Friday, November 26, 2010

A Three Period Lesson with The Montessori Sandpaper Letters

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.

NAMC montessori sandpaper letters three period lesson
Introducing the Sandpaper Letters – Three Period Lesson
Over the past couple of weeks, Jordan has been showing interest in the Montessori Sandpaper Letters and is always watching the lessons I give to other children. We have worked with the I Spy game several times and he has become quite proficient with identifying which objects begin with the various sounds. Today, Jordan brought me the box of Montessori Sandpaper Letters and asked if we could do sounds together. It was wonderful to see him initiate the presentation and of course, I seized the opportunity.

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, November 26, 2010.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Promoting Independence from Teachers: Montessori Students Working Together

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.

NAMC montessori students working together promoting independence
Another Step Toward Independence
Another milestone occurred during snack time today in our Montessori preschool classroom. Since the start of school, Jordan has needed help finding his lunch bag, unzipping it and opening his containers. Despite our constant efforts to encourage Jordan to be independent, he falls apart when he is not confident in doing something on his own and refuses to even make the effort.

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, November 23, 2010.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Exploring the US History of Thanksgiving in the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori us history thanksgiving activities pilgrim engravingWhen I was growing up, one of my favorite school holidays was Thanksgiving. As a young child, I loved making turkeys out of pinecones and pilgrim fashions out of construction paper. I imagined myself a young pilgrim girl making an exciting adventure on the Mayflower, landing at Plymouth Rock and befriending some young native children. Not much was told to us about the original inhabitants of the North American continent. We were content to hear stories of how the Wampanoag Native American, Squanto, taught the Pilgrims to plant corn with fish fertilizer and how the Pilgrims invited the great Native American leader Massasoit (aka Ousamequin) and his people to celebrate the first Thanksgiving. As children, we didn't question these stories. It wasn't until I was much older that I learned more about the Wampanoag people.

The Wampanoag, “People of the First Light”, were an Algonquin-speaking people who lived in what is now Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They lived in wetus (a circular home made of bent saplings) and moved seasonally. Summers were spent in open clearings where they could grow corn. During winter, they moved into the forest for more shelter from the harsh winters. Their diet consisted mostly of corn (maize), fish, and game, such as rabbit, squirrel, wild turkey and deer.

In November 1620, the Mayflower landed near the Wampanoag village of Meeshawm. Cold, hungry, and with no shelter and dwindling supplies, the new colonists were excited to find corn buried in pits in the earth. What they didn't realize is they were stealing the Wampanoag’s winter store of corn, not to mention their seed for the next planting season. By December, the colonists decided to build their new homes near the village of Pawtuxet.

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, November 17, 2010.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tall Tales Activities for the Montessori Elementary Classroom

NAMC montessori elementary classroom tall tale activities history davy crocket Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
The greenest state in the land of the free
Raised in the woods so's he knew ev'ry tree
Kilt him a b'ar when he was only three
Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier



from: “The Ballad of Davy Crockett”
Lyrics by Tom Blackburn
Music by George Bruns

In the elementary Montessori classroom, children are surrounded by literature – both fiction and non-fiction. Good literature and good story telling encourage students to use their imaginations and further their creative writing skills. Because of this, it is important to expose elementary students to a wide variety of different literary genres. Elementary age students enjoy reading and listening to many types of literature. One genre elementary age students particularly enjoy is the tall tale.

A tall tale is an adventure story about a larger-than-life character. The character, based on a real person or purely fictional, performs extraordinary feats of strength, courage, daring, or intelligence. Children like tall tales because they are often humorous and because they attempt to explain a larger-than-life phenomenon. They want to think that they are capable of great feats and are always on the look-out for adventure.

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, November 16, 2010.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Montessori Technique Explained: How to Present a Three Period Lesson

NAMC montessori technique explained how to present three period lesson boy with cube The Three Period Lesson is a fundamental technique used by Montessori educators to present new material to students. It is used throughout the Montessori curriculum and is extremely effective with teaching vocabulary. It uses three simple stages of teaching (naming , recognition and recall) and each stage gradually increases in difficulty. The first period is intended to introduce the concept, the second period allows for practice, and finally, the third period provides a demonstration of mastery.

Prior to carrying out a Three Period Lesson, it is important to be familiar with the vocabulary that you will be introducing and to have the necessary Montessori materials on hand. It is equally important to be sure the student is interested and ready to learn the concept that you are introducing. I always begin by inviting the child to join me for a lesson, so that they feel it is their choice. I might say, “Would you like to work with me?” or “Would you like to join me and learn some new words?”

For the purpose of this article, I will explain how I would use a Three Period Lesson to introduce three of the Geometric Solids (Cube, Sphere, Cylinder).

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, November 11, 2010.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Montessori Moment: The Amazing Creativity of Preschool Students

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.

Montessori Moments: Insects and Creativity
My Montessori preschool students have been showing so much interest in insects over the past couple of weeks and consequently I have been trying to integrate our insect theme into every curriculum area. Jordan has been refining his fine motor control by using tongs to transfer flies into a ceramic frog and he loves the new “cards and counters” activity which I placed on the shelf - it is so much fun to watch him carefully order the Number Cards 1 to 10 and then carefully count out the corresponding amount of wooden ladybugs below each numeral.

Today, I observed a four year old Montessori student self-initiate an art project which showed great concentration and knowledge on his part.

First, he organized a tray with two pencil crayons as well as the circle frame from the metal inset stand. He then found a large piece of paper from the art shelf and took everything to a table. He carefully traced the circle frame 3 times, one on top of the other (like a snowman). Next he drew two antennae, six legs, two eyes, a mouth, and interesting decorations. I continued observing him and to my delight he asked one of the Montessori kindergarten students to help him label the body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. He then cut out his insect, taped on some string, and swayed it side to side to make it fly. The look on his face was priceless… a self-initiated masterpiece!

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, November 10, 2010.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holiday Cookies – Fun Montessori Curriculum Opportunities

NAMC montessori curriculum opportunities holiday cookiesWhen I was a little girl one of my favorite Christmas traditions was making Spritz cookies with my mother. My sister and I would carefully add candied sprinkles to the white, red and green buttery cookies my mother had pressed out with the cookie press. Then, with eager anticipation, we waited for that first taste. Ahhhhh…now that “tasted” like Christmas.

Over the years, we tried many different Christmas cookies. Some we liked, some not so much. When I married my husband, he brought with him tasty Hungarian holiday treats that soon became part of our holiday tradition. There is something about cookies that make the holidays seem more festive.

Baking treats for the holidays in your Montessori classroom is a fun way to incorporate Cosmic Education, Cultural Geography, History, Math, Language, Science and Practical Life. Best of all, everyone gets to enjoy the treats they helped make. Here is a little history and tips about cookies to share with your Montessori students:

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, November 9, 2010.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Montessori Cosmic Education: The Meaning Behind Thanksgiving

NAMC montessori cosmic education meaning behind thanksgiving paper turkey

Let us in education always call the attention of children to the hosts of men and women who are hidden from the light of fame, so kindling a love of humanity….a reverent consciousness of its dignity and worth. ~ Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential

I have to admit, Thanksgiving is not one of my favorite holidays. I think it all comes down to a lot of cooking and dishes for what seems like a very short meal. I’m not a big fan of turkey, either. Or, dare I say it, pumpkin pie. And I’d rather decorate my house with stockings and mistletoe than pilgrims and turkeys. I do, however, appreciate the theme of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving, when you get down to it, is not about a feast or football or the day-after-Thanksgiving holiday sales rush. Remember the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special? (Charles M. Schulz, 1973) All the kids invite themselves over to Charlie Brown’s house for dinner. They arrive expecting the traditional feast and are outraged to find themselves served toast, popcorn, pretzels, and jelly beans. “What blockhead cooked all this?” shouted Peppermint Patty. Wouldn't she have been surprised to find out it has all been prepared by Snoopy – the dog!? Marcie tries to explain: “Thanksgiving is more than eating…we should just be thankful for being together.”

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 Monday, November 8, 2010.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Promoting Montessori Grace and Courtesy with the Vase of Kindness

NAMC montessori Grace and courtesy vase of kindness

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.

The Vase of Kindness
Learning to function in a peaceful, caring community is the backbone of a harmonious Montessori environment. Teaching a child to be kind, respectful and empathetic are vital skills that every Montessori educator works hard to achieve. These skills are taught and reinforced each and every day through modeling, grace and courtesy lessons as well as role-playing. I am always trying to think of new and effective ways to encourage kindness and I would like to share with you something that seems to be working very well.

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, November 5, 2010.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Montessori Preschool Practical Life Activities: Following the Child...Gone Fishing!

NAMC montessori preschool practical life activities follow the child working with tweezers 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.

Fishing-themed Activities To Spark An Interest In Practical Life
It is always so interesting to follow a child’s lead and to find ways to spark their interest in the Montessori preschool classroom. Over the past few weeks, I have observed my three-year-old Montessori student Jordan gravitate to the blocks and building material day after day.

I certainly understand the benefit of working with sensorial materials such as these. However, I have been hoping to observe Jordan take more of an interest in the Montessori Practical Life activities as they are especially beneficial to a young student in this sensitive period of development.

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, November 4, 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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