Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Orderly Line Ups in Your Montessori Classroom: Ideas for Engaging Students

NAMC montessori classroom orderly line ups engaging students
Whether we like it or not, everyone likes to be first in line. There's a certain social status attached to being the line leader, especially for younger children. It seems as if children line up several times a day: going out to the playground, and back, going to music, and back, going to lunch, and back, and going out to dismissal.

To make this a more enjoyable (and educational) experience for children, here are some creative ways to have children line up.

Orderly Line Ups in Your Montessori Classroom: Ideas for Engaging Students

  • Beginning name sounds - Begin by asking everyone whose name begins with the sound "m" may line up. Proceed through the beginning sounds of all the children in class.
  • Colors – When it's time to line up, ask for students who are wearing something green, then red, then blue, etc., to line up. You can also use eye and hair color.
  • Birthdays – Ask for students to line up who were born in January, then proceed through the other months. (This only works if they are old enough to know when their birthday is)!
  • Alphabetically – Older students like the challenge to line up alphabetically by first name. For a real challenge, you can use last names.
  • I Spy – Begin by saying "I spy something round and blue". The child who answers the circular metal inset may then line up. Continue until all children have had a turn.
  • Math Facts – Older students will enjoy the challenge of answering math facts questions to earn their place in line. Make sure to have questions that are appropriate for everyone and call on students accordingly. (Can be done with a variety of curricular areas: state capitals, countries, spelling words, etc.).
  • All in the family – "If you have an older brother, you may line up. If you have a younger sister, you may line up. If you have a dog, you may line up."
  • Counting syllables – "If your last name has 2 syllables, you may line up. If your last name has 1 syllable, you may line up."
  • What was for lunch? – "If you had pasta, you may line up. If you had pizza for lunch, you may line up."
  • Brain Quest – These question and answer curriculum-based cards are full of fun information that students need to know. The cards range from age 2 to grade 7. I know my children settle down very quickly when they see me grab the Brain Quest deck!

In my Montessori classroom, lining up for recess and dismissal could be difficult times in terms of classroom management. In fact, my children are well-behaved and orderly when it comes time to line up because they're so busy listening and anticipating who I'm going to call next.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, April 8, 2008.


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