Thursday, April 30, 2009

Montessori Classroom Cultural Celebrations: May 5 is Cinco de Mayo and Kodomono-hi

montessori classroom cultural may 5 cinco de mayo kodomono-hi girl with pinata As we begin to wrap up the school year, Montessori teachers and students can both benefit from a break in the routine. A cultural celebration provides Montessori teachers with the opportunity to foster understanding, empathy and an appreciation for cultural diversity. Winter is behind us and the temperature is beginning to rise. This is a wonderful opportunity to get outside with your students and enjoy the season while learning about other cultures’ celebrations! May 5 is a great time to explore culture curriculum studies, as there are two exciting holidays to celebrate with fun activities!

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, April 30, 2009.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nutrition and Health in the Montessori School: Planning and Parent Involvement

NAMC Montessori school lunch program nutrition parent planning kids with lunch bags
In our previous Nutrition and Health post, we discussed the challenges families face in making healthy choices for children’s diets. We live in a fast-paced society, and as a result, many of us look for convenient ways to prepare meals, which often include pre-packaged, processed and “fast foods”.

More schools are developing initiatives to promote healthy nutritional choices by establishing policies that everyone in the school community can embrace. The key to success is thoughtful preparation and effective communication so that faculty, students and parents are able to implement a clear, user-friendly program designed for 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 Monday, April 27, 2009.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Nutrition and Health in the Montessori School: Healthy Eating Tips and Resources

NAMC Montessori school nutrition and health tips toddler eating
Almost every parent knows, on some level, how challenging it can be to develop a nutritional diet that works for children. I am no exception; my teenage son has very selective taste buds, but we have persevered and managed over the years to raise a very robust and healthy young man on a fairly limited diet. Many families with busy lives face similar challenges. It has become far too easy and convenient to choose prepackaged, processed, and/or fast food, and eating “on the fly” has become a habit in many families. This, coupled with pressures from children themselves, who want whatever sweet or salty product is being marketed to them, has resulted in some alarming statistics related to childhood health. The key to addressing this problem, as Dr. Montessori would no doubt tell us, is education.

It seems that there is a very positive shift taking place when it comes to children’s health and nutrition. More and more information about healthy choices – whether it be physical activity, personal well being, or nutrition and diet – is available than ever before, and more organizations and institutions are taking an active part in informing and assisting families with these choices.

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, April 24, 2009.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

May Day Curriculum Activities for the Montessori Classroom

I was driving through my town the other day and I saw a sight I hadn't seen for quite some time – there in a front yard was a Maypole. I smiled at the memories that came flooding back to me.

While not a particularly popular celebration in the United States, May Day (May 1) is celebrated throughout the world. With origins dating back to the Druids, May 1 was thought to be the 2nd most important holiday of the year. Then called the feast of Beltane, it was believed to be the day marking the passage of half of the year. Mark the event with May Day themed Montessori curriculum activities in your 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 Wednesday, April 22, 2009.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Earth Day: Celebrating Peace and Environmental Awareness in the Montessori Classroom

The child is both a hope and promise for mankind. (Maria Montessori, Education and Peace, pg. 66)
NAMC Montessori peace curriculum environmental awareness earth day activities
Earth Day 2009 is on Wednesday, April 22. What a wonderful time to share Maria Montessori’s vision of peace through discussion on the beauty of the earth, the interdependence of living things, and the role that each human plays in the preservation of the Earth.

The Peace curriculum in the Montessori classroom should be an active part of the curriculum, as it is so uniquely interwoven into the Montessori Method. Children of all ages can participate and learn about environmental awareness and peace. Here are a few ideas:

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, April 20, 2009.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Montessori History and Cultural Activities: A Look at Turkey’s Egemenlik Bayrami

NAMC montessori classroom cultural activities turkey independence day egemenlik bayrami young boys
An important responsibility I share as a Montessori educator is nurturing empowerment and independence in Montessori students, encouraging them to realize their potential for producing positive change and service in the global community. Using the study of history and noting the concepts and patterns of revolution, identity and independence, teachers are able to encourage in their students a sense of their place in the world. When students are aware of the value of independence and why it is worth acquiring and protecting, they can better understand world events and consequences, both large and small. When students understand the interconnectedness of themselves, the world, the universe and history in positive ways, they are better equipped for success in life.

Egemenlik Bayrami is Independence Day in Turkey. The day also honors children. It is celebrated on April 23 and is sometimes called "Sovereignty and Children's Day."

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, April 16, 2009.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Toddler Circle Time Activities for the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori classroom infant toddler circle time activities looking in mirror
Circle time (also called “line time”) in the Montessori classroom is a time for toddlers to develop their listening skills, learn new vocabulary, practice language skills, practice following directions, build self-confidence, and learn about being a member of a community.

The morning begins with children working with the Montessori materials. The two Montessori teachers in the classroom are busy with demonstrations and lessons, keeping a watchful eye on the children as they are working. As circle time approaches, one teacher quietly moves to the audio player to turn on a song that signals it is time for the children to clean up. She then quietly moves to the group area to await the children. The other teacher helps the children put away their materials. When the children who are coming to circle are gathered, the teacher leading circle begins a welcome song to welcome the children to circle.

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, April 15, 2009.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter and Springtime: Integrating Science and Cultural Activities in the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori activities culture science easter springtime girl gardening
Spring is such an inspiring time in the Montessori classroom. Students and teachers alike are shaking off their winter “funk” and there are so many opportunities for hands-on learning. All around our campus flowers are blooming, birds are building nests and we can always find bugs, worms and snails. This spring, my Montessori students are incubating chicken eggs. We’re talking about life cycles, and turning our eggs multiple times a day, just like a mother hen would do.

Eggs are associated with Easter because of their symbolism of new life. The celebration of Easter predates Christian times and some of its symbols (for example, the Easter bunny) come from the Pagan Spring Equinox festival (a celebration of Spring and new life). The Anglo-Saxon goddess of fertility and springtime is called Eostre. Here are some fun activities to tie Easter into your Montessori  Science and Culture curriculum studies.

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, April 7, 2009.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Montessori Classroom Activities for Encouraging Motor Skills Development: Walking on the Line

Dr. Montessori defines Motor Skills in the following ways:
  • Movement of everyday life (walking, sitting, handling objects)
  • Care of the person
  • Gardening
  • Manual work
  • Gymnastics
  • Rhythmic movements
Walking on the Line: An Exercise in Movement in the Montessori Classroom
While observing young children, Dr. Montessori observed that they enjoy walking on narrow objects: fences, railroad ties, curbs. She developed the “Walking on the Line” activity as a Practical Life exercise to help children learn to control their bodies, develop balance and perfect equilibrium. It also serves as a way to train the mind to become aware of its own body movements. In addition, it helps develop concentration.

The line is in the shape of an ellipse and is drawn, painted, or taped on the floor. The width of the line should be just a bit wider than the child’s shoe. Children are taught how to walk on the line with good posture, holding the head erect. Read on for the full Montessori presentation for the Walking on the Line activity.

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, April 3, 2009.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Encouraging Motor Skills Development in the Montessori Classroom

NAMC Montessori classroom motor skills development girl rolling mat
The education of a child’s physical movements is very complex . . . The child, if left without guidance, is disorderly in his movements. These disorderly movements are typically the special characteristic of the young child . . . he “never keeps still,” and he “touches everything.” This is what forms the child’s so-called “unruliness” and “naughtiness” in formative years.
- Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook. Putnam: New York. 1965.

Montessori was a firm believer that, from birth, children should be free to move and develop their physical movements. She advocated for not confining children to playpens or highchairs, but rather, to encourage independence and awareness by providing child-size furnishings for even the very young. Montessori recommends that an adult help the child learn orderly movements so that as they grow older, they gain more control over their bodies.

Montessori lessons are themselves, a guide to movement. In the Children’s House, children are taught precise and orderly movement when they are introduced to a lesson. These movements include:

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, April 1, 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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