A Day in The Life

Following the Montessori model of multi-age classrooms, Mountain Sun serves children in several groupings. The Primary classes (Owls and Otters), serve our youngest children ages 3 to 6, including the kindergarten. The Lower Elementary (Acorns) serves children ages 6 to 9, from the First to the Third Grade. The Upper Elementary (Monarchs) serves children ages 9 to 12, from the Fourth to the Sixth grade. And the Middle School (Coyotes) serves children in the Seventh and Eighth grades. These multi-age classrooms allow for older students to serve as mentors and leaders, and they also allow for flexible groupings of students academically according to their needs instead of a rigid focus on grade level. As a result, children are able to find the support they need and excel in a supportive environment.

The Daily Rhythm refers to the schedule of daily activities. These activities are structured in such a way that there is ebb and flow between the group and individual activities, independent work periods, and open-ended imaginative play.  Structuring the day to honor the natural rhythm of the child helps the students move through the day easily because it feels right. As we move through the day, we are mindful of the children’s different needs and moods. Also, we are respectful of the children’s internal rhythms that they create as a group. Therefore, the times indicated may not always be precise, but provide us with a guideline to facilitate the daily rhythm.

Primary Classes

8:15 to 8:30 Arrival

8:30 to 10:30 Independent Work Periods. During this time, children will be able to choose materials to work with, read books, engage in imaginative play, and participate in art activities. Snack will be available to the children during this time.

10:45 Morning Gathering Circle. This will be a short circle designed to center the children and classroom community. During this circle we acknowledge the calendar/season, a brief story based on a current topic or one brought up by the children, and may include a group lesson or activity. They will be dismissed from the circle to choose their work.

11:00-11:45 Outside time. Children will have access to the many natural play areas of the woods and streams of campus. They may participate in imaginary play or projects/activities that are offered.

11:45 – 12:00 Closing circle. Children will have opportunity for sharing. There may be a story or a book read, music, movement, etc.

12:00 Dismissal.

Kindergarten students remain for lunch and afternoon activities including literature circle, Spanish, Yoga, Art, Music, and focused exploration of the materials of the classroom.

Lower Elementary

8:15 – 8:30am  Students Arrive

8:30 – 9:00am  Morning Circle and Centering.  This circle will is designed to acknowledge the start of our day together as a group.  It begins with a moment of peaceful reflection.  We may recognize the calendar or season, have a group lesson or story based on a current topic or one brought up by the children.  On Fridays, we will have an all school centering circle at 8:30.

9:00 – 11:15am  Individual and Group Lessons.   This portion of the day begins with a period of “silent and independent” work followed by small lessons integrated with independent work where the child can choose from work, materials, and centers that have been introduced.

11:15 – 11:30am  Transition Circle.   This circle is a time for the whole class to “check in” before moving on to recess.

11:30am – 12:20pm  Outside Time.  Children will have access to either playground structures, open fields, or natural areas. They may participate in imaginary play, or projects/activities that are student initiated.  

12:20 – 12:30pm  Lunch Preparation.  During this time, students will be washing hands and preparing themselves for lunch.  This time may also be used for class meetings to reflect on consensus based group practices, problem solving, or the facilitation of peaceful conflict resolutions.

12:30 – 1:00pm  Lunch.

1:00 – 1:30pm   Literature Circle.   A chapter book will be read aloud, students will be allowed to engage in quiet drawing or hand work while they listen (Mondays will be Yoga).

1:30 – 1:45pm  Classroom Contributions and Share time.  Students will participate with special attention paid to grace and courtesy.  Students are asked to contribute to tidying the class and preparing for the next school day.  Each child will be given a specific day to tell a story or bring an item to share with the class.

1:45 – 2:45pm  Projects, Lessons, and Weekly Classes such as Art, Music, Outdoor Education, Spanish and Yoga.  Each day the students will participate in a weekly class or extended classroom work period. Yoga (1:15-1:45) and Outdoor Education (1:45-2:45) on Monday, Spanish on Tuesday (2:00-2:30) and Friday (2:15-2:45), Art on Thursday (1:45-2:45), and Music on Friday (1:15-2:15).

2:45 – 3:00pm  Final Circle.  Closing of the day with reflections, a story, a thought, a recitation, a quiet moment, ending with “Shalom”.

3:00pm  Dismissal.

Upper Elementary

8:15-8:30        Arrivals

8:30-9:00        Morning Circle and Centering – sometimes followed by a group lesson.  To facilitate centering this circle will incorporate one or more of the following: a word, a song of greeting, movement, or breathing exercise.

9:00–11:30      Individual and Group Lessons integrated with independent work period where the child can chose from work, materials, and centers that have been introduced.

11:30-12:15     Outside time. Children will have access to either playground structures or natural areas. They may participate in cooperative games, imaginary play, or projects/activities that are offered.

12:30-1:00        Lunch

1:00–1:30        Literature Circle. A chapter book will be read aloud, students will be allowed to engage in quiet hand work, such as drawing, knitting while they listen.

1:30 – 2:45     Enrichment Classes including art, music, Spanish OR another work period at least 2 days per week.  Depending on the day this will be additional independent and collaborative work time, lessons, and ecology studies.

2:45-3:00         Final Circle.  Closing of the Day and Contributions

3:00 Dismissal.

Middle School

8:15-8:30  Arrivals   Students arrive, begin quiet preparation for the day, and complete daily board work.

8:30-8:45  Morning Circle & Centering-: Teacher and students will rotate facilitation of centering practices such as breath work, meditation, song, movement, reflection on a word, quote, poem, or piece of art, etc. Towards the end of each circle, youth may also share joys and/or concerns that are present on any given day.

8:45-11:30  Individual and Group Lessons integrated with independent work period

11:30-12:25  Outside Time: Primarily consensus based, this time is meant for cooperative games, youth-led activities, imaginary play, and unstructured social interaction.

12:30-1:00  Lunch

1:00-2:45  Extension Period: Afternoon times will include further independent work and group lessons with focused work in Art, Music and Spanish.

2:45 Closing Circle

3:00 Dismissal

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