Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Developing and Presenting Montessori Activities Around Student Interests

This year long series looks at the experiences of teachers, parents, students, and Montessori education itself, as we follow a student through his first year at a Montessori Preschool. The Montessori Insights and Reflections of a Preschool Student’s First Year is a collection of useful stories, tips, and information that has arisen from one real student's Montessori journey, viewed through the eyes of his Montessori Teacher, Bree Von Nes.

Jordan’s First Week
NAMC montessori activities developing presenting around student interests
The end of the first week arrived at our Montessori Preschool. Jordan has become so much more comfortable with his surroundings and is already remembering the rules of the classroom with ease. He entered the Montessori classroom Friday morning with a big smile on his face, a confident handshake and a story about getting dressed all by himself. He informed me that he took his pajamas off (the tricky kind) without any help at all and that he managed to get his socks on too! Already I can see him starting to relish in his new-found sense of independence. He hung up his own coat today without asking for help and persevered for several minutes trying to get his slippers on, until an older classmate offered to lend a hand.

Jordan is still most comfortable working on a floor mat with the foam blocks, the farm blocks and the various building sets that we have available and has not yet shown any interest in the Montessori Practical Life activities. I am hoping to spark his interest in the next couple of weeks by creating a few Practical Life activities that incorporate fish, as it seems to be something he is really interested in. As I have mentioned before, Jordan finds great comfort in watching the classroom fish and he talks a lot about fishing with his Dad.

Developing and Presenting Montessori Activities Around Student Interests

I have some colorful fabric fish that will make a great transferring activity (with tongs), a magnetic fishing activity that I am sure he will enjoy as well as two beautiful fish containers that I will use to create a spooning activity. I hope that by following his lead and creating a few Practical Life activities that focus on something he is really interested in, that he will start gravitating more to the Practical Life area in our Montessori classroom. I will keep you posted!

NAMC montessori activities developing presenting around student interests walking around the mat
I have also noticed Jordan walking on the floor mats in his first week, instead of around them. I have made a note to remind myself to spend time this week reviewing how we walk around the mats - I think some role-playing will help as there are several students who could use this review. I have also noticed Jordan looking very interested in the Montessori Pink Tower and I am hoping to present to him the initial Pink Tower presentation this week.

An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, which has the virtue of inducing concentration rather than fatigue, adds to the child's energies and mental capacities, and leads him to self-mastery. ~ Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

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.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, September 14, 2010.

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