Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Absorbent Mind: Chapter 22: Social Development

NAMC Montessori absorbent mind ch 22 girl with geometric solids

“…no one acting on the child from the outside can cause him to concentrate. Only he can organize his psychic life.”

— Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, p. 222.

I have been involved with Montessori education for over 13 years. When I talk to prospective teachers or parents, I find that they always ask the same questions. They want to know about the materials, the idea of mixed age grouping, the ideal class size, the amount of adult involvement, and the concept of freedom. In chapter 22 of The Absorbent Mind, Dr. Montessori addresses all of these questions.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Redirecting Versus Distracting in the Montessori Environment

NAMC Montessori redirection vs distraction boy on swing with muddy feet

What is the difference between redirecting and distracting children from unwanted behavior? The biggest difference is in the approach. Redirection involves guidance; distraction merely diverts attention.

Let’s look at a few examples and see if we can tell the difference:

1. Baby Sarah gets upset and cries when Mommy leaves for work. As Mom closes the front door, Sarah’s caregiver gives Sarah a toy and says, “Look at this pretty toy.” Redirection or distraction?

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, November 7, 2014.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Guiding Children with Learning Disabilities in the Montessori Environment

“Help me to help myself.” — Maria Montessori, The Child in the Family, p. 72.

namc montessori children with learning disabilities silhouette sunset

In her book Children Who are Not Yet Peaceful, Donna Bryant Goertz says, “We wisely welcome into our classrooms that small number of children whose behavior strikes us as eccentric, complicated, challenging, or confusing. These children are the indicators of how well the classroom is meeting the needs of all the children. They react when others don’t — and react overtly in ways that cannot be ignored. We have found that to assimilate these children and support them in their personal transformation, the class must be providing the maximum benefit to all children.” (Goertz, 2001)

If we truly believe that all children can and have the right to learn, then there is a place for all children in your Montessori environment, including those with learning disabilities or who are “at risk.”

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Monday, October 27, 2014.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Absorbent Mind: Chapter 21: Children’s Possessiveness and Its Transformations

“The child is the spiritual builder of mankind, and obstacles to his free development are the stones in the wall by which the soul of man has become imprisoned.” — Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, p. 221.

NAMC Montessori absorbent mind ch 21 possessiveness child with ladybug

When my son was a toddler, he was intrigued by the minutiae of his environment. Ants crawling along the pathway were fascinating to him. Their tiny parade seemed to race from one place to another. As his tiny foot lifted in an attempt to learn what would happen if they were crushed, I gently stopped him, saying, “Ants are living creatures. Let’s watch where they are going instead.” Following their linear progression, we quietly observed them carrying food back to their nest.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, October 16, 2014.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Absorbent Mind: Chapter 20: Character Building is the Child’s Own Achievement



“Children construct their own characters.” — Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, p. 208.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, October 7, 2014.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Absorbent Mind: Chapter 14: Intelligence and the Hand


“Therefore, it is clear that we must not carry the child about, but let him walk, and if his hand wishes to work, we must provide him with things on which he can exercise an intelligent activity.” — Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, p. 155.


As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Helping Children with Executive Function Challenges in the Montessori Environment


“To let the child do as he likes when he has not yet developed any powers of control, is to betray the idea of freedom.” — Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, p. 205.

Previously, we discussed how to add variety to the Montessori three-period lesson to help children learn to generalize, or transfer information. Behavior interventions will also play a role in developing good judgment and impulse control.


As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Three-Period Lesson and Generalization: Helping Cognitive Processing in the Montessori Environment

NAMC Montessori three period lesson cognitive processing

Along with controlled error and freedom to choose your own work, nothing is quite as Montessori as the three-period lesson. The three-period lesson is a focused and precise way of presenting new vocabulary and concepts to children in a consistent manner, allowing them a sense of comfort and security. They know what to expect every time something new is presented and can focus their entire attention on the concept rather than on the structure of the lesson.

The structure of the three-period lesson is simple. It is made up of three phases:

  • 1. This is… (Naming Phase)
  • 2. Show me… (Recognition, Association Phase)
  • 3. What is…? (Recall, Confirmation of Knowledge Phase)


As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, September 17, 2014.
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As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.

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