Brought to you by Rowntree Montessori Schools
Nurturing Tomorrow’s Achievers Since 1969
Our AHA! Moments take place in our classrooms, every day!
With the first month of school just behind us, I am extraordinarily pleased with the very high level of teaching and learning that is taking place within Rowntree’s classrooms. As the school increasingly embraces the ideals of 21st Century learning, it is important to understand that there is much more to these ideals than merely the implementation of technology in the classroom. The idea that we need to help our students learn to make both cross-curricular and real-world connections to their learning is vital in terms of ensuring that our students will be able to effectively apply what they learn at Rowntree to their experiences in a rapidly changing world. Each of our Grade 1-5 teachers have been encouraged to identify one real-world problem that can be studied from a multitude of angles and in which relevant and meaningful learning can take place across the different subject areas. For example, our Grade 3 students, who in the past may have studied deforestation as simply a Science topic, are now applying their Math, Social Studies, Technology and Media Literacy skills to attack this complex problem within an integrated unit. It is important within this approach to teaching and learning that the real-world and cross-curricular connections are genuine rather than forced; we should look for and highlight grade-appropriate curricular connections where they exist. Such an approach helps the students to understand that their classroom subjects do not exist in “silos” in the outside world, but that they can, and very often do, intersect. It is not our intention to eliminate the traditional subjects, as we recognize that certain skills can and should be taught in isolation in order to promote mastery, but I do often enter a class, and (only half-jokingly) ask the teachers and students, “What problem are we solving today?”
Mr. Jonathan Harris, Director of Education
Click here to view a video that shows how our Grade 3s explored an interesting solution to deforestation