I know many of us are ending the school year, but this is bringing up many thoughts of next year. (Next year I will... Next year I want to do...) This school year was my first year taking over a 3-6 classroom on a public Montessori school. The way the year unfolded, I felt like I must have missed something at the beginning of the year. (The Montessori Consultant for our school said after her observation that there seemed to be a culture of social-ness rather than a culture of work. I agreed.) I felt like for many children they did not understand that when they took work from the shelf, the expectation was that they do the work as they were shown. Across the board there was much inappropriate use of materials and much chatting. I thought we spent a lot of time practicing how to do certain things (for example change our shoes, stand in line, take a work from the shelf, etc.), talking about expectations, having those who knew how to do things show what it looks like, giving classical and complete lessons, yet I still have am ending the year feeling like I missed something. (I feel I had a large number of children this year who had severe issues with being distracted and impulse control, 7/19 (still I feel I should have been able to influence things better than I did.) I would love of to hear some ideas from those of you well-seasoned about particular language you use to explain expectations, especially at the beginning of the year, Grace and Courtesy lessons you give and practice in order to nurture the normalized classroom. Also, if you know of particular literature or other resources that are good to use when starting the year, I'd appreciate that too. Thanks!