The Montessori classroom has fairly specific ways in which materials are supposed to be set up. This is slightly difficult at the middle school level due to fewer manipulatives that actually go on trays/shelves for shelfwork. When I was first setting up my classroom, I took a tour of my colleagues’ classrooms to collect ideas. Here are a few ideas that I plan to “steal” from them.
Here are some ideas that I did actually steal and implement. I’ll go into more detail on them in a later post.
I will admit, I was a little skeptical about labeling EVERYTHING in a secondary classroom, including where the pencil jar goes. Isn’t that a little childish for my middle schoolers? Will they feel like I am treating them like little kids? The answer was no, the kids didn’t bat an eyelash at all of the labels, and it actually made my life easier. My cupboard of classroom supplies is labeled with where everything goes. The art supply caddies that I put together for each table have a label for the table they go on and what supplies should be found in them.
Each table also has a folder with the picture of their table on it. This is where students turn in their work, stapled to their checklists on Friday. If there is something that they are working on, or finished with and it isn’t Friday, they can put it on the right hand side (Save for Later). When they are all done and want me to look at it, they put it on the left hand side (Turn In). Then a student from each table turns the folder in to the correct block’s bin, which is color coded and has a Northern Minnesotan animal “mascot” (I am part of the North Shore team). I wish I had thought of this years ago! I’ll get pictures up as soon as I figure out if they are on my camera or my iPad.