Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jewish Passover: Connecting Montessori Activities with Cultural Celebrations

NAMC montessori classroom activities cultural curriculum Jewish passover reading the haggadah
Last year, my Montessori students were fascinated as some of their classmates told the story of Passover to the rest of the class. My Passover “experts” knew almost all of the answers to the questions their classmates asked, and then as a class, we researched the answers to the questions they did not know. This year, we are planning to bake unleavened bread and yeast bread, which will nicely tie in with discussing the history of Passover and its relationship with unleavened bread. This will also be an opportunity to observe chemical reactions, and integrate the Montessori sciences curriculum! We have pulled together many interesting historical facts and activities for you to share with your Montessori classroom.

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 Tuesday, March 31, 2009.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Montessori Education for Nurturing the Authentic Child: Development and Success

NAMC Montessori education authentic child development success looking at cherry blossoms
What is the meaning of Authentic? Etymologically speaking, it is derived from the Greek root authentiko, which means “author”. The Authentic Child is a child who is allowed to develop or “author” himself.

According to Pia Melody (The Intimacy Factor: The Ground Rules for Overcoming the Obstacles to Truth, Respect, and Lasting Love. Harper Collins. 2004), there are five essential attributes of the Authentic Child. These attributes are deeply connected to the child’s inherent sense of self-worth.
  • Vulnerability
  • Nascent reason (the inborn ability to recognize truth)
  • Dependence
  • Appropriate immaturity (the ability to act one’s own age)
  • Exhuberant energy.
Maria Montessori became aware of the Authentic Child over 100 years ago. By careful observation, she found the intrinsic spiritual treasures that children own. As she designed her Montessori classrooms to meet the child’s developmental needs and interests, these spiritual treasures came to light, revealing to her the idea of the “Authentic Child”.

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, March 26, 2009.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Six Principles of the Montessori Prepared Environment Explained

NAMC montessori prepared environment classroom six aspects explained
The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult. (Maria Montessori. The Secret of Childhood, 1966.)

Montessori’s idea of the prepared environment was that everything the child came in contact with would facilitate and maximize independent learning and exploration. This calm, well-ordered environment has a lot of movement and activity. Children are free to choose and work on activities at their own pace. Here, they experience a combination of freedom and self-discipline, as guided by the environment.

There are generally six aspects, or principles, to the Prepared Environment: Freedom; Structure and Order; Beauty; Nature and Reality; Social Environment; Intellectual Environment. Learn more about each of these aspects, and why the prepared environment is so important to the success a child experiences with Montessori 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, March 18, 2009.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Parent Education Beyond Orientation: Tips for Teachers - Montessori Community

NAMC parent education orientation tips for montessori teachers community classroom
In an earlier blog (The Importance of Educating the Montessori Parent, January 13, 2008), I wrote that “Educating parents, both current and future, about Montessori education is a win-win situation”. There is so much more to Parent Education than orientation and back-to-school nights, and this as well as future blogs are being written to provide Montessori teachers and administrators some shared ideas and guidance for communicating and working with parents.

There are basically six modes of parent education:
  • Introductory
  • Orientation
  • Community Building
  • Volunteering
  • Conferences
  • Parent Education Sessions
Take an in-depth look at how you can work within each of these modes to strengthen your Montessori community and communicate more effectively with parents at your 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 Monday, March 16, 2009.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With Montessori Classroom Activities

NAMC Montessori classroom St. Patrick's day activities shamrocks clover
I love using cultural celebrations as an exciting way to incorporate different thematic learning across the curricular areas in my Montessori classroom. This year I am using St. Patrick’s Day to kick off a “Month of Green” that will culminate with Earth Day on April 22. Our Montessori class starts with reading books and discussing St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland. We will incorporate “green” as a way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as well as a contemporary term for being environmentally conscious. Over the next month we will look at recycling, how we use and abuse natural resources, and begin to plant our school garden. The current political conflicts in Ireland provide the opportunity for activities and projects about political geography and world religions. Even with all the jumping off points for deeper curriculum exploration, there is still a ton of fun activities and reading right here!

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, March 12, 2009.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Celebrating the Holi Festival in the Montessori Classroom

NAMC Montessori classroom holi festival activities culture curriculum girl with paint
As a Montessori teacher, I am always looking for ways to expose my students to various cultures and their celebrations. Not only does this exposure allow my students to learn to embrace diversity, it shows them how everyone and everything is connected. Studying Holi in a Montessori classroom can lead to discussions about how many different people in different places and times celebrated the arrival of spring. This can then lead to discussions on what happens when winter becomes spring and why that is important. The Montessori lessons on the fundamental needs of man and other lessons in cultural, physical and political geography would also be appropriate at this time.

Holi is the joyful Hindu Festival of Colors. It is celebrated over several days in early spring when the wheat is harvested. The festival marks the coming of spring and observes new life and the seasons. This year the Holi festival is celebrated on March 11th. It is an ancient Indian festival that is believed to have existed several centuries before Christ and is mentioned in stone inscriptions and in sculptures on the walls of old temples. The meaning of the festival has changed. In earlier times, the festival was a rite performed by married women for the happiness and well-being of their families.

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, March 5, 2009.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Montessori Teacher Self Reflection and Self Assessment: Constructive Goal Setting and Feedback

NAMC Montessori teacher self reflection self assessment goal feedback writing a reportAs a newly-trained Montessori teacher, I was given the task of submitting several, formal, self-reflections and self-assessments during my intern year. These were to be read by my immediate supervising Montessori teacher as well as the administrator of the Montessori school. Although I had completed my training and felt confident that I knew the Montessori philosophy and method, I knew I still had a lot to learn and was nervous. I had never been asked to do a formal self-assessment before and was uncertain as to the validity as well as the reasoning behind it.

Self-assessment provides the opportunity for Montessori teachers at all stages of their career to reflect upon their own practices in the Montessori classroom and environment. There are two stages of assessment: formative and summative. Formative assessments are used for continuous learning and improvement through ongoing reviews, observations, and assessments. They are used to give constructive feedback to the learner. Summative assessments of teachers are generally given at the end of the academic year and are used in the decision to issue new teaching contracts.

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 Tuesday, March 3, 2009.
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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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