose a world leader who is now deceased. Research this person's life using at least three distinct sources (we prefer books, but you may use one website if you must). On Friday, October 30th you will be asked to come to school dressed as this person and present a report on their life to your classmates. We want you to turn in a written report including a bibliography and use your imagination. Have fun!"

The writing requirements are different for the kids based on their grade level. First graders have to write 3-5 sentences, second graders 7-10, third graders 12-15. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are important but they're graded on the written report, their oral presentation and the costume/props they put together. Every year is a different theme and in the past they've done artists (including writers and musicians - Eve was Coco Chanel that year), authors, and inventors.

This year, world leaders who showed up in Lola's classroom included Mother Theresa, Cleopatra, Princess Diana, Benjamin Franklin, Clara Barton, FDR and, for Lola, Queen Lili'uokalani of Hawaii. These kids knocked themselves out! To a child, every one of them came dressed in costumes they made or augmented themselves and all of them exceeded the minimum requirements for the written reports. Lola discovered that Queen Lil (as she has started to call her) was an accomplished composer and musician before her tenure as Queen and managed to find sheet music and learn a song on the piano to play for her class as part of her report.

Each and every one of these kids came to school, backpacks bulging with props, dressed exquisitely in costume and bursting with enthusiasm to tell their peers how they made a difference in our world today. Since it's too distracting for the parents to stay and watch, the teachers promised to videotape the entire day and play it back for us another time. I can't think of a better way for Lola to spend her day at school. She is so proud of her work on this project and I can't wait to hear how it went.

Hooray for teachers that think outside the box and see every day as an opportunity to provide their students with another reason to love learning! I feel so blessed today.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

Kids excited to learn, there's nothing better! said...

Good teachers are priceless.

Deb Shucka said...

What fun. This made me miss teaching - a little.

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