How many individual lessons with lead teacher? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 10-25-2012, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am just wondering how other Montessori schools handle lessons with the kids. This is our 2nd year at DD's school, but first year with a new teacher. She has been an M. teacher for a very long time, but usually with a smaller class.

 

I am just wondering what is the average number of individual lessons a teacher gives each week in a Montessori classroom? I know DD has been giving lessons to some of the younger kids, and receiving lessons from a few of the older ones, but she is at a level that is already beyond most of the other kids in the class, and she still has 1 1/2 more years in the 3-6 class. I'm just trying to make sure she is getting enough challenging lessons and work, considering all the $$$ we're paying (and the materials are there, she just needs to have lessons on how to use them!!) I recently discovered she was losing interest in the reading work at school in the first month because her individual lessons were beginning phonics books, when at home she is starting to read chapter books! We rectified that situation. smile.gif

 

Her teacher aims to give 3 individual lessons each week (she is in school M-F from 8:30-2:30). All of the afternoon time is focused on the K kids, which I find slightly odd. DD is 4 (turns 5 next month), she is never given one-on-one lessons during this time, and her teacher said she is beyond most of the mini-group lessons she gives to the Kindergartners. After her 30-minute quiet period, her teacher says she gets up and is very focused on work while the teacher is with the Kindergartners. The assistant helps out the non-K kids during the afternoon work period.

 

The 3 individual lessons a week are reading, math, and the third lesson varies. The reading lesson (for DD's level) is to have her read something aloud to her teacher (last week it was a Frog and Toad book), and then answer comprehension lessons. Her math lesson was with the golden beads. 

 

The lead teacher and assistant have been together for 12 years, and the class is hugely respected. Overall, I LOVE the class, and so does DD. I was just thought there was more time spent with one-on-one, esp. after the teacher mentioned to me at the beginning of the year about how well DD responds to, and loves, individual lessons.

 

Maybe my expectations are too high? My main concern has always been that DD is having fun, and learning new things is secondary to that. But as time passes, I have learned, that for DD--who her school and I are starting to believe is gifted--being challenged and learning new things is her definition of having fun. Which really hit home when we got back from a vacation in Chicago recently, and when asked what she enjoyed the most, she said "learning about evolution and seeing Lucy (an australopithecus skeleton) and Sue (a T-Rex) at the Field Museum. Not going to the American Girl store, not hanging out at the Bean or in the funky people fountain statues, not even the dolphin show at the aquarium or swimming at the hotel pool. Learning about evolutionread.gif


 

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#2 of 4 Old 10-25-2012, 11:02 AM
 
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This is our first year in the 3-6 classroom, so it's a new experience for us; I wish I had more details to share to give you a comparison (so I'm afraid I'm not being very helpful here: sorry!). But I did want to say that, at the beginning of the year, our main teacher explicitly said that her main goal is to fit in as many individual lessons in a day as she can. Not rushed, of course. But she said her job is to manage her time as efficiently as possible while providing as many lessons as possible.

 

We're lucky though - it's a first-year class (though not with a first-year teacher), so that means it mainly has 3 year olds and maybe a couple of 4 year olds, and, therefore, only 15 children (as opposed to the full 3-6 rooms, which have about 36 kids). A friend's daughter is in one of those rooms, and from purely anecdotal conversations, she is of the opinion that her daughter does NOT receive the same number of individualized lessons as my son. She also believes the older children receive most of the instruction time, so it may be more common that you think?

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#3 of 4 Old 10-25-2012, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by thehighernest View Post

 our main teacher explicitly said that her main goal is to fit in as many individual lessons in a day as she can

 

DD's teacher has said a similar thing. In fact, she leaves craft-type activities and things like that up to parent volunteers who come in occasionally to do with the kids. 

 

Her class has 21 kids, fairly evenly divided by age. I guess I just thought that she could squeeze more lessons into a day that what it sounds like, since it sounds like DD only receives on-on-one with the lead teacher 3 times/week. But again, my expectations might be too high.


 

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#4 of 4 Old 10-26-2012, 08:51 AM
 
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I own a Montessori school, and it really depends on the child and how many works the CHILD needs to be presented. Other factors also come in such as needs of other students in the classroom. The ENVIRONMENT should be prepared so that she has opportunities to be learning things on her own, without lessons from the teacher. Individual or small group lessons should be quite secondary in a Montessori environment to the environment being prepared so that your DD can always find things in the classroom to learn and grow. If she is reading chapter books, she cold potentially be doing her own research projects (for instance, I would capitalize on her recent love for evolution/paleontology and add works into the classroom dealing with that). The guide in the classroom is simply there to help. Learning should not come from the guide.

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