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Classroom Observations

We are so happy that you are joining us at District Montessori for an observation—thank you! Please note that there is no available parking on site (all spaces in the parking lot are reserved), so you should plan accordingly for street parking only.

We appreciate you taking the time to view our classroom and see what goes on during our work period. Please keep in mind that you will see children of various ages at different stages of development, and that on any one day, you will see just a small portion of all that the children are working on in our classroom.

Due to classroom activity, it may not be possible for a guide to answer questions at the end of your observation. If this is the case, please send us an email so we can connect.     

Observation Goal

To gain a deeper understanding of child development and the Montessori philosophy and environment.

Observation Guidelines

Our students’ work space and work time is sacred, and we make every effort to not disrupt or distract our teachers or students when they are working. For that reason, we ask all visitors to please review the information below before beginning an observation:

  • Observations take place at 9:30am and are for 20 minutes.

  • A guide will assist you in finding a comfortable place in the classroom to sit while you observe the work period.

  • Please do not take photographs. 

  • Please model the classroom behaviors by using a quiet voice and peaceful movements.

  • Please try not to interact with the children (or interact as minimally as possible). You may say hello if a child greets you, and kindly say you are there to watch.

  • Please do not engage the adults in the classroom in conversation. At the end of your observation time, an adult will come over to check in with you and will let you know if s/he is available to answer questions, or if s/he will follow up by phone or email.

  • If a child asks you for help, please direct them to a friend or a guide; let the child know that you are a visitor in the classroom.

  • As the children are working, please be respectful of their work period by not interrupting their work, commenting on their work, or assisting with their work.

Things to Observe

  • What materials are the children using? What activities are the children engaged in?

  • How are the children demonstrating independence during your visit? (pouring water, preparing a snack, rolling a work rug, selecting work, putting work away)

  • Notice what is happening when a child struggles with something. Does s/he figure out the problem by him/herself? Do you see a child offer help to another child? Do you see a child offer help, and then respect a refusal of help?

  • What instances of concentration do you see in the classroom? How long does a child concentrate on a particular task? How absorbed do the children seem to be in their work?

  • What fine motor skills and gross motor skills are being used?

  • What opportunities for movement are available in the classroom? What types of movement do you see?

  • In what ways are the children caring for their classroom environment? In what ways are the children caring for their friends? In what ways are the children caring for themselves?

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