Thursday, December 31, 2009
If the interest is there, begin your introduction to computers with a discussion and book about the history of computers. In small or large groups, show your students all the important parts of the computers you will be using (power button, mouse, screen, hard drive, etc.) Have your students draw and label a diagram of the computer. If necessary, you can write the names of the parts on slips of paper, place them in a hat or bowl, draw a name and have students “race” each other to locate the part. There are many opportunities for later extensions to this introductory activity, such as defining the functions of various parts of the computer, even taking it further to identify, define and explore concepts such as memory and other inner workings of the computer.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Christmas is celebrated every year on December 25. It is the day that Christians recognize as the birth of Jesus Christ, who they believe to be the Son of God. The widely-used Gregorian calendar is based on this date. Leading up to Christmas Day is the season of Advent. Some churches will display a wreath with five candles, one for the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Day and one final candle for Christmas Day. On Christmas Day, families celebrate by giving and receiving presents. There is often a special meal prepared for family and friends.
Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26 in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the Commonwealth of Nations. It is also known as St. Stephen’s Day in many European countries. The day began in England under the rule of Queen Victoria in the mid-19th century. At that time, the higher classes would exchange gifts on December 25. On the following day they would give gifts to the lower classes. They often placed money, food and clothing in boxes (for ease of transportation) which is how the day was named. The gifts were based on the family’s needs and the services they provided to the gifter (cleaning, driving, etc.) Today, it is a day that the more fortunate give gifts to the less fortunate. It is a way to show appreciation for the community. Americans do not celebrate Boxing Day but during the time of slavery, slaves did receive Boxing Day gifts. Boxing Day can prompt some wonderful and poignant discussions with your Montessori students about needs, wants, social classes and the less fortunate.
As Christmas day and a New Year fast approach, we wish you all the beauty, joy, love and peace of this holiday season. Share these activities and books with your Montessori classroom and spread the happiness and cheer outwards from your Montessori community into the world.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I mention this because I am able to see parallels between the boy in The Polar Express and my own Montessori journey. Over the years I have found myself in situations where I have doubted the Montessori Method both in my classroom and in my home. I've struggled with children who are not yet normalized, parents who speak “Montessori” but want rigid structure and homework, assistants who refuse to do any thing other than play with the children, and even my own preconceived prejudices regarding children’s behavior. I've spent many sleepless nights wondering what was wrong in my Montessori environment and how I could fix it. And only after worrying and fretting and doubting it could ever work, I returned to the works and words of Montessori to be gently, yet firmly, reminded to believe in the child. She tells us to prepare the environment so that the child may freely choose that which interests him and to closely observe what happens next. She cautions us not to interfere unless absolutely necessary as that stifles creativity. She tells us that our own ego has no place in the classroom and that we must wait upon the children as a servant to a master.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Thankfully, my Montessori training had adequately prepared me to help guide these parents. Drawing upon my knowledge of Montessori’s planes of development, I was able to reassure parents that the behaviors of their children were not only normal, but developmentally appropriate and expected.
The Second Plane of Development (ages 6-12) is called the plane of childhood. While experiencing great growth both physically and mentally, children in the second plane of development are drawn to more social interactions and are learning about social relationships within their environment. They are genuinely interested in the thoughts, feelings, and treatment of others. They’re also developing and testing their sense of humor.
The multi-age classroom is a dynamic, vibrant environment in which children move through the planes of development in incremental stages. While children progress and develop at their own pace, there are certain characteristics of children at certain ages.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
While working in a Montessori elementary classroom, the other teacher and I would alternate taking small groups to the local public library. Sometimes we would take a parent from the classroom as an additional adult. These trips allowed our Montessori students to complete research using resources that we were unable to provide in our classroom.
The elementary Montessori curriculum has many research components and as teachers, we can’t always have all of the needed resources in our classroom or school. For younger children, we called ahead and, if possible, set up a time for our students to receive a library lesson from the children’s librarian. For older children, we did the lesson ourselves. If your school has its own library, the librarian would surely be delighted to give your students lessons on any aspects of the library.
Friday, December 11, 2009
This year the winter solstice will occur on Sunday, December 21, 2009 at 12:47 PM EST. This marks the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere. It is also the longest night of the year. Because of the tilt of the Earth’s axis, the north receives less direct light on this day as the sun shines directly on the Tropic of Capricorn. On this day, the sun appears at its lowest in the sky. The sun’s position at noontime appears to remain the same for several days before and after the solstice. The origin of the word “solstice” means sun (sol) stoppage (-stitium). The days begin to grow longer and the nights begin to grow shorter after the winter solstice.
We have put together a list of Winter Solstice activities and reading materials for your Montessori classroom for you to enjoy.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Brainstorm ideas with your students. Ask what they do at home that might also work in the classroom. Be sure to explain how the things you do make a difference in an age-appropriate manner. Older students might want to do some math problems that show how many paper towels do not go in the trash when you switch to cloth rags, etc. The local government may have educational programs that show students the positive effects of recycling or how water pollution affects our lives. Challenge other classrooms at your school to “out green” your classroom. Have fun and involve your students!
Here are a few ideas that are simple and easy to implement:
Thursday, December 3, 2009
This year Hanukkah begins on Friday, December 11 at sundown. Hanukkah (also spelled Chanukkah) is the festival of rededication, also known as the Festival of Lights and is a 2,000-year-old tradition. It celebrates the Jewish people’s ancient triumph over their enemies. More than 2,000 years ago, the king of Syria, Antiochus, marched with soldiers into Judea which was the home of many Jewish people. He tried to force the Jewish people to worship the Greek gods. When they refused, the Temple in Jerusalem was attacked by the Syrian soldiers, who killed many Jewish people and stole sacred objects, including a menorah – a holy candelabrum used in the Temple. Until then, the flame of this menorah had never before been extinguished. The soldiers defiled the special oil used to light this menorah.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Since there are a number of cultural celebrations during the winter season, this creates an opportunity to learn about the purpose and traditions of each, and to compare the different celebrations. Scholastic’s Winter Holiday website has a wealth of resources for the classroom or homeschool teacher who strives for a higher quality study of the holidays.
Are you interested in reading back through NAMC's blog articles from years gone by? Are you looking for more information on a specific topic?
Use the menu below to select the year and then the month to narrow down the time frame the articles you are interested in were posted. You can also browse our entire list of categories below; by clicking on one, you will see every article posted under that topic since 2007.
Still having trouble finding what you're looking for? Try our search box (located in the side bar of every page) to search all posts on our site for your keyword. If you require further information, or have comments or concerns, feel free to contact us.
NAMC Montessori Teacher Training Blog Archive
- ► 2012 (77)
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- Introducing Computers to Upper Elementary Montesso...
- The Montessori Three Period Lesson: How To Present...
- Christmas and Boxing Day Seasonal Activities and R...
- A Montessori New Year's Resolution: Philosophy and...
- Montessori Planes of Development: Lower Elementary...
- The Library: A Wealth of Activities for the Montes...
- Winter Solstice Activities for Your Montessori Cla...
- Going Green in the Winter: Six Simple Ideas for Mo...
- Hanukkah Activities and Reading for the Montessori...
- Meaningful Winter Celebrations With Scholastic Act...
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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.
NAMC is always looking for feedback and dialogue with our students and other Montessorians. We invite you to contact us if you may have any questions or comments in regards to our blog or articles we have posted here at our Montessori Teacher Training page.
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