SCHOOL
of
the
WOODS
MONTESSORI EDUCATION
1321 Wirt Road, Houston, Texas 77055

Celebrating 55 Years
of Learning!

1962 - 2017

American
Montessori
Society (AMS)
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Member
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American Montessori
Society (AMS)

Full Member School

The Montessori Journey: A Vital Experience for Parents

In the fall of each school year, School of the Woods presents a parent education experience known as The Montessori Journey. It is designed to show parents exactly what their children experience in the Montessori classroom at all levels from Early Childhood through High School. Parents find it to be immensely rewarding.

The Journey is held in two sessions on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Attendance at both sessions is highly recommended. The Friday session is spent in silent observation, as participants travel from the early childhood through high school environments. Parents experience what the child or adolescent sees and feels as they enter the classroom.

In the Saturday session, parents work with the Montessori materials and follow actual lessons. They spend approximately 45 minutes at each level and the teachers for that level are available to answer questions and assist with the lessons.

This powerful event provides insight into the transitions and continuity of Montessori education, and enhances parents' understanding of how and what a student learns in the Montessori classroom.

In the scenes below you can follow the Journey from early childhood through adolescence on the road to life long learning.


Below: Scenes from the Most Recent Montessori Journey at School of the Woods

1:  After a silent tour on Friday evening, parents gather on Saturday morning and have an opportunity to discuss what they observed the night before. [MJ002]
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2:  As the journey begins, parents walk the same path as their children to the early childhood class. [MJ004]
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3:  The Early Childhood class (ages 21/2 - 6) is designed to provide a rich environment scaled for the young child. Notice the small chairs and low shelves filled with manipulative materials. [MJ012]
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4:  Students can engage in different work even though they are in close proximity. This pattern parallels real world experiences. [MJ009]
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5:  The number 100 isn't so abstract when you take a handful of tens bead strings. Notice the cubes of beads that represent 1,000. [MJ008]
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6:  Handwriting can begin at an early age. Note the sandpaper letters which present the abstract letters in a tactile experience. [MJ015]
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7:  As the student explores the environment, the teacher acts as a guide rather than a lecturer. [MJ018]
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8:  Many simultaneous lessons can occur in the classroom. Notice the mats on the floor which define the workspace for the exercise. [MJ022]
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9:  A few steps accross the campus le to the elementary classrooms for students ages 6 to 9 years. [MJ024]
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10:  Students are free to move around the classroom until they choose their next lesson. [MJ044]
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11:  The elementary classroom is a rich environment that expands upon the early childhood experience. [MJ029]
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12:  Complex mathmatical concepts are illustrated with concrete examples. [MJ032]
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13:  Lessons or pieces of work are organized into orderly steps. [MJ049]
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14:  Intellectual development is encouraged as students draw conclusions from their work. [MJ034]
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15:  Science lessons are introduced with basic nomenclature and representational images. [MJ037]
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16:  Structured lessons and independent work in the research process prepare the students for a lifetime of learning. [MJ043]
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17:  Students can be independent in their nomenclature lessons. [MJ045]
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18:  Nomenclature lessons extend the understanding of the characteristics of the species. [MJ036]
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19:  A few yards east of the elementary classrooms is the Music and Visual Arts building. The adjacent outdoor deck serves as a work and practice area in good weather. [MJ050]
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20:  The music classroom offers a variety of opportunities to explore the world of audible art. [MJ051]
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21:  A completed lesson on the harp. The violet card shows instructions for the lesson and the colored and labeled harp picture in the lower right shows the student response. [MJ058]
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22:  Students discover that adding water changes the tone! [MJ060]
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23:  The African Drums await their players. Instrumental music and performing arts instruction are offered as optional after school activities, including guitar, drums, and ballet. [MJ053]
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24:  The art room offers exciting opportunities for creative expression. [MJ062]
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25:  Primary and Secondary color mixing and discovery. [MJ064]
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26:  The folding, tracing, and cutting lessons aids in developing fine motor control. [MJ068]
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27:  The path to the Upper Elementary community leads through the garden which is maintained by the students. [MJ070]
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28:  This view shows approximately one fourth of the Upper Elementary facility. The building was designed to maximize the use of natural light and to incorporate the exterior environment into the learning experience. Note in the lower right the nutricious snacks that are available during the school day. [MJ074]
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29:  The food basket and the associated pie chart help students understand the mix of foods required for balanced nutrition. [MJ075]
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30:  Time Line of Great Civilizations - Introduction [MJ078]
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31:  Close up view of the Time Line. Note how physical artifacts are used to enhance the time line and create a concrete experience. [MJ079]
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32:  Decimal checkerboard and decimal division lesson. [MJ081]
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33:  Long division of whole numbers with test tube materials. [MJ088]
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34:  Cubing material for whole numbers. [MJ085]
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35:  A short walk to the north end of the campus brings us to the Middle School. The tables in the center of the picture are used for outdoor dining in good weather. In the background can be seen one of the playground areas and the tree canopy which covers much of the campus. [MJ091]
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36:  This view shows the center of the middle school space. The circular seating area is used for daily community meetings. The middle school building was designed and constructed to meet the needs of early adolescents. [MJ092]
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37:  Personal World: "Putting First Things First" Habits of Highly Effective Teens [MJ094]
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38:  This lesson uses a physical atomic model to help the students understand the role of the valence shells. [MJ096]
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39:  The Graphic Cell lesson represents the components of a cell with familiar analogies. For example, the DNA which holds the instructions for making a new cell is represented by a digital flash drive, the Vacuoles which store food and water are shown as a water pitcher and cubes of cheese, and the Mitochondria which store energy are shown as AA batteries. [MJ097]
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40:  Even though the Middle School students are older, they still like working on the floor. This astronomy lesson uses the same learning principles as were used for the younger classes. [MJ102]
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41:  Across the street from the main campus is the location of the Woods High School facility. [MJ112]
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42:  The foyer of the High School is a busy place during the school day. [MJ113]
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43:  The High School Commons area is used for group meetings and independent study. College pennants from the Colleges and Universities graduates have attended are displayed on the walls. [MJ128]
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44:  A Woods High student demonstrates a chemistry lesson to the parent of an early childhood student. [MJ123]
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45:  Personal interaction is a important part of any subject, science, art, math, art, language, and social science. [MJ124]
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46:  Students and teachers interact personally throughout the school day. [MJ129]
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47:  A geometry lesson presented in a manner very similar to the style experienced in the elementary and middle school classrooms. Note the modern geometry text beside Euclid's Elements, one of the earliest Greek mathmatical writings. Combining history and mathematics illustrates the integrated nature of knowledge [MJ130]
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48:  I have taken all knowledge to be my province.
  - Sir Francis Bacon, English author and philosopher (1561 - 1626) [MJ136]
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 Copyright © 2000-2017
   School of the Woods
 
NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS
The School of the Woods, a Montessori school, admits students of any race, color, national & ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs & activities, generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national & ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship & loan programs & athletic & other school administered programs.