MELISSA JOHNSON (MISS J)
My name is Melissa K. Johnson, and I served as the Children’s House educator from 2006 to 2019. In 2019, I was thrilled to accept the invitation to lead the E2 class.
I am an elementary education graduate from Viterbo University and I received my American Montessori Society certification from Seton Montessori. In addition to teaching, I have served on the Board of Directors as secretary, vice president, or president. I have also participated in, co-chaired, and/or chaired curriculum committee, personnel committee, public relations committee, and policy committee.
I love to travel and listen to music with my husband, D.J., and children Greere and Darwin. I am also a dance teacher at Nicole’s School of Dance in La Crescent where I can share my passion for the art with many other children in the community. I love the family atmosphere of LMSS and am incredibly grateful for my position within the school and all of the families I have met along the way.
About Elementary 2 (E2)
E2 extends and broadens the foundations set by the E1 class. Children’s thinking becomes more abstract. E2 students use hands on materials but start learning abstract concepts. Maria Montessori observed that children between the ages of 9 and 12 are at the height of their intellectual powers. E2 students are capable of more abstract thinking, creating bigger projects, and delving into deeper learning. For example, students spend the fall researching early humans, ancient Egypt, or ancient Rome and create a beautiful report. In the spring students research the dark ages, ancient Greece, or Renaissance.
In the mornings, students participate in a three-hour work period where they have a flexible schedule and learn in small groups with their teacher. Afternoons are spent doing Specials such as Art, Spanish, and Music. Every Friday an expert from the community is invited to the classroom to speak about their background and job. We have invited people in the community such as chief police officers, engineers, massage therapists, archaeologists, and many other interesting professionals.
Subjects taught in the E2 classroom include:
- Literature circles
- Language Arts
- Individualized Spelling
- Physical education
- Visual Arts
Typical Day in Elementary 2
Click on the times below to learn more about what happens during that period of time.
Students are welcomed into the classroom by their classroom teachers or peers, often with handshakes or fist bumps. Students put their clothes and shoes away, slip into their inside shoes and prepare for the day.
E2 students begin their day with morning meeting. At this time, students discuss the planned activities for the day, lessons to be given, any dilemmas that need addressing, and they end the meeting by writing down their individual goals. Those goals are shared with an adult to help students become personally accountable. After morning meeting, students immediately pick out a work to continue their day with. Teachers and assistants are available to help guide children in the decision making process if necessary. During this Great Work Period, the teacher invites students to the rug for small group lessons. After the lesson, the student is able to work on this new concept as another work until they have mastered it. Once a lesson is mastered, teachers are able to provide extensions to the original lesson, or provide a new lesson. Students work until it is time to prepare for lunch.
Shortly before 11 a.m., students begin to prepare for lunch: cleaning up their work area, washing their hands, and preparing their lunches. Lunch is held in the Community Room with Children’s House, E1, and E2 students. AP students remain in their community space upstairs for lunch. Staff are on hand in both locations to help students as needed. The lunch hour is a wonderful opportunity for students to work on their practical life skills, like preparing food, cleaning up spills, washing dishes, and sweeping up debris. After lunch, students participate in recess, located in either the front or back of the school. During sunny weather days, the students will sometimes travel to Abnet Field for extra space.
Students return from recess and begin reading, either on their own, or as a group. The afternoons are often spent on special, larger group activities, such as Art, Health, PE, or music. Lessons that were unable to be given in the morning can also happen at this time.
Students prepare for their transportation home. They pick up their work space, put away materials, and help organize the room. Most students have “jobs” to complete, such as feeding the class pet, sweeping, dusting, taking out the recyclables, or wiping tables off. It is important for students to take part in making their environment a welcoming space. Students are released from class into the care of the bus company or a parent or guardian. We look forward to seeing the students tomorrow!
Note: On Wednesdays, we have early release and the school day ends at 2:15 p.m.
LMSS is a public charter school providing tuition-free education for grades K-12 school children. We welcome Wisconsin residents! If this is your family, please call our office for the current tuition rate.
Hours M–F: 8 a.m.–3 p.m. (there is early release at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesdays)
LMSS provides a full range of world class experiences. We encourage our families to remain enrolled throughout the breadth of each mixed-grade classroom.