Common Phrases in the Montessori Studio

There are certain key phases that Montessori guides use regularly to support learners throughout their day. These common sayings encourage independence and a shared sense of culture. To have consistency at home and in the studio, we welcome parents to try using some of these phrases. Let’s review a few: 

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Journey Meetings at Acton

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Introduction to Socratic Guiding

As part of orienting new parents to Acton Academy’s unique approach, we host Acton Parent Journey Meetings throughout the year. Topics have included Introduction to the Hero’s Journey, Growth Mindset, and Introduction to Socratic Guiding, the first topic of the 2021-22 school year. For this session, parents learned by doing, participating in a Socratic discussion just like their elementary and middle school children, and playing a “Never Answer a Question” game to practice being Socratic.

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A Business Fair…for Kids?

Originally published on Let Grow on 11/29/2021

Traditional approaches to teaching entrepreneurship too often become a boring exercise in classroom abstraction.

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Town Hall and Leadership

The middle school learners have taken on new leadership roles this year as members of the Council. Elected learners from each studio (lower elementary, upper elementary, and middle school) serve on the Council, whose responsibilities include facilitating conflict resolution processes, reviewing work submitted by learners, and running Town Hall meetings.

Weekly Town Hall meetings bring the elementary and middle school studios together to consider proposals, offer counsel to the guides, and modify guardrails. Council members are responsible for taking notes about the topics discussed and any solutions agreed to. At the end of the session, the learners vote on whether or not to permanently adopt resolutions made during Town Hall meetings.

How do Acton students learn to take on this kind of responsibility for self-governance in the studio? Some of the ways learners develop their leadership and management skills are by working in teams to complete real-world projects, reflecting on issues and challenges during Socratic discussions, managing their own daily and weekly learning goals, and mentoring younger learners.

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Letter to a Hero

How do you become a powerful writer? The secret is to write a lot. With this in mind, learners dedicate one hour on Mondays and on Wednesdays every week to Writer’s Workshop. Each session has a different Writer’s Workshop theme. This year, the learners will explore writing letters, short stories, graphic novels, debates, poetry, and biographies.

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Excursions and the Adventure Van

The transition to middle school is full of opportunities for learners to take on new freedoms, including excursions off campus. One hallmark of the new Acton middle school program is the “Adventure Van”—a 15-passenger Ford Transit for off-campus excursions and adventures.
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A Spot of Tea

Montessori learners start the week with many new lessons and materials to choose from on the shelves. One of their favorites has been tea making.

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Technical Writing Workshop

Not only does a new quest begin every session, but a new Writer’s Workshop as well. Challenges in Writer’s Workshop afford the learners opportunities to make connections and to apply the knowledge they have gained during the hands-on projects of quest time. A past session’s Writer’s Workshop focus was technical writing, a genre closely connected with creating and revising code, the main learning objective of the coding quest. 

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Busy in the Kitchen

Montessori learners have been busy in the kitchen! They’ve been slicing, measuring, grating, spreading, and, of course, eating (their favorite part). Participating in kitchen-centered activities is a fun and easy way to refine gross and fine motor skills, build concentration, and practice sequencing. For example, when we bake, we always separate our dry and wet ingredients. Don’t forget to taste and feel as you go—Is it sticky or soft? Does it taste savory or sweet?

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