Monday, May 13, 2013

Our Montessori Work Boxes

Ever since we started our Work Plans last month, I have been on a mission to make our school time more organized and consistent.  With so many different work options, it has been hard to figure out how to lay it all out in the small space that we have to work with.  This became a real challenge with little math books, little biology books, pink reading series games, etc.  There were so many bits of PAPER!!  And, I was getting overwhelmed with how to keep it from becoming one big mess! But, I found a great solution to this problem and am excited to share it with you.


Enter Sterilite file box.  YES, I realize it is just a file box.  Little did I know just how much easier it could make my life!  Let me show you.

Mustang and Charger both have their very own box.  I will be showing you Mustang's.


After Mustang chooses the work she wants to do for the day, she then checks her file box or the file that has that title or subject on it.


Quick peek into her box.



Here are three of the folders.



One of the works listed on her plan is living and non-living work.  I found this advanced work from Montessori for Everyone.  In this case, everything she needs to do this work was inside the folder.


For Biology, her works are to review the 3 part cards for the parts of a plant and the parts of a root.  There are also little booklets for her to make in each of the envelopes.  She would need to use the parts of a root puzzle to complete this work.  The materials are still on the shelves, it is just the paper items that are in this box.


I downloaded this neat game to learn Roman Numerals from Deceptively Educational. This one we worked on together.


This fraction work, from What Did We Do All Day? would need the fraction circles, and a presentation.  So, Mustang would get her work out and ask me for one.  I take turns between the children giving presentations. 



Once she completes a work for the day, Mustang puts it in her completed folder.  I then look over the papers at night and discuss any incorrect answers with her the next day in the way I feel necessary.  Sometimes, I just ask her to look over it (on a mistake I feel was made due to trying to work too quickly).  Other times, I will sit and go through that portion of the material with her to be sure she understands what is being taught.



For example, THIS work I will ask her to look over.  She was trying to bypass the use of the Multiplication Bead Board by simply adding 6 to each number.  So, once she got the first one wrong, all those below were also wrong.  


After all the work is looked over, and corrected if necessary, it all goes into a folder with that month's name on it.  So, now, I have all the work she did for the month in one spot.  This allows me to easily record what we did that month, and have proof if I ever need or want it.  

I should add that not all the work in each folder needs to be done in the same day.  She works on it for as long as she wants and then moves on to another folder.  Some folders have worksheets that only need to be done once, others have work that can be done as many times as she wants to during the month.

Using these boxes has allowed all of us to know where to look for each of the work papers needed.  I just didn't have space on the shelves to put papers next to the materials.  Plus, with 2 little ones also in the classroom, the papers had a tendency to walk off when I wasn't looking.  The boxes have put an end to that!

They also seem to further help the children to be more independent, because they no longer have to ask me where to find certain things.  I've even had Mustang start doing work voluntarily when she first gets up in the morning!

So, if you have a small space and are doing Montessori Elementary work, how do you organize your papers?  I would love to hear how others organize their work.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

God Bless,
Lisa

We are linked up to:


Montessori Monday

5 comments:

Kylie said...

I like this plan, looks like a great way to organise all of the paperwork. We are having a bit of a reshuffle here I'll keep this in mind when I'm looking at our paperwork. Thanks :-)

The girl who painted trees said...

Great idea. Thanks for sharing it:) I especially like this part: "After all the work is looked over, and corrected if necessary, it all goes into a folder with that month's name on it. So, now, I have all the work she did for the month in one spot. This allows me to easily record what we did that month, and have proof if I ever need or want it. "

We date every work, but keeping it together by month seems even better:)

Bess said...

I LOVE this! Brilliant idea.

Stephanie said...

Brilliant! Montessori is so hands on that to a lot of people it seems like there is no paper trail. Clearly they have not don't much Montessori work! lol. I know that it is the age old question of where to put all those 3 part cards and how to make sure that they get used not lost! I love this idea!

Angie Schott said...

I love this idea! So much less space consuming then a work box system or trays/bins. So simple, I kinda feel like "Why didn't I think of that?", but I'm so glad you did! And yes, those little ones do seem to make those papers walk all over the house, don't they? Just last night I found some worksheets in the corner of a bedroom. No idea how they got there...