Thursday, November 26, 2009

Napkin Folding Montessori Practical Life Activity: Perfect for the Holidays

NAMC montessori practical life activities folding napkins holiday table setting
I’ll never forget how grown up my sister and I felt the first time we ate at a restaurant with fancy, folded napkins. We felt like elegant ladies dining with their parents rather than the little girls we really were. Later, when we returned home, setting the table no longer seemed the chore it once had as we carefully practiced our newly-discovered art of napkin folding.

In the Montessori 3-6 classroom, children as young as three years old are introduced to rolling napkins with napkin rings. Using basically the same technique as rolling a rug, children secure the napkins by sliding a napkin ring over the top and resting it in the middle of the rolled napkin. Later, these napkins are used when learning how to set a table. In addition to improving motor skills, there is an art to folding napkins. It may even be compared with the art of origami. As with any artwork, the right tools, in this case, napkins, and practice, help make it beautiful.

The holiday season is often festive and calls for more elaborate table settings. These preparations are but extensions of more traditional table setting layouts. Including your children in your holiday preparations makes them feel that they've made a contribution to the celebration.

Try adding a fancy napkin-folding work on your Practical Life shelves at the holiday season.

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, November 26, 2009.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Importance of the Montessori Preschool / Kindergarten Assistant: A Guide To Success

This is the second of a two-part article. Click here to see Part 1.

Several years ago, two weeks before a new school year began, my director came to me with bad news. My Montessori assistant’s husband had been transferred and they were relocating out of state. Not to worry, my director said, she would find me a new assistant before school started. Two weeks later, at noon on the Friday before the first day of school, I met my new assistant. Fresh out of college, she looked at me and innocently asked “So, what’s this Montessori stuff all about anyway?”

A good, well-trained assistant is irreplaceable in the Montessori environment.

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, November 23, 2009.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Becoming a Montessori Preschool / Kindergarten Assistant: Role and Requirements

When we speak about freedom in education we mean freedom for the creative energy which is the urge of life towards the development of the individual. ~ Maria Montessori, The Child, Society and the World
NAMC becoming montessori preschool kindergarten assistant role requirements two teachers working
The Montessori assistant plays a very important role in the overall success of the Montessori environment. She provides support to the lead teacher, and through gentle interaction with the children, all in service toward a peaceful, harmonious classroom. It is a personally challenging and rewarding experience, and preparation for this role requires education and dedication to the Montessori philosophy.

This article is Part 1 of a two-part series, and outlines briefly some key elements of both becoming a preschool / kindergarten assistant, and the role in the 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 Thursday, November 19, 2009.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Universal Children’s Day: Montessori Classroom Activity Ideas

It is not enough to ensure for the child food, clothing and shelter; on the satisfaction of his more spiritual needs the progress of humanity depends – the creation indeed of a stronger and better humanity. ~ Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential
NAMC montessori activities for children's day boys laughing
We’re past the newness of the beginning of the school year. We've normalized. We know our routines and schedules. At this time of year, I like to introduce something new to reignite the students’ excitement and continue their engagement. November 20, 2009 is National Child Day in Canada, and it is also the UN’s Universal Children’s Day. Children’s Day is meant to be an observation of “worldwide fraternity and understanding between children and of activity promoting the welfare of the world's children.”

In this spirit, one appropriate activity for a classroom of any age of Montessori students is to sponsor a child. Utilizing organizations such as Heifer International, World Vision, Compassion, Children International, and Save the Children will connect your students with a child (or more than one child). As your students raise funds to donate, they will enjoy writing letters to and receiving letters from their sponsored friend. Your students will not only practice their language skills (and possibly foreign language skills), they will foster their generosity, empathy and understanding of others. They will also help contribute to the welfare of other children.

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, November 17, 2009.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Meaning of Thanksgiving for the Montessori Classroom: Making Thanksgiving Come Alive with Scholastic

Children must experience social life through living, through experience. ~ Maria Montessori, The Child, Society and the World
NAMC montessori classroom thanksgiving come alive scholastic young pilgrim girl
I was teaching in a lower elementary Montessori environment two years ago. As Thanksgiving approached, I found myself wanting to do some impressionistic lessons that would really capture the imagination of my Montessori students while imparting the understanding of the first Thanksgiving and why we still celebrate it. I spent a few days wondering how I could do this when I received an email from Scholastic Inc. asking if I wanted to receive letters from pilgrim and Native American children from the time of the first Thanksgiving. I quickly signed up, thinking that this might be just the solution to my quest.

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, November 13, 2009.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veterans Day and Remembrance Day in the Montessori Classroom: Promoting History and Service

Education depends on a belief in the power of the child and on a certainty that the child has within himself the capacity to develop into a being that is far superior to us. He will not only be capable of a better way of living, but will be the only person who can show us this. ~ Maria Montessori, The Child, Society and the World
NAMC montessori classroom veteran's day remembrance day activities soldiers flag statue
Maria Montessori believed that education was integral toward realizing a world vision of peace and harmony among all living beings. She also believed that children are the peacemakers of the future. November 11 provides learning opportunities for students to understand their ability to be peacemakers in the world.

With exposure to today’s world events, elementary and middle school students may have begun to get a sense of the complications that can come with war. As a Montessori teacher, a national holiday like Veterans Day can provide an interesting backdrop and context for history lessons. Remembering the men and women who died serving your country to uphold its values can be a strong contextual basis for lessons in history. Honoring veterans and discussing the significance of their sacrifice can create an opportunity for teaching tolerance, citizenship, and peace.

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, November 10, 2009.

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.

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.
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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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