Ds is in year 2 of lower elementary at a public Montessori. I love the M philosophy, in so many ways, when executed in what I understand to be Montessori's intent. We're struggling through several things, though, which are partly related to ds, partly related to the particular class, and partly related to our district's compromise with the M philosophy.
The tiniest of my frustrations at the moment are the clock works. Last year, he did more clock works than any other math/money work, I believe. This year, he has a new teacher (thank goodness - the last one "checked out" for the year when she turned in her resignation in October last year - her heart wasn't in teaching them even though she was there the entire year), and I was just sighing with relief that he didn't have to do these mundane clock works worksheets anymore, when he started coming home with them again! And not stepped-up -- he's back to the o'clocks and half hours! How many clock works works are there in Montessori's progression? Are they really intended to last an entire year, much less 2??
At conferences yesterday, the teacher said that there are 30 clock works - that's why he brought home 1 a week last year. Really? Thirty? Is this Montessori, or is this the district?
The thing is, when fine motor tasks are involved (like him having to draw the clock and write the time in the blank) he doesn't necessarily absorb the information. So when he took the "assessment" (district thing) at the beginning of the year, he had forgotten one concept - when the minute hand is between 2 numbers, even if it's closer to the second, the time is still in the hour of the first number - so all the answers involving this concept he wrote down as wrong. Instead of saying, "J., here's the rule. Now try again," she determined that he didn't understand the concept of time at all and started him over.
The observation and analysis pieces are definitely missing from these teachers' education. Ack!