Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ideas for Healthy Snacks and Policies in a Montessori Environment

NAMC montessori classroom healthy snack foods and policies

Nutritious snacks and lunches can be a challenge in a world full of fast and convenience foods. Having a policy in place at your Montessori school is often helpful to assist parents in determining what are appropriate foods to send with their child.

It is helpful to have these guidelines published in the parent handbook and posted in each Montessori classroom as a reminder to parents. It is also important to talk to the children about which foods are acceptable to bring to school.

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, June 19, 2007.

Modeling Good Nutrition in the Montessori Classroom

healthy food choices model behavior NAMC montessori teachers classroom

Take a look at the headlines today and you are sure to be barraged by the articles on the ever growing problem of obesity. It seems as if it’s becoming an epidemic in many parts of the developing world. Children are confused by TV and radio ads touting fast food and sugar laden foods as well as “low-fat”, “fat-free”, “low-carb” and “trans-fat free” products. In addition to that, there are constant ads for diets, weight loss “wraps”, and gastric surgery.

As Montessorians, our purpose is to educate and prepare children for life. As childhood obesity continues to rise (as well as the diseases that follows it), we should strive to educate our children at an early age so as to help stop the spread of this condition. By educating both the child and the family, we are providing them with the necessary tools for living a healthy life.

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, June 18, 2007

Celebrating American Independence Day with Montessori Curriculum Activities

american independence day NAMC montessori curriculum activitiesIndependence Day, better known as the 4th of July, is the national holiday that marks the signing of the American Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. At that time, the original thirteen colonies were under the rule of England’s King George the III and there was growing unrest in what was known as “taxation without representation”. Colonists were responsible for paying taxes to England, but they had no representation in Parliament.

By June 1776, the colonists felt they had no other choice but to declare themselves an independent country. A committee headed by Thomas Jefferson, drafted what is now known as the Declaration of Independence which was presented to the First Continental Congress on June 28th. On the afternoon of July 4th, a vote was taken. Of the 13 colonies, 9 voted in favor of the Declaration, 2 - Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted “No”, Delaware was undecided and New York abstained.

Today, 4th of July celebrations are similar to other summer holidays. Celebrations often take place outdoors, sometimes with parades, barbecues, and ending with brilliant displays of fireworks.
The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American freedom. First called the Provence Bell, it was renamed after it was tolled twice on July 8th, at two different reading of the Declaration of Independence.

There are many Montessori activities that children can do to celebrate Independence Day. Here are just a few we would like to share with you.

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, June 18, 2007.

Montessori Curriculum Activity Ideas for Canada Day

canada day NAMC montessori curriculum activitiesCanada Day is celebrated on the 1st of July. On July 1, 1867, the British government (under Queen Victoria) approved a plan which allowed Canada to become an independent country with its own government. The new country remained loyal to Britain and was called the Dominion of Canada. At that time, there were only four provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick). Today, there are ten provinces and three territories. Canada Day was originally called Dominion Day and was changed to Canada Day by an Act of Parliament in 1982. Today, it is a day where Canadians relax with family and friends, barbecues and watching fireworks.

Children enjoy learning about their heritage in their Montessori classroom and display an attitude of genuine loyalty to their country. It is a great way to teach about symbols in their community. The Canadian Maple Leaf came to symbolize Canada as early as the 1700’s. Native people used the sap from Maple trees long before white settlers came to the continent. It has been used on military uniforms to distinguish them as Canadian military. The original Arms of Canada displayed a green leaf, but changed to red and the single red maple leaf appeared on the official Flag of Canada in 1965. The maple leaf originally appeared on all Canadian coins, but is now only featured on the penny.

There are many Montessori activities that children can do to celebrate Canada Day. Here are just a few we would like to share with you.

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, June 13, 2007

Creating a Peaceful Environment in the Montessori Classroom: Noise Levels

teacher students circle time peaceful NAMC montessori environment noise levels

In order to create a quiet classroom, the environment must first be established. This generally means a change in behavior in both the Montessori teacher and the student. To create this atmosphere, it is important that all adults in the Montessori classroom agree to react the same way and that once a change is made; it isn't changed again for quite some time. Creating a peaceful and comfortable Montessori environment is largely connected to the noise levels of the classroom. Here are some helpful tips on creating a wonderful, calm and quiet environment for your students.

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, June 13, 2007.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

An Overview on Peace Education in the Montessori Classroom

smiling boy and girl NAMC montessori classroom peace education
"Averting war is the work of politicians; establishing peace is the work of education." Maria Montessori

Montessori recognized children as the redeeming factor in the evolution of humankind. In order to bring about a world of peace and tolerance, where war is an absurdity, it is important to focus and teach peace early. Having a peace curriculum in your Montessori classroom is a sure way to prepare your children to be peace-seekers. Dr. Montessori said “…we must gather together all the elements of the world and organize them into a science of peace.”

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 Sunday, June 10, 2007.

Descriptive vs. Evaluative Praise in the Montessori Classroom

girl showing NAMC montessori teacher descriptive vs evaluative praise no rewards montessori classroom

When I first became a Montessori teacher, a well-intentioned person told me that there is no praise in a Montessori classroom. I found myself confused, if not a bit bewildered. How would a child know if she was doing a good job if there wasn't any praise? I even remember an incident where a student came to show me a picture she’d drawn and asked how I liked it. My response (as “taught” by above said person) was “How do you like it?” My student looked at me quite puzzled. She clearly wanted to know how I felt about her work.

The truth is, you can use praise in the classroom, but as Montessorians, we approach the issue from a different perspective. It was then that I began to differentiate the difference between evaluative and descriptive praise.

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, June 6, 2007

The Montessori Way to Soothe a Crying Baby

NAMC montessori way to soothe a crying baby

New parents are often at a loss when, after they bring the baby home, it starts to cry. Do you let the baby cry or pick it up every time? Advice from well-intentioned relatives and friends seems to be conflicting. Even in infancy, Dr. Maria Montessori advised us to "follow the child". In this case, it is important to spend time with your baby, learning what he is saying with each cry.

Parents often think that babies cry because they are hungry or in pain. There are many reasons for babies to cry, however. They might be worried, scared, hot, cold, lonely, bored, or even having bad memories or dreams. It may take some time to learn to differentiate the cries, but here are a few guidelines.


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, June 6, 2007.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Looping – An Option for Managing the Public Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori public school looping teacher helping girl

Public school Montessori teachers face their own unique challenges. In a traditional Montessori classroom, the curriculum was set by Maria Montessori and can be found in NAMC's Montessori curriculum manuals. When a tradition Montessori teacher teaches, it is determined by student interest and ability. However, the curriculum in the public school is dictated by the year in which the children find themselves, regardless of ability or interest. This can be especially difficult to manage in a multi-age classroom where each age is responsible for learning a preset curriculum for that grade.

I spoke with an administrator of a public Montessori school a few weeks ago who said their biggest challenge was being able to get all the lessons in. She said that their teachers could average 10-12 math lessons per day in order to get through the year-long prescribed curricula of each of their three grades. Teachers find themselves trying to teach three distinct curricula simultaneously. Not only is that exhausting for a teacher, but it’s very limiting. She has little time to walk around and observe her children working. It also doesn’t leave much time for student led exploration.

How then, do public school Montessorians accomplish this task of meeting both mandated curriculum standards and following the child?

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 Sunday, June 3, 2007.
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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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