A key component to a Montessori classroom is to provide students with the opportunity to self-monitor their progress. We use a central location in the classroom, called the Work Board. The purpose of a Work Board is for students and teachers to have a quick guideline of extensions and projects that the student has committed to doing. We use a template that displays the students name and each type of subject that an extension could follow, such as: Book Club, Science, Geography, etc. When there is an extension for that individual part of the curriculum, such as Book Club, the teacher will issue a colorful ticket that will fit over the Book Club slot. They might write, "Chapter One Illustration" if the extension was to illustrate a concept from the first chapters reading.
The picture to the right can help you visualize this concept.
This concept is fairly new to us (going on year two!) so we are still working out some kinks and improving each school year. Here are some strategies we learned along the way that might be of help to you.
"Language Arts" encompasses a lot in our classroom. It's not just "one subject," that we do once a day. We break it down into smaller tasks for students to be challenged in across the entire week. The Language Log is a strategic checklist for students of various needs to "check off" which language skills they worked on for the day. It is an organized way for the student, teacher and family to monitor the types of Language works the student is choosing or being instructed to work on. This can be a great tool for conferences and progress reports.
If you are interested in purchasing this tool, you can find it on our website here.