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How might we design spaces, learning experiences, & supports where students drive their leaving (especially young learners)?

In the classroom and in remote learning, our youngest learners are the least independent. How can we change this? What supports are needed?

Photo of Jessica Lura
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Written by

I am a.....

  • Teacher

Tell us about your idea

What learning experiences can we design that provide our young learners opportunities to work independently? To make choices over what they do? To design structure that is age-appropriate where they understand expectations and so are fairly self-sufficient? 

What structures would help support parents in supporting their elementary-age students? 

Children can do amazing things-- with help and independently. At school, I see students who are self-sufficient and independent struggle when asked to work independently at home.  Is it the change in space? Change in expectations? What can learn from school systems where students are given more responsibility? 

(image from Bridgeview Montessorri School:

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

lack of student voice and choice

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I see our students' parents struggling to support their students, especially those in lower elementary. Since so many parents need to focus on their own jobs, they want activities that their children can do independently, which often becomes a computer program teaching a student. How can we make sure our youngest learners have access to engaging, creative, and meaningful activities that don't require an adult sitting next to them?

What region are you located in?

  • North America

Where are you located?

SF Bay Area, CA, USA

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Rachel Siegel

Oh, Jessica Lura , how your words resonate with me! Thank you so much for posting another idea to the Challenge. We have 3 elementary-aged kiddos in our household and my husband also teaches 2nd grade. We are in constant conversation about this very topic: how can we create meaningful, engaging learning experiences for students (and our own children) that don't require a lot of parent/caregiver guidance? This certainly becomes even more complex as we think about students' varying academic, physical, social-emotional and socioeconomic needs in our remote learning world. I wonder if you've been able to try some mini "Montessori-style" experiments with your students during remote learning...any surprises or key insights?

Also tagging carmela lopriore and her idea Montessori Method Approach to Remote Learning . There's a great conversation thread in the comments!