Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Montessori Entry Items - Tips on New School Year Preparation

Entry Items for the Start of School – Part 1

NAMC montessori entry items tips on new school year preparation shaking kids hand
A great deal of time, thought and effort goes into making the first day of a new school year a success and a big part of that is making sure the Montessori environment is organized and beautiful and that there are ample items on the shelves for the children to work with.

I always make sure that each child has a name tag above their cubby or locker to give them a sense of belonging and to give them their own place to hang their coat and lunch bag when they arrive for their first day of school. It brings a smile to my face when I see how delighted the children are to have their own personal space. It is such a simple, yet impactful way to help each child feel like they truly belong to their new Montessori classroom community. It is also nice to include the child’s photo with their name tag to personalize their space even further. And for the younger children who aren’t yet able to recognize their written name, they take great delight in seeing their photo and knowing which cubby belongs to them.

Another important aspect is ensuring that there are a variety of “Entry Items” on the shelves.

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, August 31, 2010.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Montessori School - A Very Montessori Poem


NAMC montessori school montessori poem boy dropping water
At school I am busy with my work and when I play,
It’s my special place where I feel big and I learn more every day.
I learn my numbers, learn my sounds,
I help my friends when they feel down,
Math and Science, Geography too,
Exploring with my senses, mixing colors, using glue,
Adding and subtracting with materials galore,
Working with a friend, doing a puzzle on the floor,
Sharing, caring, kindness too
That’s the way we act at Buena Vista school

I love that everything is just my size,
And I can do things by myself,
When I need a drink of water, I use the jug upon the shelf,
If I spill I know what to do, I clean it up with the cloth that is blue,
I tidy up my very own work and tuck my chair in too,
I know that the color purple is made from mixing red and blue

My school is a place where I learn as I play
All about the earth and how many hours in a day,
I like to sing the continent song,
I know it’s o.k. if I do something wrong,
None of us are perfect and mistakes help me grow,
I’m learning how to tie my shoes and how to make a bow

I learn the importance of being kind,
To wait my turn when I’m standing in line
To wash my hands before I eat
To eat my fruit & veggies before I eat my treat

I learn about the planets, and the parts of a flower too,
I put my work back on the shelf and the lid back on the glue
I sing, I dance, I write my name
I even play the ‘knock knock game’

I've learned about a snail and a worm.
I’m practicing how to take my turn.
I help
my friends when they’re in need,
I learn the importance of doing a kind deed
I sound out words from left to right,
I use my words & never fight.

My school is a peaceful place, my teachers love me so,
Caring, sharing, laughing, learning-- a place where I can grow!

My Montessori School By Bree Van Nes


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, August 26, 2010.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Start of the Montessori School Year: Writing a Welcome Note to Parents

NAMCstart montessori school year writing a welcome note to parentsThis 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.

The beginning of the school year can be an emotional time for teachers, parents and children. For some, the feeling is pure excitement, however, for others the opposite is true and they are consumed by fear, anxiety and uncertainty. It is our role as educators to reassure parents and children and to help them feel safe and secure. Before school begins, I always send a note to all of the families welcoming them to the school and providing them with a little information on what to expect. The note is always very well received and appreciated, and I have included a sample below.

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, August 24, 2010.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Montessori Classroom - A Very Montessori Poem

NAMC montessori classroom montessori poem
A Montessori class is like no other,
Calm and peaceful, neutral in color
Amazing materials to challenge the mind,
And countless opportunities to grow and to shine,

A harmonious tone, where grace and courtesy are seen,
Children helping, children learning, exploring why leaves are green,
A joyous community where independence abounds,
Learning through the senses, sandpaper letters to learn the sounds,

Learning about the continents, working with landforms too,
Learning the parts of an insect, persevering to tie your shoe,
Pushing in your chair, rolling up your mat,
Using the Moveable Alphabet to spell the word, ‘c-a-t’

An environment where children work at their own pace,
Discovering, exploring, no pressure to win the race,
A philosophy that helps children be all they can be,
Guiding their learning by following their lead,

Intrinsically motivated,
Independent too,
The power of the absorbent mind
Soaking up knowledge through and through

Maria Montessori is one of a kind,
An acute observer, an intelligent mind
She believed in following the child’s lead,
And giving children the tools to help those in need

A Montessori class is like no other
And a teacher I’m proud to be
A role model, a facilitator, a nurturer, a friend,
Guiding them on a journey that I hope will never end

I feel so proud, so honored and blessed
To help each child achieve their best
To instill in them a love for life,
A passion for learning and a zest for life


Thank-you Dr. Montessori for inspiring me each and every day. I feel like I am on a constant journey and each day the children have something more to teach me. I can’t even put into words how much I love being a Montessori teacher - I wake up every morning excited to start my day and honored to be able to experience learning through the eyes of a child!

With thanks,

The Montessori Classroom - A Very Montessori Poem by Bree Van Nes


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, August 20, 2010.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Celebrating Maria Montessori’s Birthday in the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori classroom activites celebrating maria montessori's birthday
Maria Montessori was born one hundred and forty years ago on August 31st. As Montessori teachers, we owe much to this dynamic and innovative woman! To honor Maria Montessori, celebrate Montessori’s birthday with your students – they will enjoy learning about her life and will take pride in activities inspired by her.


Here are some ideas for activities to celebrate Maria Montessori’s birthday:

  • Use Montessori’s birthday as an opportunity to foster school spirit and appreciation. Have a discussion with your students about how going to a Montessori school can be a unique experience. Have each student write about their favorite aspect of going to a Montessori school (you can record this information for younger students) through stories or poems and display them in your Montessori school or highlight some of their impressions in your school newsletter.
  • Do a “walk around the sun” for Maria Montessori. Light a candle to represent the sun (or use a battery-operated light if an open flame is not an option) and have your students sit around it in a circle. Have students take turns walking around the sun while holding a globe (each trip represents one year). You can either do enough trips around the sun to represent how old Maria Montessori lived or the total one hundred forty years since she was born.
  • With your students, explore the Montessori math materials (such as bead chains, etc.) while using the number 140.
  • In honor of Maria Montessori’s altruistic spirit, your Montessori students may enjoy organizing a service opportunity. Older students and younger students can collaborate to help with tasks on campus, or students may choose an off-campus volunteer opportunity at a hospital, shelter, or other organization with need.
  • Create a timeline that shows Maria Montessori’s life with corresponding historical world events.
  • Students can write historical fiction from the perspective of Maria Montessori or one of her first students.
  • Become internet pen pals with students at another Montessori school and share facts about Maria Montessori.
Resources:

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, August 19, 2010.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Montessori Summer Preparations: Snack Time Insights & Reflections

Summer Preparations: Snack Time

NAMC montessori summer preparations snack time
Summer is the perfect time to unwind and to reflect upon the past school year. I love revisiting my observation records and trying to figure out how I can improve upon the current classroom set-up and how I can enrich the various curriculum areas.

With September just around the corner, my mind is flooded with all the things that need to be done. Not a moment goes by that I’m not thinking about my students and analyzing what worked well and what may require changes or adjustments. I have been thinking a lot about how I may challenge some of the returning Montessori students and how I’m going to best support the new students.

I have already spent countless hours organizing the storage room, painting materials, making repairs, searching for treasures in local thrift stores and creating new reading material. In past years, I have found that fitting in group snack prior to lunch time can be a challenge.

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, August 18, 2010.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Montessori Insights and Reflections of a Preschool Student’s First Year

Introducing a New Blog Series on the Montessori Preschool Environment

NAMC is very pleased to begin a new, ongoing series for our web blog titled, Montessori Insights and Reflections of a Preschool Student’s First Year. This new series will provide our readers with valuable information about the Montessori 3-6 environment – looking at a year in the life of a Montessori preschool child, both through the eyes of the child and the teacher.
 
NAMC montessori insights reflections preschool student first year
We welcome the new contributions of long-time NAMC tutor and Montessori teacher, Bree Van Nes. Many of you may already know Bree as your tutor. Bree’s lifelong passion for teaching Montessori 3-6 inspires those who are acquainted with her, and we are delighted that Bree is joining NAMC tutor and elementary teacher Michelle Irinyi and NAMC alumni Elissa Pugh as a contributor to our blog.

Our hope is that you will find Bree’s personal insights and reflections of her Montessori teaching experience a valuable learning tool, and an inspiration for your own Montessori journey.

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, August 13, 2010.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ramadan Activity Ideas for the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori ramadan activity ideas crescent moon
This year Ramadan begins at sunset on August 11th (on the Gregorian calendar) and ends on the 9th of September. Ramadan is a holy month of fasting and contemplation for Muslims around the world. Many fast and increase prayer and contemplation during daylight hours, ending the day with a prayer and a light meal called the iftar. One of the many benefits of the fasting is to remind Muslims of those who are less fortunate.

Brainstorm with your Montessori students for ways that your Montessori class can provide community service with this in mind. Your students may spend a morning at a soup kitchen or hold a school-wide canned food drive. Perhaps students can collect spare change in jars and send it to a local food bank or cook an appreciation meal for the fire station that services your school.

Older Montessori students may enjoy discussions and research about the connections between poverty, food quality, politics, food deserts, and other related issues. Ramadan is another opportunity to learn and promote understanding in the Montessori classroom. Help your students enjoy this chance to learn about their world with these fun activities!

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, August 12, 2010.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Montessori Elementary Curriculum: Cosmic Education and the Five Great Lessons

A wider, loftier life is (humankind’s) than ever before, and children have to be prepared for it, so the fundamental principle in education is correlation of all subjects, and their centralization in the cosmic plan. ~ Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential


NAMC montessori cosmic education five great lessons children help garden
Montessori Cosmic Education and the Five Great Lessons
If the Five Great Lessons can be said to be the heart of Montessori elementary education, then cosmic education can be described as the soul.

One of the most important underlying principles of Montessori programs is cosmic education, an overall Montessori approach to education that involves helping children develop an awareness that everything in the universe is connected and interdependent and forms a harmonious whole and that they themselves are part of and contribute to that whole.

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, August 6, 2010.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Montessori Elementary Curriculum: Preparation for The Five Great Lessons

…by offering the child the story of the universe, we give him something a thousand times more infinite and mysterious to reconstruct with this imagination, a drama no fable can reveal. ~ Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential


NAMC montessori elementary curriculum preparation for five great lessons jars
In keeping with age-old, oral storytelling traditions, the Montessori teacher must know the stories of the Five Great Lessons thoroughly enough to tell them rather than read them. Rehearsing helps the Montessori teacher practice presenting the story smoothly and effectively. Rehearsing also provides valuable information about the amount of time it will take to tell the story.

Additionally, the Montessori teacher needs to prepare for the students’ questions by having a solid foundation in the subject matter of that Great Lesson. To stay up to date with the factual information in each story, the Montessori teacher will need to carry out some new research every year.

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, August 5, 2010.
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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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