In a Montessori classroom, students participate in work periods when they are not part of a lesson or presentation with one of their teachers. The photos above provide a snapshot of our work periods in the Upper Unit classroom today.
During these times, students first plan their tasks (or “works”) for the work period. Then, one by one, they set up each work on their task list, complete it, and put it away. Work periods often involve students talking quietly when they are working in groups, and moving around on their own as needed to find their materials. Students are busy in many different subject areas at the same time, depending on the work plan they have made for the day. They work by themselves, next to a friend, or in a group, and usually do all three within the same work period.
Observing a work period in action can be quite a revelation, and can offer deep insight into the Montessori method. We welcome parents and family members to contact their classroom’s teachers if they are interested in scheduling an observation!