Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Elementary Work Plan: Another Sample

DISCLAIMER/BACKGROUND - See these links for more information on what work plans and work journals are intended for. If your current plan isn't meeting the mark, time to change it up. Work plans aid a child in going deep, not moving into checklist mentality.
Montessori Nuggets tagged "work plan"
Montessori Nuggets tagged "work journal"

Due to the ever-present interest in work-plans, I thought I'd share yet another idea for the lowest elementary children, and perhaps some of the kindergarteners out there.

This is a sample of something I did with tutoring children through the summer-time. I set this sample up for you as if I were to do it for LegoBoy today, with his list of subjects.

Daily stuff is straight-forward - must be done each day. Move the paper-clip for that item over to the right-side when it's done.

School stuff - this is where we keep the Montessori principles! And there is a LOT of flexibility. While some of that stuff, I would like to be everyday, realistically it won't happen, and I like to keep the daily must-dos really short, sweet and simple.

So if there is an actual presentation or assignment, those are noted on another page - perhaps one for the whole week like a weekly plan, but it has less on it than a full weekly work-plan. It might have for math "1 new presentation this week", "review small bead frame", "work with 2 operations in fractions" - otherwise the child chooses for himself what to do.

The point is, once a subject is done by the child, for as long as he wants to work on it, and whatever your agreed upon work is (some assigned, some free-chosen; or all free-chosen), the clip is moved to the right-side.

At the end of one day, NOT all the clips are moved. The goal for this day is to have each line on the right-side filled with a clip, so that a minimum variety was worked on each day (for some of my students, this was 3, for some it was 6).

The daily clips are moved back to the left side. The school clips are left alone, unless there is a specific assignment yet for the child (a new presentation or a required work OR the child knows there is something more to do). Try to limit this as much as possible, because....

...the goal is to then hit the OTHER subjects the next day. And clear out that whole left-side. For some children, the goal was a 3-day rotation, especially because some things DID need to be moved back over because they needed daily practice for a short time (not long enough to justify going under the daily list), thus leaving less time for the varying subjects.

So this plan is good for situations that require all subjects be worked on over a 2 or 3 day period - whether due to the local educational requirements or the needs of the child (retention of the learning, especially with particular special needs).

The work-journal system that fits best with this work-plan is one where the child can take a photo of their work, or otherwise have something to show of their work --- OR can be used without a work-journal for the youngest children just getting started, as they are already "marking" their progress with the paper-clips; and the adult can note their work at the end of the day in a conversation. "I saw you worked with the bead squares for math - tell me about that work." etc.


  1. This looks pretty good. Our "work plan" is still more of a verbal agreement. I have been thinking of making it a little more formal soon. This is pretty simple and doesn't take up a lot of space. You have me thinking...

    We are not "journaling" our work yet. The boys have binders that they put any completed paperwork in when they have some. I would love to see a post like this about the journaling. Forgive me if you already have one or it is outlined in the course materials. My brain is full.

    1. I've not yet posted anything absolutely explicit. :) There are ideas in the theory album, but no bullet-pointed list (I like bullet points myself ;) ).

      But I get a LOT of questions on this topic, so I'll be adding more!

      And I am always up for topic suggestions ;)

  2. This looks really effective I am going to add this to my "GET IT DONE" list.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Looks great!! Children respond so much better when they see their plan in printing! I'll use it with my big boy...

  4. I love this idea! I wonder if my 12yo is too old for it... Something visual is sooo helpful though! (And I love that you've done it in cursive! :D)

    1. Daisy - if it helps, go with it :) It was designed for a much younger age, BUT the adolescent is going back to that first plane in many respects, so it's worth a try :)

      I have always written everything in cursive for my son, for our co-op and for our atriums. I get so many children tell me (after reading 2-3 sentences just FINE, then reaching a new word they've not read before) they can't read cursive. Nope - it's not the cursive they can't read, it's the new word. BIG difference ;)

    2. lol on the kids thinking it's the cursive they can't read!