Thursday, December 20, 2007

Montessori Moments: Unselfish Giving and Holiday Spirit

NAMC montessori moments giving spirit holiday christmas santa letters
“If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men.”
- Maria Montessori

We call them “Montessori moments” – those moments that are so golden and precious that they are indelibly etched into our hearts forever. I’d like to take full credit for what happened in my Montessori classroom yesterday, but like most Montessori moments, it just ‘happened’ without a lot of planning or foresight.

I had been planning all week on teaching the children how to write a “friendly” letter. It being the week before Christmas, I sat in the circle with my 30 Lower Elementary students and we composed a letter to Mrs. Claus together. The responses were pretty typical: How’s Santa and Rudolf? You make great cookies. You’re very nice. What do you want for Christmas?

We spoke briefly about form: Salutations, the body of the letter, and the closing. We spoke of indenting paragraphs, capitalization, punctuation, and margins. Then came the assignment. They were to write a letter to Santa, but not your typical “I want…” letter. It was to be an unselfish letter to Santa. They were to write what they wanted Santa to bring to others.

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, December 20, 2007.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Montessori Classrooms Celebrate Winter Holidays Around the World

NAMC Montessori Classrooms Celebrate Winter Holidays Around the World Hanukkah menorah Montessorians know that in order to promote peace and understanding of different people and cultures, it is necessary to study not only the geography and history of those people, but also to look at the human story. Looking at the ways we celebrate gives us some insight into our similarities and differences. The winter season brings many festivals and celebrations around the world. Through study and experience, children gain a better understanding of those around them.

NAMC Montessori Classrooms Celebrate Winter Holidays Around the World chinese dragon

Here are a few celebrations happening around the world at this time of the year that your students will enjoy learning about!

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, December 12, 2007.

Montessori Elementary Christmas Crafts and Activity Guide

NAMC Montessori Christmas Crafts and Activity Guide 6-12 handprint wreath
The last two weeks before winter vacation and holiday are full of energy and anticipation. Montessori teachers know that, in addition to regular work cycles, this exciting time is easily tempered with fun holiday crafts that not only provide an outlet to pent up energy, but they serve as keepsake memories for parents. Use the following fun Christmas crafts as a jumping off point for your own Montessori Elementary classroom activities!

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 .

Montessori Preschool Christmas Crafts and Activity Guide

NAMC Montessori Christmas Crafts and Activity Guide 3-6 reindeer paper bag puppet
Young children delight in the approach of winter holidays! Depending on whether we are Montessori homeschooling, in a secular school, or in a Montessori school that teaches religion, we have more than enough ideas for projects during the holiday season. Here are just a few craft ideas for the Montessori preschool classroom to help you get inspired for the holidays!

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 .

Enjoying Winter Activities in the Montessori Classroom

winter NAMC montessori activities button snowflake ornament
My Montessori school encourages teachers to have monthly field trips planned that enhance the curriculum. December, however, can be a difficult time to plan a trip around the building excitement of holidays and vacation, as well as possible inclement weather. So this year, one of my mothers offered a great suggestion: Why not have a holiday craft day instead? We put our heads together and started organizing this fun and festive day.

We scoured craft catalogs and stores for the perfect crafts. They had to be priced right, not too complicated, appeal to both boys and girls, and there had to be 30 of each! No easy task, I must say. Nevertheless, we came up with 3 crafts: a cooking activity, a decorating station, and a set of coloring pages.

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, December 7, 2007

Montessori Inspired Age Appropriate Toys (9 to 12 Years)

NAMC Montessori Inspired Age Appropriate Toys 9-12 boy playing basketball
Children in this plane of development begin to explore play at a different level. They enjoy arts and crafts, science kits, and outdoor activities. Boys in particular, still enjoy more complex building sets. Both boys and girls are interested in reading fiction stories, especially those in a series, magazines, and how-to projects. They may also develop a special interest in hobbies or collecting items of interest. These activities help foster a new sense of independence, rational thought, and learning skills. Here are some ideas for the 9-12 year old.

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, December 7, 2007.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Montessori Inspired Age Appropriate Toys (6 to 9 Years)

girls playing chess NAMC Montessori Inspired Age Appropriate Toys 6-9
While the younger child seeks comfort, the older child is now eager to encounter challenges. But these challenges must have an aim. - Maria Montessori

Your six-to-nine year old is starting to ask the BIG questions of Montessori’s Cosmic Education and their toys and playtime reflect that. Who am I? What am I? Where did I come from? Children at this age are into exploring the world around them. What is this, and how does it work?

Children in the lower elementary Montessori classroom are fascinated with prehistoric life. Plastic models and books of dinosaurs have long held the interest of both boys and girls. They are also starting to develop their sense of humor and enjoy books with riddles and jokes. (Remember, just because we don’t think it’s funny, doesn’t mean they won’t laugh hysterically over it!)

It is important for 6-9 year olds to continue to exercise and use their bodies, so outdoor equipment such as balls, jump ropes, and bicycles are very popular and useful. Here is the next list in our installment of Montessori appropriate toy and gift ideas to help you out when it comes time to give a thoughtful gift!

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, December 6, 2007.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Montessori Inspired Age Appropriate Toys (3 to 6 Years)

NAMC Montessori Inspired Age Appropriate Toys 3-6 children with chalk
We have to understand that the world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is more important than the eye. It is the hand that drives the subsequent evolution of the brain. . . The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.
- Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

Most commercial toy manufacturers would have us believe that the best toys for 3-6 year olds are based on cartoon characters or interactive computer and TV programs. However, we as Montessorians know that 3-6 year old children need large muscle movement with increasing refinement of smaller muscles – legs, arms, hands – all the way down to the pincer grip of holding crayons and pencils.

We also know that during these crucial years is an impressionistic time for sensorial development. Children are experiencing their environment using all of their senses. Toys should help lay the foundation for the child to think and act creatively.

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, December 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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