Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Language of Virtue, Character Education Activities and Taking Montessori Home

NAMC montessori character education activities language of virtue take home girl with bracelets
As a Montessori teacher, I try not to assign copious amounts of homework. I believe a student’s homework is meant to be in the form of sharing time with family and participating around the home. When I do assign homework, I try to make sure it is significant and meaningful. Projects, reading literature, and assignments that were not finished during the school day are the sort of things I most often assign.

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 Home

The 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.
NAMC montessori character education activities language of virtue take home mother and girl with note
Character Education Cards
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:

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, November 4, 2009.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post. I do not, however, understand how the listening bracelet is used. What is its purpose? When the student is wearing it, is the other student supposed to notice it and be reminded to listen? I am a little unclear on this activity. Is it possible that you can explain a little more about this please? Your time is appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for taking the time to read the blog and leave a comment.

    I feel that you could approach the listening bracelet in different ways. The wearer of the bracelet could be reminded to listen to whoever is speaking. It could also be that the wearer of the bracelet is the one who is speaking and to whom others are listening.

    I think it would be appropriate to choose whatever makes sense to you and your students.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions. I would be happy to answer them!

    ReplyDelete

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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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