Every day at the Rockland begins with circle , which gathers all of the classes together to say good morning and start our day! Our circle time consists of singing songs (usually season related), reciting whole language poems, and reading a book. We also talk about a variety of topics, depending on what we are currently working on in our classrooms. Some examples of these lessons include the solar system, Native American life, hibernation, land forms, the importance of voting, and peace and equality. Holidays are another important event here at the Rockland! We believe that learning about the traditions that families all over the world celebrate on these important days, is a wonderful way to learn about other cultures. We are so lucky to have so many families that are willing to come in and share what they do on their special holidays, like Diwali, Chinese New Year, Eid, Christmas, and Hanukah! In this particular circle, Mrs. Wishoski is reading Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey, and presenting the different parts of an egg. We do this every Spring! Right before our voyage to the pond in our annual “Rockland Montessori Academy Duck Walk”!
After circle, the children return to their classrooms, where the teacher presents a Montessori material, and conducts individual lessons. In this photo, Mrs. Whisler is utilizing the teen board to present the numbers 11-19.
The children spend the majority of their day working with Montessori materials, of their choosing, from our five areas of curriculum: Mathematics, Language, Sensorial, Practical Life, and culture. Here are some examples of the students working in a classroom.
Part of the student’s day at the Rockland does include a portion of traditional classwork, such as completing papers and various projects. These assignments are derived from the Montessori material, or lesson, that was presented earlier that day. This not only creates a more in depth understanding of the presentation, but it enhances the ability of the student to follow directions and work in a group setting. This is important for students that may eventually attend a more traditional school in the upper grades.
Of course, there is always time to chat with a friend at snack, relax in the peace corner with a book, or dance!
Experiencing the outdoors is an important part of any curriculum. Especially in New England where we get to see the world change around us all year round! Our classrooms routinely go on nature walks where the children can collect leaves, pine cones, acorns, etc… These can be used in art projects, or just to examine on our nature tables. Our facility also features two playgrounds. Our playground at the academy is used primarily for gross motor refinement, and our second playground (located at the infant/ toddler cottage across the street) is a natural playscape that includes slides, balance beams, a variety of flowers and plant life, and a wind garden.
Our after school arts program (Monday -Friday 3:00 to 5:30) offers many diverse activities such as violin, yoga, music, zumba, art, and piano lessons. The year culminates in an arts night where families can come see a showcase of what the students have learned, including a violin concert!