Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter Enrichment Activities for your Montessori School

winter enrichment activities for NAMC montessori school girls playing chess
With the start of winter, the days are shorter and it is dark now before dinner. All over the country there are blizzards, ice storms, and even colder than normal temperatures in the southern part of the United States. It even snowed in New Orleans!

While it is always difficult coming back to the school routine after the holidays, Montessori students are eager to learn, and most settle back into lessons with grace and ease. Winter weather has its drawbacks, though. During the warmer months, our playground is full of kids playing after school. This time of the year, it seems like as soon as school is over, they rush home to get out of the cold, wet, weather.

If this is true at your Montessori school, you might try implementing a winter after-school program to help beat the winter blues and promote a sense of community. Recruit parents and interested teachers to provide fun, enrichment classes for one hour after school, one day a week, for four to six weeks.

Ideas for classes:

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 29, 2008.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Silent Night and The Profoundness of Peace: Montessori Curriculum

silent night profoundness of peace namc montessori curriculum Bethlehem
One of my favorite subjects in the Montessori curriculum is Peace Education. After all, Dr. Montessori herself told us, “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education”. I have often found that music has a profound way of instilling a sense of peace. For this reason, I have classical or “New Age” music playing quietly in the background of my Montessori classroom. There are times when a child will come to me and ask if we can play something peaceful as the class seems to be getting a bit too loud.

One of my favorite Christmas carols is Silent Night. The simplicity of the tune and the meaning behind the words has made it a favorite of mine since childhood. In high school, I learned how to sing Silent Night in French and thought how beautiful it would be to hear a choir sing it in both languages at the same time.

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 22, 2008.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Symbols of Christmas - Montessori Curriculum

symbols of christmas NAMC montessori curriculum activities paper ornaments
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...
Everywhere we go …
(lyrics by Meredith Wilson, 1951)

Nothing makes me smile more than hearing my Montessori students come through the door singing Christmas carols first thing in the morning. Their excitement and eagerness is contagious. I had one sixth grade boy ask if he could start a Christmas countdown on the whiteboard this morning. (I asked him to wait until next week since we still have some “serious” studying to do.)

The journal topic in our upper elementary classroom last week was to reflect and write about the symbols of Christmas. This led to a later discussion on the origins of these symbols. My students had a wonderful time researching the origins of the traditional symbols of Christmas. They found a few commonly understood and a few not so common. Here are a few they came up with.

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 19, 2008.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Activities for the Montessori Classroom: Handy Tips and Tools

christmas activities NAMC montessori classroom wrapping paper
I find it very challenging at this time of the year to come up with a variety of Christmas crafts for my Montessori classroom. At the drop of a hat, I can immediately create a complete set of Montessori learning materials including 3-part cards, control and mute charts, and an ancient Egyptian timeline made out of leftover Christmas ribbon, but I seem to go into holiday stress overload and find myself unable to think of creative means of expression for my Montessori students.

Early in November, I typically begin my holiday mantra “What are we going to do for the holidays this year?” Knowing that I have to find something that will appeal to three different age-levels, not to mention different belief systems, can be a challenge. I start to think “Maybe I’m just not creative”. It made me wonder if I couldn't find some sources to inspire and help me find some exciting, educational activities for my Montessori students.

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 10, 2008.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Season of Giving in the Montessori Classroom: Activities for Good

season of giving NAMC montessori activities girls make cookies
I recently posted the following journal topic on the board for my Upper Elementary Montessori students: What is the true meaning of the holiday season? Many children wrote that it is a time to come together and spend time with loved ones, and some wrote that now that they are older, they are beginning to understand that it’s more about the giving than the receiving.

I love holiday time in the Montessori classroom. As with all children, there is a sense of anticipation and excitement. There is also something else – a palpable feeling of altruism.

After sharing what they had written in their journals, my Montessori students were overcome with the idea of helping others during the holiday season. A class meeting was called and the children decided that the best way to help others was to give something of themselves. I readily agreed and immediately thought “What a great practical life skill!”

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 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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