The Casa dei Bambini (House of Children) was the first school promoted by Maria Montessori in Rome. The school - a single large room with a fenced outdoor courtyard reserved for children - opened in 1906 and was inaugurated on January 6, 1907. While in Rome, my son visited Casa dei Bambini. He arrived at the school just before dismissal and a parent noticed him outside taking pictures. She invited him inside where he met the teachers and was given a tour of the classroom!
Our school participates in Interest groups twice per year. We take one week and have an intense study of one particular subject. All other classes are put on hold for the interest group week. The children are able to choose the group that suits their interest. This semester our school focused on the continent of Asia. We were able to borrow a giant map from National Geographic. The map was utilized in many different ways! Some classes had lessons involving longitude and latitude and even built the great wall of China! It is a great way for all of the students, teachers, and staff to come together and work as a team. Our interest group (Kindergarten age) decided to study about the Animals of Asia. We made lapbooks of two of those animals, the Giant Panda and the Bactrian Camel. Other interest groups focused on music, countries (Russia, China) and even Mount Everest. Field trips consisted of lunch at the local Indian and Chinese restaurants. There was even a trip to a fitness center to practice "mountain climbing" on the climbing wall!
I found awesome ideas for the lapbooks here....http://homeschoolshare.com/