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Tag: Elementary 1st Grade 2nd Grade 3rd Grade

The Uninterrupted Work Cycle – The Basics of Success

A Montessori teacher put it this way: “Protect the three-hour work period with your life! It’s one of the most important ingredients in our method.”

Parents!  Exciting things are happening around here.  Already, we are beginning to see the inklings of classrooms running like well-oiled machines.  Below you will find a very meaningful article about the uninterrupted work cycle.  While this sounds like more fancy Montessori-esque language, it has great meaning in a successful Montessori environment.  This is the place where the students natural instincts to find meaningful learning experiences is most honored to prepare the child for future learning opportunities.  This is where one child’s need for movement is given as much respect and space as another child’s need for full concentration on a task.  This is where Montessori shines like a bright star in a sky full of educational opportunities for kiddos.  I hope you’ll take just a few short minutes to read below and learn why we want so badly for your child to arrive to school on time each and every day and what great opportunities this important beginning of day time has to offer your child.


“When the children had completed an absorbing bit of work,
they appeared rested and deeply pleased.”
—Maria Montessori (author), Paul Oswald (editor),
Basic Ideas of Montessori’s Educational Theory

Children as young as three-years-old, after several months in a Montessori classroom, are able to choose their own work and focus on and finish their tasks. Through observation and experimentation, Montessori discovered the importance of a two-and-a-half to three-hour uninterrupted work period. The last hour of a lengthy work period is usually when children are most likely to choose challenging work and concentrate deeply.

Montessori once observed a three-year-old repeat the knobbed cylinders activity 44 times. The girl’s concentration did not waver when Montessori tested it, first picking up the girl in her chair and placing her (still in her chair) on top of her desk and then asking classmates to sing. When she stopped working of her own accord, “…she looked round with a satisfied air, almost as if waking from a refreshing nap.” Montessori called this a “never-to-be-forgotten” discovery. (Spontaneous Activity in Education)

Phases of the Work Period

Montessori and her directresses carefully observed the phases of children’s work during long work periods. They noted that in the first hour and twenty minutes children often chose an easy initial task, followed by a moderately challenging activity. After this, ten minutes of “false fatigue” occurred as children appeared restless and classroom noise increased. This is the time when many teachers get uneasy and end the work period. However, false fatigue is actually “preparation for the culminating work,” when children choose challenging work and concentrate deeply. When finished, there is a period of “contemplation” as children appear deeply satisfied and at peace. (ibid)

False fatigue is similar to adults taking a coffee break after working hard. If children are disrupting others, they can be quietly redirected, but too much interference actually prolongs the period of false fatigue. Instead of anxiously over-controlling or ending the work period, we must trust children to return to work. We can then observe whether they choose their most challenging task of the day.

Click here to read on.

Lower Elementary Student Thanks His Teachers



Lower Elementary student, Diego Reyes-Lisieski, prepared a 5 star meal for his teachers Monday, May 18th . Not only did Diego share his superior talent and passion for cooking, he was also able to express his appreciation and love for his teachers’ dedication and hard work.

Diego started with a beautiful table setting for four. Shortly thereafter, the MCS kitchen started to really heat up. Attractive aromas began entrancing every person who was within walking distance of Diego and, at the time, his kitchen.



Diego prepared Beef Wellington, Mashed Potatoes with Leeks, and a Cheesecake. For those of you who are not in the culinary know-how, Beef Wellington is a preparation of filet steak coated with a Pâté (a mixture of cooked ground meat and/or fat minced into a spreadable paste, commonly mixed with other vegetables, herbs, and spices) and then wrapped in puff pastry. This is a very complicated dish and if it is not cooked correctly, this dish can be a disaster.

Fortunately for Diego, the Beef Wellington was executed with excellence. The meat was tender, juicy, and full of rich, overlapping flavors. The Mashed Potatoes with Leeks were not only gorgeous to look at, but possessed the perfect balance of flavors. Often, leeks can be overpowering in a dish that uses a mild, starchy base; however, Diego nailed it.  Diego plated the dish and served each of his Lower Elementary teachers with grace and courtesy.


Both teachers and Administration were overwhelmed by Diego’s talents, generosity, and care he put into planning, preparation, and implementation of this beautiful way of saying thank you. It is agreed there is no better thank you for teacher than one that comes from the heart (and especially leads to the stomach!) and showcases a students talents, passion, and love of of those talents and passion.

MCS implements a Montessori education in such a way that emphasizes the entire child. This adds an increased focus on practical life skills that empower and connect with a child’s energy and curiosity for learning. Essentially, a Montessori child learns to how to learn and how to love what they are learning.

Diego has been at MCS for the last 5 years. He has relished and thrived in this Montessori environment. A Montessori education has allowed Diego to be able to magnify his talents, abilities, and demonstrate his love of learning. Through Montessori Community School’s Lower Elementary teachers, and Maria Montessori’s method of education, Diego is a wonderful youth maturing into an incredibly talented, responsible, and brilliant member of our community.


Diego is currently a member of the Salt Lake Culinary School and has been featured on KSL’s Good Things Utah for his cooking prowess.  We are excited to follow Diego and his talents through the years to come