I am excited about implementing more character education activities into the Montessori classroom that can also be taken home.
The Language of Virtue, Character Education Activities and Taking Montessori HomeThe Listening Bracelet
I have heard of teachers using something called a listening bracelet. This is a bracelet kept in the classroom that Montessori students use when they are having a conversation or discussion and need a reminder to use their listening and communication skills. The teacher presents this item with a lesson and role-playing. The bracelet can help the students practice and utilize giving, listening, understanding, exchanging and thanking. The bracelet can be made by the students and could also be a necklace, rock or other small, beautiful object. Whatever your listening object, it is housed in a basket and kept in a place easily accessible to students.
A listening object could be sent home with each student to use with their families. A letter of explanation to parents along with the student’s knowledge from using the object in the classroom will allow parents and children alike to develop their listening skills.
I am also interested in adding character education cards to my classroom, as a tool for expanding my students’ virtues vocabulary. A character education card could include simply one or two words describing a character education trait or a virtue (grace and courtesy, honesty, prudence, etc.) The cards could also be more explicit and give an example for the student in the classroom and home settings. Each card could also have a sentence started that the student would have to complete. These cards could be used for practice in the classroom and/or for role-playing. Like the listening object, these cards could be sent home once per month to reinforce the work that is happening in the classroom.
By nurturing an understanding of character virtues, and helping our students find peaceful and respectful ways for expressing themselves, we can set the stage for students to develop a keen awareness for their own character development. The hope is to encourage students to strive to embrace character virtues in their own behavior, and to recognize and acknowledge these in others. By sharing some of these lessons both in the Montessori classroom and at home, we can work toward creating a consistent, nurturing environment for that character development.
Other blogs on character education:
- Character Education Ideas for the Montessori Classroom
- Why Montessori: Part III - Educating the Human Potential