Monday, May 31, 2010
…our emphasis should be less on student achievement (read: test scores) than on students’ achievements. ~ Alfie Kohn, “Debunking the Case for National Standards: One-Size-Fits-All Mandates and Their Dangers”, Jan. 14, 2010
Grades… A tangible descriptor that measures the level of knowledge in a standard course of study, relying on some sort of subjective interpretation of student performance and achievement. Most of us went through school “being graded”. Students are even told that they reason they go to school is to get good grades. In fact, parents teachers use getting “good grades” as an extrinsic motivator; children are rewarded for their achievements and punished for their failures. Yet studies, some dating back 100 years, show that people who are “graded” learn differently from those who aren't. They tend to prefer to find the easy way out, quickly lose interest, and, when all is said and done, forget what they've “learned”. Getting an education becomes more about competition than learning.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I have found that my Montessori students are easily engaged with and interested in environmental concerns. Environmental studies easily incorporate into a Montessori curriculum; I try to incorporate environmental awareness into our studies all year, across all Montessori subject areas as much as possible. Some of the ways I do this are by reading stories and poems that stress an appreciation for the environment, incorporating nature into our art work in the Montessori classroom, and pointing out the interconnectedness of all things whenever possible. I may particularly stress environmental topics on certain days like Earth Day and World Environment Day.
World Environment Day will be celebrated on June 5, 2010. The United Nations Environment Programme aims for World Environment Day to be the largest and most widely celebrated day for environmental action. World Environment Day has been celebrated since 1972. 2010 has been declared the International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations and this year the theme of World Environment Day is “Many Species. One Planet. One Future.” Here are some great activity ideas to share with your Montessori classroom!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
When children play, some essential themes present themselves, such as friendship, compassion, cooperation, and kindness. (These four themes are further discussed in Charles A. Smith’s The Peaceful Classroom.) These themes and values can be introduced, encouraged and expressed through many activities in the Montessori classroom and fostered again in the community atmosphere of the Montessori playground.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Summer “homework” may help prevent your Montessori students’ minds from going “mushy,” and may also provide a springboard for starting the new school year in the fall. Besides the academic benefits, summer homework can help you keep in touch with and get to know your students on another level during the summer.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
For children with proprioceptive (muscle and/or joint) processing difficulties, activities involving “heavy work” is recommended. Heavy work has been shown to increase attention and decrease sensory defensiveness. Using activities which provide heavy resistance to the muscles and joints helps the body assimilate process movement (vestibular) and touch (tactile) information. Heavy work in the Montessori environment is generally found in the Montessori Practical Life activities.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
My son loved his kindergarten year in Montessori. As the end of the year approached, he came home excited about having to make a speech for his kindergarten graduation. When I offered to help, he told me it was a ‘surprise’ and I’d hear it on the big day.
Like birthdays and the traditional Montessori “Walk Around the Sun", the passage from one plane of development to another can be marked by an intimate and informal tradition.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Out-of-Sync Child) says that "Just as the five main food groups provide daily nutritional requirements, a daily sensory diet fulfills physical and emotional needs”. Studies have also shown that stimulation of the tactile (touch), vestibular (inner ear), and proprioceptive (muscle and joint) senses help develop and grow dendrites and synapses in the brain.
So what about the children who have difficulty processing sensory information? These children need a way to have their needs met. Developing the senses improves energy, focus, and the ability to self-regulate behavior. Sensory activities facilitate whole brain learning and children will be more successful academically and practically. A child with hyper-sensitivities may need more calming sensory input while children with hypo-sensitivities will need more arousing input. Such activities help restructure the nervous system so that, over time, the child is better equipped to:
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
It is generally held that we have five senses: touch, taste, sight, smell, and hearing. We often take for granted the ability to see clearly, to taste good food, to distinguish between right-side-up and upside down. Imagine living in a world where your senses didn't function together, where the information that was sent from your senses to your brain was ‘misinterpreted’ and you didn't experience the world the way others did.
Imagine being told how good something smelled, only to be repulsed by it. Or gagging on something described as “absolutely delicious”. Or being afraid to have your feet leave the ground because that was the only way your body knew it wouldn't float off into space. Or being afraid to grow because that meant getting new clothes that hurt to wear because everything new was too rough for your skin.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Be aware of what will be required of you by your Montessori school and supervisor. When will your final student progress reports be distributed and what will you need to do to prepare? Is your Montessori school required to administer standardized tests or an end of the year test? Plan your schedule accordingly and communicate/prepare your students well in advance.
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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.
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
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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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