Sunday, March 30, 2008

Montessori Preschool Education: Going Out for Ages 3 - 6 years

montessori preschool education going out ages 3 6 boy with cameraI know what you're thinking. Take a class field trip with 3-6 year olds? Am I crazy? Wouldn't it be better to just stay in the classroom? After all, children at this age love their Montessori classroom and their routine.

While planning field trips for the 3-6 year-old age range can be a bit more daunting, it couldn't be more important. As Dr. Montessori has shown us, children learn by doing and exploring. The world to the primary child is very personal. Since he has very little experience, he knows his small world by the sounds he's heard, the sights he's seen, the things he's touched, smelled, and tasted. Until his senses are awakened, developed and new evidence is gained by experience, his world remains very small.

Planning and Preparation:

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, March 30, 2008.

Montessori Education: The Importance of Going Out From a Child's View

NAMC montessori education going out important learning planes development roots and rockGoing out and exploring outside the Montessori classroom is an opportunity that many Montessorians take for granted. With budget cuts and teachers worried about time away from the classroom, which can impact their ability to fulfill state-mandated curriculum goals, many public schools aren't organizing field trips any more. My son's friend who attends the local public middle school is always so jealous every time we mention our field trips; "I sure wish we could take field trips instead of always sitting in class."

It's so important to remember that as adults, we often feel that going on field trips and leaving the comfort of the Montessori classroom is such a hassle: there are permission forms to be signed, money to collect, drivers and chaperones to organize, emergency trips to the bathroom, and then the excitement doesn't seem to wear off when you return to the classroom. However, we must remember to view these going out experiences through the eyes of the child. They haven't the experience that we adults do. It's our duty to make sure that they can experience all there is while they are still full of awe and wonder.

Going Out activities are an important part of the second and third planes 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 .

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Going Out as Part of Montessori Education - Learning Independence

going out NAMC montessori enducation learning independence two girls with carrots
Maria Montessori recognized that children in the second plane of development (ages 6-12) are in need of a dual environment: that which is found within the Montessori classroom and that which is found outside the Montessori classroom. While the classroom is captivating and intriguing, it is not enough. Children must witness and experience first-hand what is out in the community. Maria Montessori developed "going out" in an attempt to connect children with the outside world.

A true going out trip is one that is thought of, planned, organized, executed, and followed up by the child. With the older children (ages 9-12) it is an expression of independence and responsibility. Usually, an idea is planted while the child is doing research. Often it is expressed by "Wow! I wish I could do that!"

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, March 27, 2008.

Montessori Curriculum: Preparing for Weather Systems in the Classroom

NAMC montessori curriculum preparing for weather systems safety lightning bolt

I've always been afraid of thunderstorms. As a child, I used to crawl into my parents’ bed and hide there with them until the storm was over. And now, since I've moved to North Carolina, I am faced with living with another severe weather phenomenon that I've never experienced before: tornadoes  As a Montessori teacher and a mother, I find myself in that awkward position of being the comforter even though I inwardly want to jump at every flash of lightning and clap of thunder and every tornado warning.

And it seems I have good cause to be worried. Thunderstorms are responsible for causing the majority of natural disasters: tornadoes, hurricanes, flash floods, micro- and macro bursts, and forest fires caused by lightning.

When discussing severe thunderstorms with children, it’s important to also discuss safety. If you are inside:

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, March 25, 2008

Studying Weather Systems in the Montessori Classroom

Investigating Weather Systems in the NAMC Montessori Classroom hurricanes tornadoes thunderstorms
North Carolina is in a severe drought. Currently, we are short approximately 10.5 inches of rain for the past two years. Severe water restrictions are in effect and hearing that neighboring towns have less than 100 days of water left is a frequent occurrence. That being said, we are entering our rainy spring season which also brings months of tornado warnings. Naturally curious, children want to know what causes weather, especially severe weather.

The Montessori classroom is a great place for children to learn, explore, and research naturally occurring phenomenon such as thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes  These concepts are usually introduced during the upper elementary years. Here, in North Carolina, we experience both hurricanes and tornadoes and this is enough to spur discussion and interest. If you live someplace where these weather systems do not occur, you can peak student interest by announcing that there are approximately 40,000 thunderstorms around the globe each day and that the class will have an opportunity to investigate how thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes form.

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, March 25, 2008.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Celebrating Easter in the Montessori Classroom with History and Activities

NAMC montessori classroom easter activities history colored eggs
Although not all Montessori schools celebrate Easter, it is an important religious and cultural holiday for many Christian people. Easter can be studied in the Montessori classroom along with other major holidays throughout the year.

Consider celebrating Easter for everyone by learning about the history behind the holiday, partaking in cultural discussions, and by learning how to dye eggs with natural dyes.

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, March 20, 2008.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Animal and Nature Study and Activity Ideas for the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori classroom spring animal and nature activity study baby lambs
SPRING! It's almost here. I woke up a few days ago and had the first daffodil blooming in my front yard. Now I have discovered that my flowering pear trees are in the first stages of blooming. After those long winter months, spring brings the promise of new life and renewal. It's an amazing and wonderful time and there's so much to do and explore in the Montessori classroom.

Here are some excellent ways to celebrate the arrival of spring with insect and animal studies, gardening ideas, and nature inspired 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 Wednesday, March 19, 2008.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Studying Time Zones in the Montessori Classroom: History and Activities

NAMC montessori classroom studying time zones history and activities
I was so tired last week! A week ago Sunday, at 2 am, the United States returned to observing Daylight Saving Time. That is to say, most of the United States, Canada, and many other countries, set their clocks ahead one hour, causing the majority of us to “lose” one hour of sleep.

Read on for history, information and activities you can use for studying Time Zones in your 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 Monday, March 17, 2008.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Montessori Philosophy: Praise vs. Encouragement

NAMC montessori philosophy praise vs encouragement NAMC montessori teacher and girl
When I was growing up, I thought one of the best things anyone could say to me was "You're such a good girl." I tried hard to be good and to live up to the expectations set before me. I wanted to be good; I wanted my parents to be proud of me. Later in life, I would tell people "You'd be so proud of me!" Until one day, someone asked me, "But, are you proud of you?"

When I became a Montessori teacher, I kept hearing from other teachers about not praising the children's work. What? Could I actually be hearing them correctly? Montessori teachers don't praise work? How then did a child know if she'd done the work correctly? My colleagues suggested I use encouragement instead of praise. They suggested phrases like "Well, how do you think you did? What do you think of your work? What would you do differently if you had a chance to do the work again?" It sounded like a bad counseling session to me, so I sat and listened and observed my colleagues in action.

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, March 11, 2008.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Peaceful Solutions to Bullying in the Montessori Classroom

peaceful solutions to bullying NAMC montessori classroom two boys talking
I was shocked last week when my assistant came back from walking my Montessori class to art and told me that one of my third grade boys had punched one of the second grade boys three times in the stomach. Apparently, this happened while he was holding the door open for the rest of the class! I couldn't believe it! Whatever possessed him to do such a thing and why would he think it was acceptable to do this? His answer was not a surprise, but still alarming: "My older brother does it to me all the time."

It got me to thinking about behaviors at home versus behavior at school. I know that boys usually play more aggressively and more physically than girls. My own son has loved to wrestle and rough-house since he was very young, though now he's almost as big as I am and needs reminders to play gentle with Mommie. I watch the boys on the playground play tag, football, capture-the-flag and marvel at the sheer physical stamina they display. Yet, hitting and other physical demonstrations are not acceptable either in my home or in my Montessori classroom and playground.

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, March 7, 2008.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Video Games in a Montessori Home

two girls play video games in a NAMC montessori home
I was doing some research on the Media Awareness Network website and came across an interesting headline: The Good Things About Video Games. I know as both a parent and a teacher that I cringed when my son received his first hand-held video game. I was on the verge of telling my father that his first grade grandson was too young for such a thing, but it was, after all, a Christmas present. And the look on my son's face told us all that Papa had been a hero to buy him such a forbidden toy.

The game became a companion when we were out. I must admit it was much easier to go shopping or wait in restaurants when he had it with him. It even made an appearance at my sister's wedding reception. It was a life-saver the winter he had his tonsils out!

There have been times I wished that there were no video games in our house.

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, March 4, 2008.
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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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