The parent observation is an opportunity for you to get a glimpse of what life is like in a Montessori classroom. This may be your first time at the Castlecrag Montessori School, or you may be here to find out more about your child's day.
Many parents, upon first entering the Montessori environment are amazed by the diverse activities that are going on. In order to have the best possible observation experience, here are a few tips for observing and interpreting what you see in the Montessori classroom.
Please remain in the chair assigned to you so as not to disturb the normal routine of the classroom.
Try to view both the entire classroom and individual children at work. Observe the children’s choices of Montessori materials, and how independent they are in doing things for themselves in the classroom environment. Listen to how the children interact with each other, how they handle social situations that arise and how they problem solve and cooperate. You will hear the normal hum of children working together, the quiet of concentration, and at times there may be a special peak of excitement at a discovery.
Notice the way in which the Montessori Director (teacher) corrects a child, and look at the instances in which she does not. Listen to the Director’s tone of voice with the children. The Director (or guide) is a facilitator of the child's autonomous learning process.
The Montessori classroom contains a wide range of both ages of children and materials that are appropriate to the different developmental levels. Observe the different ways in which the children learn. With some types of materials you will see groups of children working cooperatively, and with others you will find an individual child working alone intensely. Notice how the younger children absorb the older children's work simply by being near them, and how, conversely, the older children may assist the younger ones with work that they have already mastered.
The structure of the Montessori program provides each child with as much time as they need to complete their chosen task to his/her satisfaction, with success as the primary reward.
As you look around the classroom notice the materials; how attractive they are in placement, color, cleanliness, quality, etc. Children are attracted to learn in this environment.
We understand that you will not be able to see all the dimensions of the classroom outlined above in the time you have with us. If you have any questions about your time in the Castlecrag Montessori classroom, please write them down, we will be glad to answer these questions by telephone or in person at a later date. We hope you enjoy your observation, and look forward to your next visit to our school.