Thursday, October 30, 2008

Montessori Conversations: What Did You Learn Today? Encouraging Dialogue

NAMC montessori conversations what did you learn today students
As a mom, I am frustrated when I ask my son what he did at school today and he replies “nothing”. As a Montessori teacher, I’m even more frustrated when I hear my students give that same response to their parents. I want to say “What do you mean you did nothing? We worked like crazy all day long!” Parents used to come to me asking what their child was doing all day in my Montessori classroom because they couldn't get them to share their experiences at home.

montessori conversations what did you learn today students
I wondered how to elicit more response from both my children and my son and analyzed both the question and the responses. First, we ask our spouse or our friends “How was your day”? They respond with “fine” or “ OK”, and elaborate as they feel the need. So I tried asking my son about his day and he responded in kind, without elaborating. This, I felt, wasn't any better than the “nothing” response I’d gotten before.

I realized that children need more direct questioning. They are developing the art of communication and therefore need to be guided through the process. I started asking questions that required more than one word answers.

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, October 30, 2008.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Planning and Celebrating a Montessori Harvest Festival: Activities and Organization

NAMC montessori harvest festival activities vegetables
Halloween is a holiday that many Montessori schools and families struggle with. While children love dressing in costumes and trick-or-treating, Montessori adults worry about scary costumes and overloading on sugar-laden candy and treats. As a child, I looked forward to Halloween almost as much as Christmas. As a parent and teacher, I strive to make sure the children in my care have a safe and enjoyable celebration.

This year, Halloween falls on a Friday. To promote a sense of community, provide an evening of family fun and entertainment, and host a school-wide fundraising event, why not have a harvest festival? Rather than celebrating a day of spirits and fright, celebrate the bounty brought forth by Mother Earth. Here is a detailed guide to help your Montessori classroom's Harvest Festival become a wonderful success.

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, October 15, 2008.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Three Before Me and Correctly Interrupting: Serenity in the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori classroom correctly interrupting three before me
After I completed my Montessori training, I was filled with wonder and excitement. I was eager to have my own Montessori classroom filled with normalized children who chose their own work, begged for more lessons, worked quietly and respectfully, joyfully cleaned up after themselves, and didn't interrupt. Now I’m not saying that didn't happen, but it probably wasn't to the extent I had hoped for.

One of the most difficult tasks I encountered was children interrupting while I was presenting a lesson. Thinking they were just unaware of how to ask for help, I decided to hold a class meeting on what to do about the constant stream of interruptions of children asking for help. What came out of that meeting surprised me. They did know what to do.

“Miss Michelle, if we have a question and you are in a lesson, we should look for Miss Jen. If Miss Jen is speaking with a student, we should silently touch her on the shoulder so she knows we are waiting.”

I even asked them to demonstrate this by role modeling. It was beautiful! We agreed together that this was the right approach and that we would start this method back up right away.

Naively, I thought I had the situation well under control...
Wrong!!!

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, October 10, 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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