Friday, August 29, 2008

Montessori Teachers: Making a First Impression and Enjoying the First Day of School

NAMC montessori teachers first impression first day of schoolIt is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.
-Maria Montessori

There’s an old saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. That is certainly the case for Montessori teachers. We know that having a prepared environment is crucial to the success of our Montessori classroom, but what about the preparation of self?

Using core Montessori values as a guide, here are some tips for getting the most out of and enjoying your first day back 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 Friday, August 29, 2008.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Answers to Real Questions About Montessori Mixed Age Grouping

mixed age grouping NAMC montessori classroom questions girls geometry
I've been a Montessori teacher for several years and each year I find myself being asked about the necessity for mixed age grouping. These questions usually stem from parents with children who are rising to the next level or who have not yet experienced the Montessori method.
Mixed age grouping refers to the three-year age (level) span found in most Montessori Classrooms. The traditional divisions are as follows:
  • Infant – birth through 18 months
  • Toddler – 18 months through 3 years
  • Preschool/Kindergarten – ages 3-6
  • Lower Elementary – ages 6-9
  • Upper Elementary – ages 9-12
  • Middle School – ages 12-14 (grades 7-8 or 7-9)
  • High School – ages 15-18 (grades 9-12 or 10-12)
(*While there are not many Montessori Middle School and High School programs in the United States, they are becoming more popular as the evidence of success of Montessori education continues to rise.)

Montessori classrooms are arranged so that younger children benefit from having older peers as role models and tutors. This helps assure that each child learns at his/her own pace even though it is the teacher who sets each child's agenda. In the mixed age classroom, children are always able to find a peer who is working at their level. Montessori teachers observe how commonly new students at all levels quickly become accustomed to the Montessori classroom mainly because of how the older children mentor the younger ones.

Here are some samples of questions that I have encountered over the years and the answers I provide to help assure parents that their child will be well taken care of while their developmental needs are being met.

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, August 21, 2008.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Montessori Classroom Activity Ideas for the First Day of School

NAMC montessori first day of school activities
I woke up in a panic in the middle of the night. School starts in three weeks! What am I going to do that first week of school? I've been a teacher for most of my life, and a Montessori teacher for the last four years. And every year, I get the same nervous jitters. What will my class be like this year? How will my new non-Montessori students acclimatize and normalize? How will I remember all the new names? What can I do that first week to make sure everyone has the same expectations and knows the ‘rules’? What work can I put out so everyone has something to do? How can I make sure that we have a positive week and everyone feels safe and welcome?

The first day back to school can be a time of mixed emotions for both experienced Montessori students and those who are unfamiliar with the Montessori method and classroom. Here are some ideas to help break the ice and bridge the gap between summer, home, and 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 Friday, August 15, 2008.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Montessori Foundation Activities - The Silence Game

NAMC montessori foundations activities silence game children
When I was a young girl, my sister and I, being typical siblings, would sing, play and ‘fight’ in the car. I can remember when my mother was feeling frustrated, she would ask “Who wants to play ‘Giraffe?’”. The object of the game was to see who could act like a giraffe the longest. Since giraffes are fairly silent creatures, the time we spent trying to see who could remain quietest the longest was a welcome reprieve to the adults in the car.

In the Montessori Classroom, the Silence Game is played to help children develop not only a higher level of self-discipline, but to acclimatize children to the world around them. Many adults and children take for granted the sounds around them. And in our fast paced world, few of us stop to “smell the roses” let alone take the time to quietly listen and reflect.

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, August 7, 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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