Learning Outside the Box: LED Project Display Gallery

This week, both Lower Elementary classes welcomed parents and families into the classroom during their respective continent project display days.

In the Lower Elementary Downstairs class, several weeks of studying the continent of Asia culminated in an exciting display of individually-written research projects, accompanied by artful pop-up habitats, biomes-in-a-box, and three-dimensional landmark models.

While conventional wisdom might view the written portion of the research project as the more important component, in the Montessori Lower Elementary environment, the creative response that complements the written research is held in equal – if not even greater – esteem. When the child is drawing a tiger and its habitat, or creating the Himalayas out of papier-mache and plaster, he or she is not only exercising and engaging the imagination, but also synthesizing knowledge and skills across a broad range of academic areas.  

The planning and conceptualization that come with making a creative response involve a great deal of forethought and visualization. Learned facts and figures take on concrete dimensions as the children measure the heights of animals or mountains, estimate the depths of ocean trenches, and choose art materials to emulate ancient walls or looming forests. Practical organization and time management come into play as the children keep a deadline in mind, and complete various steps of their projects. 

The sharing of these projects with others in the community is an effective way to reinforce the knowledge gained in the process of researching and creating a project. Students develop confidence and communication skills as they learn to share their ideas with supportive and enthusiastic guests, to listen to and answer questions, and to receive feedback about their work. They also learn to appreciate the work of others, and find inspiration in the wonderful ideas and the hard work of their classmates.

By thinking outside the box and offering our children exciting, creative ways to synthesize and express their knowledge and skills, we enable them to learn to the fullest of their abilities. Thank you to all of the families who were able to attend and support the Lower Elementary project display days this week. Celebrating the children’s hard work was a wonderful way to wrap up the first term, and to set up the children for a fantastic new year of learning ahead.

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