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Beyond the Classroom

 

Elementary students are ready to explore their community and begin to seek information outside of their classroom walls. "Going Outs" are an integral part of our Elementary program. 

While full-class field trips do occur, most Going Outs consist of small groups of children with a shared interest.

Students and a teacher in full beekeeping attire next to bee boxes at Marin Montessori's Junior High campus

Research Follow up

After diving deep into an area of interest and completing a research project, Elementary students have the opportunity to plan a Going Out. The possibilities are vast. Students frequent museums, natural attractions and historical sites, as well as interview experts in their fields, and get real life, interactive experiences to bring their area of study alive. From beekeeping to local chocolate makers, from the Aerospace Museum of California to the Gem and Crystal Exhibition, Going Outs create impactful, life-long memories for MdTL students. 


 

Two Upper Elementary students pose in front of the mote that surrounds the rotunda at the Palace of Fine Arts

Local Points of Interest

The Bay Area is an exceptionally beautiful place, filled with varied local points of interest and historical sites. Students plan small group Going Outs in connection to their studies on California history as well as participate in full-class field trips, from a walking tour of the the Golden Gate Bridge to visiting the Museum of the American Indian.


 

Upper Elementary students hold plant starts for their vegetable garden on a Going Out to Sloat Nursery

Practical Life Outings

Elementary students participate in regular outings to gain real-life skills. Practical Life outings include trips to the grocery store, post office, or plant nursery. When a pair of students plan a baking project as a follow-up to a lesson, they also write the grocery list and navigate the store and the purchasing. When it's time to plant in the garden, the students are involved in the process from start to finish, which gives them a host of life skills and supports their investment in the garden. Learning to navigate the world takes practice.


 

Two Upper Elementary students sit on the floor of the Marin County Free Library, paging through books about birds

Marin County Free Library

Elementary students primarily use books, rather than the internet, when gathering information on a topic of interest. Starting in Lower Elementary, students make planned and impromptu trips to the Marin County Free Library at the Civic Center. Equipped with their own library cards, students learn to seek help from the Children's Librarian to locate the books they are looking for and are responsible for keeping track of when their books are due back. 


 

6th grade students dressed in Business attire, pose in front of a bronze Sphere Within a Sphere sculpture in NYC

Montessori Model United Nations 

Each year our 6th year students travel to New York City to participate in the Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN), a program designed for Upper Elementary and Adolescent student delegates from all over the world. After choosing a country to represent, each pair of delegates represents a committee – a process that mirrors the actual United Nations. Students must think and act as if they were advocating on behalf of the people of their selected country and their specific needs. For three days, students participate in their committee's consultations, speeches, voting sessions, and debates. The final day ends with resolutions to their efforts and takes place in the United Nations General Assembly Room.


 

A poster for a bake sale fundraiser for Salmon protection and Watershed Network

Community Service 

Our Elementary students participate in child-led community service projects. Students regularly gather donations from our school community and raise money for causes they are passionate about. From selling copies of their classroom newspaper to child-led bake sales, they donate to a variety of causes and organizations, including the Marin Humane Society, the St. Vincent's de Paul Society, and the SF/Marin Food Bank. They also participate in outings to care for our environment, from coastal cleanup to pulling invasive French Broom from the Terra Linda hillsides with guidance from Marin Parks and Open Space.


 

A Lower Elementary student face to face with a goat on a Going Out to Slide Ranch

Lower Elementary: Slide Ranch

Our Lower Elementary classes take a joint trip to Slide Ranch in the fall to experience both an organic farm, with goats, sheep, chickens, ducks and bees, and spectacular protected coastal lands, with trails and tidepools to explore. Students look forward to the trip to Slide Ranch each year and return to the classroom inspired to dive into various topics of interest related to their experience at the farm and surrounding natural attractions.

Our teaching approach is experiential, student and nature-centered and values driven. We apply the over-arching theme of food as a universal springboard to cultivate appreciation for the people who grow and raise food, the soil in which it is grown, the animals that provide food, and the importance of composting and reducing consumer waste. Slide Ranch


 

Upper Elementary students and parent chaperones sit in a large circle in the forest with tents in the background

Upper Elementary: Camping Trips

Our Upper Elementary classes take two joint camping trips each school year in varied locations, typically in connection with their studies of California history.  Students plan and prepare the food, set up their own tents, and experience the great outdoors, forming life-long memories. Alumni frequently reference the camping trips as one of their favorite MdTL experiences.


 

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