Monday, June 23, 2008

Montessori Statement of Philosophy 0 to 3, Infant / Toddler

NAMC Montessori Statement of philosophy 0 - 3 infant toddler mirror
I was browsing through the newspaper the other day and came across an ad for a nanny for a two-month old baby girl. In addition to the parents' request for a description of experience, credentials, and references, they also asked for a statement of philosophy. I thought this was a good idea. A statement of philosophy is often requested when applying to work at a school or childcare center- why not one for a private nanny.? Then I thought, what is my statement of philosophy for working with different age groups? I decided I needed to think about this and write down what my Montessori philosophy is.

Statement of Philosophy
I believe…

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 23, 2008.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer Reading for Montessori Students: Activities and Challenges for All Levels

NAMC montessori student classroom summer reading activities challenges
My Montessori students are bemoaning the fact that this coming Thursday is our last day of school. “Miss Michelle, I wish the school year would never end. I just want to keep learning.” I look at them stunned and wonder if I thought that as a child. “Please, can you give us summer homework?” Now, there’s a thought I know I never had! I never wanted summer homework; all I wanted to do was read. To me, that was (and still is) what summer was all about.

Unfortunately, there are even Montessori students who do not like to read. But did you know that children who read at least six books over the summer maintain the level of reading they achieved during the previous school year? I was unaware of that statistic until I was browsing the Scholastic website and looking at summer reading ideas for “summer homework”. For children who are not as apt to pick up a book for pleasure, it is important to make it a fun and challenging process.

Here are some ideas for incorporating summer reading into your Montessori students’ summer.

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, June 19, 2008.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Activities to Countdown to Summer in the Montessori Classroom

countdown to summer NAMC montessori activities boy writes in journal
I woke up in the middle of the night last night, worrying about next year!!! This Montessori school year hasn't even ended yet and I am dreaming about making new Montessori materials for next year. Of course, then I started thinking what am I going to do for the next 9 days until school is out? So, I got up, made some coffee, and started thinking and researching ideas for the end of the year.

Here are some of the great Montessori summer activity ideas I found:

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 16, 2008.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Celebrating Father's Day with Montessori Classroom Activities

NAMC montessori classroom activities father's day grandpa and girl
When I was in middle school, one of our art lessons was to carve a very porous grill brick into something spectacular. Using paring knives, my classmates and I were deep in concentration making masterpieces with a material that emitted the odor of rotten eggs. Mine, though just as foul smelling, was of a more simple design. Not being as artistically gifted, I simply carved D-A-D into my brick. I gave it to my father for Father's Day, ashamed and embarrassed at the simplicity and lopsidedness of the carving. My dad, on the other hand, treasured it as if it were the most precious piece of art. I never expected him to keep it, yet he proudly displayed it on his dresser for many years, until it finally succumbed to the elements and disintegrated. It was not a thing of beauty, but it was a token of love given and accepted with grace.

Father's Day is a day to honor not only fathers, but all men who have acted as father figures. I was a little surprised when my son's 1st grade teacher said that she would send my son to the library when the class made their Father's Day presents. When I asked why, the teacher replied "Because he doesn't have a father and I wouldn't want to embarrass him." I thanked her for her consideration, and gently reminded my son that although that was true, he most certainly had a Papa! Over the years, I've encountered many different family situations. As Montessori teachers, we should encourage the children to celebrate their own family makeup and give respect to their families. Most often there is a father figure in a child’s life who can be honored on a day such as Father’s Day.

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, June 13, 2008.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Importance of Practical Life Activities in the Montessori Elementary Classroom

importance NAMC montessori practical life activities classroom children gardening
Practical Life Activities are a major part of the Montessori preschool program. By about five years of age, though, children need and want more than simple activities such as organizing and cleaning. The sensitive period of order has passed and they are now moving into the next stage where they favor more elaborate activities such as cooking, vacuuming, and sewing. They are inquisitive and want to know how and why things happen the way they do. In the Montessori elementary classroom, Practical Life activities build a bridge between the hands-on activities at the Montessori preschool level and become increasingly more abstract.

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 11, 2008.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Importance of Practical Life Activities in the Montessori Preschool Classroom

importance NAMC montessori practical life activities classroom girl brushing hair If teaching is to be effective with young children, it must assist them to advance on the way to independence. It must initiate them into those kinds of activities, which they can perform themselves. We must help them to learn how to walk without assistance, to run, to go up and down the stairs, to pick up fallen objects, to dress and undress, to wash themselves, to express their needs, and to attempt to satisfy their desires through their own efforts. All this is part of an education for independence." - Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child

Psychologists have argued that childhood is a natural phase of growing up. Indeed, Maria Montessori believed that children are innately preparing to be adults. She further stated that parents and teachers needed to provide a strong foundation of skills and work habits that would eventually allow them to be responsible for the caring of their own families, homes, community and environment. These skills, when taught early in life, allow children to believe in themselves as well as developing the self-discipline needed for success throughout their lives.

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 10, 2008.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Montessori Classroom - Take Students on a Nature Walk

NAMC montessori classroom nature walk evergreen tree
Children love to go outside! And, unless it's extreme weather, so do teachers. I have had very positive experiences taking my upper elementary Montessori students out for a nature walk at various times of the year. The children gathered leaves to take back to the classroom to identify or took my book on identifying trees and tried to learn the names of the trees on campus. Sometimes, they'd take their sketch book and sit and quietly observe and sketch the world around them.

The first time I took my lower elementary Montessori students outside, it was not so pleasant! I was new to the school and the children were not yet used to me or my expectations. We were listening and watching for birds and other creatures. Needless to say, with 30 lower elementary students tramping about, we didn't hear much more than the crunching of gravel and laughter of children. Not that the walk was a disaster: we did delight in butterflies and gathered wild dandelions growing along the side of the gravel road.

I've learned a lot this year from my younger students. I've learned to prepare them well ahead of time for what exactly we'll be looking for or observing. I've learned to play up the importance of their role. I've learned to break them up into small groups. I may take all 30 of them outside all at once, but I make sure that they're not all sitting in the same place!

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 2, 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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