Friday, February 26, 2010
Maria Montessori was the first woman to graduate from medical school in Italy. Besides hard work, she had to be quite persistent in her efforts to even be admitted to medical school. Dr. Montessori’s approach to education was revolutionary and at times was met with resistance. She helped to create educational environments and completely new materials that were child-friendly. She helped to redefine the teacher’s role and wrote several books.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Last year, I wrote about the Holi tradition of dressing in old clothes and throwing brightly colored paint on each other. I suggested that depending on your climate and accessibility to an appropriate environment, Montessori students could partake in this tradition. Of course, for a lot of us, it is probably too cold to do this activity outdoors which is more than likely the most appropriate place for this activity. If it is warm enough to do this in a grassy area near your Montessori classroom, make sure students have enough notice to bring in old clothes and please use non-toxic paints that will not hurt the grass, water shed, and outdoor wildlife. There are many other options for celebrating this colorful, fun holiday with your Montessori students as a way to get excited for spring!
Monday, February 22, 2010
The Walk the Line activity in the Montessori environment provides numerous opportunities to advance gross motor skills to fine motor skills. Language and communication are present in every aspect of life, and this activity offers opportunity for well-planned, structured, coordinated movement that serves to develop the fine muscles needed for writing. Through the Walk the Line activity, the Montessori student not only develops motor control, but practices listening skills, balance, coordination, body awareness and sense of inner discipline. The student will also work on the visual skills of left to right orientation and visual span.
Friday, February 19, 2010
It is, therefore, crucial that adults are mindful of the precision of language they use. Just as the environment is carefully prepared for the child, our words must be precisely thought out as well. During the first three years of life, patterns of speech are formed which will be the basis of speech for the rest of a child’s life.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Today most institutions, educational or otherwise, are creating a mission statement that briefly illustrates the purpose and aim of the organization. In a nutshell, a mission statement should be succinct, honest, inspiring and motivating to those connected to the organization. It should convey, using dynamic language, the organization’s unique identity, core values, and primary goal. It can be put into individual and collective action every day.
Display your Montessori school’s mission statement in a prominent place where you, your faculty and your families can easily see it. Include it in promotional material and public documents, such as your Montessori parent and employee handbooks. Keeping your mission statement clear and visible serves to focus everyone’s efforts toward that mission.
By engaging your staff and families in your Montessori school’s mission, you send a clear message of intent to maintain the standard that the mission implies. At the same time, the mission sets a foundation from which to build a strong Montessori community that is ultimately dedicated to the same goal – the success of your students, both in school and in life.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Children are tender creatures. They are acutely sensitive to the world around them and are much more apt to pick up on how words are said rather than the words themselves. They hate to be shouted at and even if the words are well intended, it is the volume of the message that they hear. One only need witness a cringing child to know that voices raised in frustration or anger can do as much emotional harm as a raised hand inflicts physical pain.
The expectation in the Montessori environment is to speak in a quiet, respectful voice at all times. Using a quiet voice models appropriate inside voice level, limiting the noise level of the Montessori classroom as well as provides a quiet working environment that allows focus and concentration to be on the works.
Friday, February 12, 2010
But what will make them stay?
Attracting and retaining students is really about attracting Montessori families. Enrollment success is very much dependent on attracting families that match your Montessori school’s values, philosophy, and commitment to quality education for children. Here are some tips on how you can help your Montessori community flourish.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
It is often said that they eyes are the window to the soul. Indeed, making or maintaining eye contact often communicates the real intent of our verbal message. In western societies, people who make eye contact come across as confident and honest. People take you more seriously and believe that what you are saying is important. Eye contact also provides an emotional connection between the speaker and the listener. Eye contact is an important non-verbal means of communication, and is a critical component for creating an ideal Montessori learning environment.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Begin your circle time by reminding your Montessori students that it is a special day. Ask them if they know what today is. After they tell you that it is Valentine’s Day, ask them what that means. What happens on this day? Why do we do what we do on that day? Remember to be aware of students who may not celebrate this day. Depending on the interest of your students, you could share a simple story of the history of Valentine’s Day. If necessary, help prompt and elicit the ideas of love and friendship from your students with the help of some fun activities and reading.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Some of the ways Chinese New Year is celebrated include cleaning, dinner with family, and repaying debts. Games are played, special foods are consumed and children are given red envelopes filled with money. I have enjoyed a variety of activities with my Montessori students for Chinese New Year; we have made red envelopes and decorations, cleaned the classroom and read books and stories about Chinese New Year.
Journaling is an activity that can build language and literacy skills while incorporating all areas of your Montessori curriculum. Students are also encouraged to draw in their journals. Montessori teachers can begin or end the day with students’ journal writing, or allow journals to be used throughout the day, or encourage students to work on their journals at home. Making resolutions and creating goals is a worthwhile endeavor to undertake with your students, and even if you did it at the beginning of the academic year, it is important to revisit these throughout the year. Since many of us were not in school for our New Year, why not utilize the Chinese New Year as an opportunity to create or revisit your Montessori students’ individual goals and resolutions, and incorporate these into their journals?
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
On the morning of US President Obama’s inauguration, I wrote a blog full of hope. Part of President Obama’s campaign was centered on the promise of early childhood education reform in the United States. In fact, he promised to fund spending in order to bring early childhood education reform to the forefront of education. He said he understood how important a good foundation was in developing lifelong learners and healthy, happy, independent citizens.
In the President’s State of the Union Address last week, I heard no mention of early childhood education. The majority of his comments regarding education were about making higher education more affordable and obtainable. He commented on the need to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, otherwise known as “No Child Left Behind” and the need to increase competition among states to improve American education.
Educational reform is no easy matter. One needs look to Finland for a positive model for educational reform. Beginning in 1960, Finland made the decision to move from an agrarian and industrial society to a Nordic welfare state, or mixed economy. The reform began by looking at where Finnish education was at the time, and having a vision for where it needed to go. With the backing of the government and the support of teachers, Finland’s educational system has moved from a class-based system to one which supports and encourages all citizens of all ages.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
When Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the modern Olympic Movement in 1894, he was inspired by the Ancient Greeks whose Olympic events involved not only the best athletes but the best artists of the time. De Coubertin upheld the belief that adding an artistic component to the Olympics would enhance the understanding of different cultures, promoting peace and understanding among nations. Olympic host cities are required to produce a cultural program that highlights and showcases the culture of the host nation to an international audience.
The 2010 Olympic Games are centered on three pillars: Sport, Culture and Sustainability. The City of Vancouver is rich in the arts, and has chosen to showcase local and international artists as an important aspect of the spirit of the Olympics. Bring these important values into your Montessori Classroom with culture and sustainability activities.
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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.
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NAMC Montessori Teacher Training Blog Archive
- ► 2012 (77)
- ► 2011 (76)
- Studying Maria Montessori for Women’s History Mont...
- Holi Festival of Colors: Colorful Spring Activitie...
- Montessori Walk the Line Activity: Helping Reading...
- Montessori Values Explained: The Importance of Pre...
- Montessori Leadership Guide: Mission Statement and...
- Montessori Values Explained: The Importance of Ton...
- Montessori Leadership Guide: Building a Montessori...
- Montessori Values Explained: The Importance of Eye...
- Books, Activities and Resources for a Valentine’s ...
- Chinese New Year in the Montessori Classroom: Acti...
- Montessori Musings: Education Reform, Montessori, ...
- 2010 Olympic Games: Culture and Sustainability Act...
- ▼ February (12)
- ► 2009 (99)
- ► 2008 (76)
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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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