This is a long quote from Maria Montessori herself in her 1912 publication, The Montessori Method. You will see our notes after certain particularly poignant sections. We wanted to post this to give everyone a bit of the flavor of Maria Montessori's thought on the subject of sitting down and "working" versus social interaction and physical play.
"Opening at Nine O'clock–Closing at Four O'clock
9-10. Entrance. Greeting. (...)Exercises of practical life; helping one another to take off and put on the aprons. Going over the room to see that everything is dusted and in order. Language: Conversation period: Children give an account of the events of the day before. Religious exercises.
10-11. Intellectual exercises. Objective lessons interrupted by short rest periods. Nomenclature, Sense exercises.
11-11:30. Simple gymnastics: Ordinary movements done gracefully, normal position of the body, walking, marching in line, salutations, movements for attention, placing of objects gracefully.
11:30-12. Luncheon: Short prayer (blogging note -- remember prayer was part of life in Montessori's time).
12-1. Free games.
1-2. Directed games, if possible, in the open air. During this period the older children in turn go through with the exercises of practical life, cleaning the room, dusting, putting the material in order. General inspection for cleanliness: Conversation. [Page 120]
2-3. Manual work. Clay modelling, design, etc.
3-4. Collective gymnastics and songs, if possible in the open air. Exercises to develop forethought: Visiting, and caring for, the plants and animals.(blogging note: from 11am to 4pm, the children have been engaged in non-classroom exercises! notice the attention open air, plants, and animals in an interactive setting with other children).
As soon as a school is established, the question of schedule arises. This must be considered from two points of view; the length of the school-day and the distribution of study and of the activities of life."