Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Stages of Montessori Curriculum - Educating the Whole Child

children with telescope stages of NAMC montessori curriculum educating whole child
Born with potential, babies arrive in this world as incomplete beings. They do, however possess an amazing ability to construct themselves, developing into fully formed and functioning individuals. Unlike adults, who have the ability to learn in an immobile state, Dr. Maria Montessori observed that babies and young children learn through purposeful movement, exploration, and discovery. During the first six years of a child’s life, unconscious learning develops into the conscious level. Montessori believed that the first six years of life are crucial to human development.

The role of Montessori teachers and parents is to protect the child while they are engaged in this critical and important task.

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, August 29, 2007.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Things to Love About the First Day of School in a Montessori Classroom

children work with globes things to love about first day of school NAMC montessori classroom

Sssssssshhhhhh…don’t tell my husband, but I fell in love last week. It’s happened again, just as it does this time every year. Only this time, it was on a much grander scale. You see, class started last week and I have thirty new children to love. Thirty? Yes, I changed Montessori schools and just like that, there are thirty new children in my life.

There are the first graders, wide-eyed and full of wonder as they carefully enter not only a new Montessori classroom, but a whole new stage of development. Their small backs over-shadowed by the full-size backpacks they wear, determination on their face as they struggle to reach their cubbies. There were tearful goodbyes as mommies walked away. A few nervously whispered “Miss Michelle, I can’t read” and I calmly whispered back “It’s ok, we’ll learn together.” There was confusion when they found out that we had to go to school all day without naptime. And they all sat very close to me at circle time that first day, needing my physical presence as assurance that I would care for them and not let them get lost.

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, August 22, 2007.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Montessori Philosophy: Grace and Courtesy Make a Difference

woman on phone grace courtesy make a difference NAMC montessori philosophy

When my son met the new executive director of our new Montessori school two weeks ago, I was very pleased when he made the first move to shake hands. His voice dropped ½ an octave and he got a very serious expression on his face as he said “It’s nice to meet you.” As a mom, I was secretly smiling at the level of solemnity that caused his voice to drop and I noted to myself that this is another rite of passage that is soon to be marked and didn’t think much more about it.

When school started last week, again I was pleased to note how many of my thirty students stopped and greeted me and my assistant as they enter the classroom. For some, they took it quite seriously, pausing to look us in they eye as they said good morning. Others rushed through the gesture as something that had to be done before racing off to join their friends.

These acts of courtesy are almost taken for granted when they occur at school and in our Montessori classroom.

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, August 19, 2007.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Similarities Between Toddlers and Adolescents: A Montessori Look at Growing Up

My son grew up this summer. After spending five weeks with his grandparents, he came home not only taller, but a new personality had emerged. He left on vacation an elementary child and came home a “tween”... a pre-adolescent. As a mother, I’m torn. On one hand, I am excited to see him approaching maturity and becoming a man. On the other hand, I find myself missing the little boy, free of sarcasm and cynicism.

Reflecting on this on my drive to work this morning, I was struck by Montessori’s comparison between toddlers and adolescents. Both planes of development are marked by great growth and change, physically, emotionally and academically, and are accompanied by times of high frustration and personal success. I started thinking about what my son needed as a toddler and I quickly realized that he needs the same things as a young man entering the Third Plane of Development.

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, August 8, 2007.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Summertime Planning for the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori classroom summer time planning boy catching frisbee
It seems like just last week that school was out. Sentiments ranged from tearful goodbyes from students who were leaving, to cheers of happiness, accompanied by “See you next year”. My students were off to camps, visiting grandparents, the seaside, the mountains, the pool. . . They were ready for lots of fresh air, sunshine and good old fashioned play time.

I, on the other hand, was looking forward to some peace and quiet. The last few weeks of school are just as taxing as the first weeks and I was ready to relax. I wanted to read a book (for pleasure!) from cover to cover. I wanted to go to the beach and nap in the sun. I was looking forward to my honeymoon to the North Carolina Mountains (my husband and I got married at Thanksgiving - not a good time to take a vacation.) That was my first two weeks of vacation. Then, it happened. I started thinking about 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 Saturday, August 4, 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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