As many Montessori schools can attest, parent education evenings aren't always the best attended events of the year. However, the Family Open House is one night that almost every family tries to attend.
Family Open House is a chance for the students to demonstrate the lessons and materials that they use every day. The Primary students pick and choose the activities they want to demonstrate, moving around the classrooms with their families in tow, much like they do during class time.
Playing phonetic bingo with Dad.
Showing Dad the proper way to cut out a shape.
Showing Mom and Grandma how the clock activity works.
Numerals and counters proudly being shown to the whole family.
An older brother, now in elementary, watches as his younger sister demonstrates the decanomial square to their parents. Quite a feat considering the youngest brother wanted to help. ;)
Some children only wanted to show their favourite work, while others wanted to show every single thing they've learned over the year.
The elementary classrooms handled the demonstrations a bit differently. A few weeks before the open house, the students each chose an activity to demonstrate on the evening. They practiced the materials with one another and with the teachers so that they would feel confident when the evening came.
The students sat with their chosen lessons for the entire hour as the parents moved from one table to the next. Sometimes the students just wanted to work through a question as the parents watched while others took on the role of teacher and walked the parents through each step of the activity.
Both lower elementary classrooms demonstrated the multiplication checkerboard.
A Dad beams as his daughter shows the large bead frame to another family.
And the little guy gets in on the action again.
In upper elementary, fraction division and the trinomial theorem were demonstrated.......
....as was the periodic table.
As expected, the families found the demonstrations fascinating.
Rather than present the projects they are working on, the Middle School chose to turn the kitchen into a Cafe for the evening. All the proceeds go toward the Montessori Model United Nations fund.
But there can always be found a quiet moment to read.
Parent education evenings are an integral part of understanding how students learn in a Montessori program. We try to make attending as easy as possible for our families by offering child care and holding the events fairly early in the evening. The Open House evenings are particularly inspirational because parents get to see how the students discover concepts for themselves and how much satisfaction they receive from the lessons.