Start of the Day: The minute your students walk in the door, your community-building work begins. Building a sense of community in your Montessori classroom is the key to classroom harmony and success. It also helps foster skills that your students can apply to other communal situations.
- Greeting each student as they enter the room - Be sure to shake each student’s hand and make eye contact. Feel free to do a High 5 or pinky finger shake too!
- Morning Circle/Group - This is your time to set the tone for the day by establishing a routine. This time might include announcements about the day, sharing by students, or a song.
Have the Best School Year Yet: Simple, Inspiring Ideas for Montessori TeachersAny Time of the Day: These are ideas that can be introduced and then used as needed.
- Peace Table - Include a book for questions, issues and grievances. These can then be discussed and worked out in class/community meetings. Also, some appropriate books about peace and a “talking object” will be helpful.
- Grace and Courtesy - Role playing is an extremely helpful technique for both peace education and grace and courtesy that masquerades as fun acting!
- Decide as a class whether you would like a set sharing time. For example, will everyone be allowed a brief time on Fridays at the end of the day? Or will five people share on Monday, five on Tuesday, etc? Maybe your students would rather that sharing be a more organic process, i.e., people share when they are ready, but they must give the adult advance notice?
- Students can share something from home and/or their work. You can establish a place (a basket, table, etc.) where students can place what they would like to share with their fellow students.
- Community meetings can also be a time to share joys and appreciations.
- Students may also enjoy reading to their classmates.
- Does your school have a policy for birthday celebrations? A sharing ritual can be developed to acknowledge this milestone.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.