Going Out! is Perfect for Montessori Approach
As a middle school that believes strongly in the Montessori approach, we love getting our students off campus. Outdoor trips throughout the school year along with the 18 day field trips every spring provide our middle schoolers with natural and real world interactions. However while their away, our beautiful campus with its art studios, prepared classrooms, and working farm is left vacant. As a perfect space for the Montessori approach, we wanted to put our campus to good use. That is why we started Going Out!
Going Out! is a five day program Arthur Morgan School offers to any upper elementary and early adolescent Montessori programs who are seeking going out opportunities. The program combines real work on our farm with science based coursework to create an engaging and fun experience for Montessori groups that want to get out of the classroom. Along with work and study, students and teachers also participate in a variety of facilitated artistic and outdoor activities that spark their imagination and sense of wonder.
This year Chesapeake Montessori School of Chesapeake, VA came to AMS to participate in Going Out! The group was small with only four students and their teacher, but they had a great time taking care of the school’s livestock and planting starts for the school’s garden. The group also conducted scientific experiments on seeds and discussed how different types of plants grow. In the afternoons the groups expressed themselves through art projects and went on hikes in the surrounding wilderness.
Engaging with the Montessori Approach
The students were shy at first but soon came out of their shell. They helped prepare meals, harvest vegetables from the green house and played games with one another in the evenings. Soon they were joking around and felt at home on our campus just like our middle schoolers do. The experience of getting out of their classroom seemed liked nice change of pace and we were happy we could put our campus to good use.
Going Out! will continue in May. Mead Montessori of Knoxville, TN will visit us while our students are away on their eight day outdoor trips. This time the program will host nine students. AMS has been promoting its Going Out! Montessori program to schools throughout North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland and so far the response was been overwhelmingly positive. We hope this program will continue and allow schools to see how perfect AMS is for the Montessori approach to education.
-by Nicholas Maldonado