Thursday, June 13, 2013

Timeline of Work

My assistants and I have come up with an engaging solution for children benefiting from visual references while choosing activities during our Montessori work periods.  We came up with a timeline (of sorts) a child creates while choosing lessons.

First, I purchased sticky-back velcro and adhered it to the upper part of our lower classroom window.  Then, I laminated numerous photos of materials and lessons throughout the environment and placed a small piece of velcro to the back of each one.  The photos are stored in a box near the windows.  The child simply chooses lessons from photos in the box and attaches each one to the line, creating a visual timeline of the activities he/she has chosen to complete.

This photo shows the line of photos attached to the top of the window...

The photos to choose from...

"I'll do the Number Rods next!"
Once a lesson is completed, the photo is removed from the line and placed back in the box.  The next photo on the line gives students direction and purpose as they navigate the classroom throughout the work period.

This has helped a handful of children to make meaningful choices in their work and stay focused on tasks.  


  1. This is great! I was just thinking about putting something together like this for a student. Good to hear that it is working in your classroom. Nice photos too. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much! While we are now getting ready to end our school year, I will look forward to having it in place for next school year...

  2. We are a public Montessori magnet school, so we have Common Core standards to worry about and all that kind of stuff. Ugh. We make "work plans" with categories of work down the left side and days of the week across the top. Then within each area there are works listed that the individual child is on level with. Work titles are circled for the child to work on each day based on what they need, but the amount of works depends on the child. PreK age sometimes start with 2, and higher academic Kindergartners have as many as 5. Later in the year we let the children circle/choose their own works each day.

  3. Thank you for describing your work plans - I like the idea of encouraging the children to circle their own works for each day.

  4. I love what you've come up with for your students as I know it works. (My two boys are autistic.) I use a modified Montessori Method at home with my kiddos. Since I discovered they tend to stim off of some of the materials I devised my own system. I have separate sets of shelving. The first set is our "work shelves," or those with common core standard activities on them. The kids must complete a certain number of activities before going to the "fun" shelves, which include practical life, sensorial, music, art, and some hands on science activities. Dinomite is 6 so he must complete 6 different "work shelf" activities each day. Bulldozer is 4, so he completes 4. Princess is 3, so she completes 3. I use white boards. They write their names on the boards, put them in their special spots and as they finish each activity they draw a smiley face on their boards. When they have their specific number of smiley faces needed to move on, they can choose activities from the "fun shelves." It's worked wonders, especially with Bulldozer's OCD tendencies and Dinomite & Princess' anxieties.