Friday, August 28, 2009

An Introduction to the Montessori Preschool Classroom for New Montessori Parents

NAMC introduction to the montessori preschool classroom new montessori parents girl working with cylinders
You have resigned not to cry. After all, preschool is going to be fun for your child. There are nice teachers and lots of children to play with. There is a playground with a sandbox, tricycles, and a garden to rake. There will be story time, singing, painting, and all those wonderful Montessori Practical Life materials on the shelf that you saw on your visit to the classroom. You just know it’s going to be wonderful, but the hardest part is going to be leaving your little one at the door of his or her new Montessori classroom on that first day.

To help you prepare for what to expect from your child’s Montessori classroom experience, here is a short primer on what she may be talking about when she comes home.

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, August 28, 2009.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Montessori Schools: Developing a Montessori Parent Handbook

NAMC Montessori schools develop a Montessori Parent Handbook teacher and parents
Providing a Montessori education for families who share the values and beliefs regarding the Montessori method and philosophy is extremely rewarding. However, there are families within many Montessori schools who may not share these values and beliefs, or who may disagree on the core Montessori philosophy. While Montessori administrators and teachers take time to educate prospective families during the initial interview process prior to enrollment, it’s always a good idea to have a Montessori Parent Handbook. Such a handbook sets out in writing the basic tenets of your Montessori school by providing detailed information regarding the Montessori philosophy and methods, school policy and procedures, and even contractual agreements.

The Information section of your school’s Montessori Parent Handbook can “paint a picture” and give parents clear, concise information regarding the Montessori method and the goals of your school. It should 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, August 26, 2009.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dealing with Separation Anxiety at the Start of the Montessori School Year: Tips for Parents and Teachers

NAMC montessori school year separation anxiety tips for teachers parents
I had been teaching in a Montessori upper elementary classroom for several years when my director asked me to take over as lead teacher in a lower elementary classroom. I’d always been fascinated by the curriculum of the Montessori lower elementary and the natural inquisitiveness and wonder of the lower elementary child. I had, I thought, thoroughly prepared my classroom environment in anticipation of the first day of school. I did not, however, take into account the tears from my first graders as moms and dads left them at my door and went to work. For one little girl in particular, her whole body was wracked with sobs as she ran out the door in a desperate attempt to stop her mother from leaving. Luckily, my assistant had experience with this sort of behavior and quickly helped diffuse the situation before all 32 students decided they, too, missed mommy and daddy.

Separation anxiety is a normal part of development in children, usually ranging from eight months to two years of age. Around eight months, a child begins to understand about object permanency. When a baby is not able to see an object in front of her, she believes it to have disappeared. It is therefore important to create a sense of trust and security so a child understands she is not being left alone. Attempts to leave the child alone, either with a caregiver or in their bed to go to sleep, are often met with anxiety and tears. Most children overcome this anxiety by age two, especially those who experience being left in the care of others for short periods of time.

The first day of school can bring about a re-occurrence of separation anxiety for some children. It is often caused by the fear of the unknown in a new situation. Parents’ attitudes as well, often play a deciding role in the child’s outlook and approach to starting school. Modeling appropriate behavior and attitude plays an important role in the success of the first day of 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 Thursday, August 20, 2009.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Have the Best School Year Yet: Simple, Inspiring Ideas for Montessori Teachers

NAMC montessori teacher simple inspiring ideas best school year greeting student
The summer has flown by, and many of us are getting ready for the start of a new academic year. I find that thinking about the basics and essentials of a Montessori classroom helps inspire me for the upcoming year. Spending this time examining why I chose Montessori, what makes it unique and wonderful, has been a truly helpful start to every school year. The following is a list of simple ideas that will help to develop a routine in your Montessori classroom, build a sense of community and develop peacefulness, mindfulness and social grace and courtesy.

Start of the Day: The minute your students walk in the door, your community-building work begins. Building a sense of community in your Montessori classroom is the key to classroom harmony and success. It also helps foster skills that your students can apply to other communal situations.
  • Greeting each student as they enter the room - Be sure to shake each student’s hand and make eye contact. Feel free to do a High 5 or pinky finger shake too!
  • Morning Circle/Group - This is your time to set the tone for the day by establishing a routine. This time might include announcements about the day, sharing by students, or a song.

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, August 18, 2009.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nurturing Concentration in the Montessori Child: Observation, Respect, and Model Behavior

NAMC montessori education nurturing concentration in child respect observation modeling behavior using flag puzzle
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that one of the best gifts we can give children is an environment that enables them to develop their ability to concentrate. In fact, one of the aims of the Montessori Practical Life Activities is to develop strong concentration skills.

A child who is interested in the work she is doing will have an easier time concentrating. It is the job of the Montessori teacher and parent to arouse the interest of the child. As mentioned in Part 1 of this two-part series, a young child’s interest and attention level is at best, delicate; the world has so many distractions. As a result of these distractions, a young child may show seemingly little interest in one activity, and be incapable of remaining on one task for very long, choosing to move quickly from one activity to another.

To help such development, it is not enough to provide objects chosen at random, but we [teachers] have to organize a world of 'progressive interest' (Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, p. 206).

How, then, can we help to arouse and sustain the interest of the young child? Montessori realized that we cannot force interest or concentration onto the child. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the adult to look for the child to guide us. Here are some suggestions to consider:

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, August 13, 2009.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nurturing Concentration in the Montessori Child in the First Plane of Development

NAMC montessori education nurturing concentration in child first place of development reaching
If a child’s cycle of activity is interrupted, the results are a deviation of behavior, aimlessness, and loss of interest…So whatever intelligent activity we witness in a child – even if it seems absurd to us…we must not interfere; for the child must be able to finish the cycle of activity on which his heart is set.
- Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind. New York: Henry Holt and company, 1995. pg. 160.

Learning, by itself, cannot happen without concentration. Whether we are learning to tie our shoes, write our name, wash a car or solve complex algebraic equations, there is intense concentration specific to the task at hand. Dr. Maria Montessori understood the power of concentration, and her methodology is designed to nurture this power. In this, the first of a two-part article, we explore the importance of concentration in early childhood.

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, August 11, 2009.

Friday, August 7, 2009

NAMC Summer Studies – Montessori Teacher Training is in High Gear!

Ahhhh….Summertime. Thoughts of time spent at the pool, catching fireflies, sipping lemonade, and studying. Yes, you heard me right, I said studying. It seems as if our NAMC students are using this time away from their own students and classrooms to concentrate on their own studies! Summertime, for NAMC tutors is one the busiest times of the year. Our mailboxes and inboxes are continually filling with Montessori assignments that need to be read and marked and our phones are ringing off the hook with student questions. It is exciting to witness the enthusiasm of our students as they ready themselves for the start of a new school year.
NAMC montessori teacher training program summer studies teacher addition snake
Because many of us at NAMC are certified Montessori teachers with Montessori classroom experience, we know how busy you are both inside and outside your classroom. Many of our students work full-time during the school year while they study to acquire their Montessori Teaching Diploma in their spare time. Students can successfully complete a Diploma Program with a half-hour study time per day, five days per week. Summers and holiday breaks give extended opportunities to concentrate greater periods of time on the NAMC Montessori course of study. In fact, some of my students have even told me about taking their manuals on vacation with them!

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, August 7, 2009.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Being a Dynamic Montessori Teacher: Self Evaluation and Success

NAMC montessori teacher self evaluation teaching children
Teachers who understand how their goals of education relate to their teaching strategies are more likely to implement practices that consciously emphasize some goals and eliminate those practices they consider not useful.
- Dr. Marlene Barron, Maria Montessori and the Postmodern World, Montessori Life, AMS, Summer 2002.

In many parts of the world, summer is about to end and a new school year is about to begin. Now is the time when I think seriously about what I need to improve in my Montessori classroom for the coming year. I think about my older students who will be returning for another year. What were their individual challenges last year? What are their strengths? I review teacher notes for incoming Montessori students and begin preparation for their introduction into the new Montessori classroom. I assess Montessori environmental design and curriculum, asking questions, such as: Do material and subject areas make sense where they are located? Is there a logical flow to the Montessori classroom? Do I have any curricular deficiencies or challenges?

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, August 4, 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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