Ten reasons Ms. Frizzle’s class is a Montessori classroom

My better half woke me up this morning by announcing that Ms. Frizzle, the teacher in The Magic School Bus series, is clearly a Montessori Guide.

  1. The students follow their own interests. The children often announce that “according to my research…”
  2. Nearly every class activity is a Going Out. To be fair, she organizes many of the trips and often the whole class goes along, but usually around the children’s interest. And given their adventures, who can blame all the kids for wanting to go (well, except for Arnold)? (Of course, in the real world, most guides won’t send their children off to the inside of a volcano and then show up to rescue them in the nick of time, but we do this with our imaginations every day.)
  3. No homework.
  4. No one has ever seen a child in her class complete a worksheet or take a test.
  5. She has a wild and outrageous dress sense. (-:
  6. They keep a lizard in the class. (We had an iguana in my upper el class, so I buy this one.)
  7. She explains only what the children need to continue their learning. The children have to find their own answers.
  8. The children work on their own schedules, not all on the same thing at the same time.
  9. No grades.
  10. The children obviously *love* their work. None of them have lost the “spark”.

For more on the “spark” that Montessori encourages, watch Trevor Eissler’s new video.

Can you think of any more reasons?

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One thought on “Ten reasons Ms. Frizzle’s class is a Montessori classroom

  1. Ezra says:

    The whole thing with homework or not, I always thought, was a difference between the TV series and the books. In the TV series, they never did have any homework. But in the books they did sometimes. I recall once Ms. Frizzle assigned her class to come up with facts about water and the water system before they all took a trip through it. I think there were other things too, like calculating what a student would weigh on each of the planets in the solar system (& the moon and Pluto, which used to be a planet).

    Also, I thought only D.A. ever did any research.

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