Thursday, March 31, 2011

Parent Communication for Montessori Teachers: Sample Newsletter

Parent Communication, Part 2 
Part 1 of this series offers some ideas for establishing and maintaining effective parent communication throughout the school year. As promised, here is a sample of a regular newsletter that we use – our parents really enjoy reviewing these together with their children, and it provides the opportunity to reflect and appreciate all the learning opportunities and progress of our young Montessori students. I hope you will find it helpful information for creating your own methods of Montessori parent communication.

Parent Communication for Montessori Teachers: Sample Newsletter

Montessori May Newsletter

The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the period from birth to the age of six, for that is the time when intelligence itself is being formed and carried on throughout a lifetime. ~ Maria Montessori

NAMC parent communication for montessori teachers sample newsletter looking at grass
What an exciting month we've had exploring metamorphosis, flowers, the water cycle and insects. Spring is always a wonderful time of year to help children feel connected with nature and to instill in them an appreciation for the amazing world in which we live!

The water cycle has continued to be a popular topic and the children really seem to be understanding the concept and using the terms in context. We had a child the other day comment on the water in Monty’s fish bowl and how it has “evaporated” and just today one of the children commented on how much “precipitation” is coming down from the clouds. The children take great pride in learning new terms, especially when the words have five syllables (e-vap-or-a-tion)!

We have also been exploring the wonderful world of bugs and the children have been fascinated to learn facts about a variety of different insects. We have been classifying and sorting creatures and the children have learned that an insect has an exoskeleton, no backbone, six legs, three body parts (head, thorax, abdomen) and that all insects start from a tiny egg. To make the learning more concrete, we became bug explorers outside and they all had a chance to investigate insects up close with a variety of magnifying glasses. They also enjoyed using the magnifying glasses to look at their friends and see their giant eyes and noses … I wish I had brought my camera that day!

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, March 31, 2011.

A Guide to Parent Communication for Montessori Teachers

NAMC montessori teachers guide to parent communication woman on phone
Parent Communication, Part 1
As a teacher, I can’t stress enough the importance of establishing an open line of communication with each parent. Taking the time to communicate to the parents and keep them updated as to how their child is doing is paramount to achieving an environment where children feel happy and secure and families feel connected and informed.

Parent-teacher communication can be as simple as talking to the parents at drop-off and dismissal or as extensive as arranging a parent-teacher conference. Over the years I have found parents really appreciate an open door policy where they feel like they can come in at any time to ask questions and touch base about their child. It is rare that they do, but just knowing they have that option makes them feel more confident and secure.

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, March 29, 2011

Teaching Civics in the Montessori Classroom

If a person were to grow up with a healthy soul, enjoying the full development of a strong character and a clear intellect, they could not endure to uphold two kinds of justice—the one protecting life and the other destroying it. Nor would they consent to cultivate in their heart both love and hate. Neither could they tolerate two disciplines—the one aimed at building, and the other at tearing down what has been built.

NAMC montessori classroom teaching civics girls writing
Better humans than we are would use their intellects and the attainments of civilization to end the fury of war. War would not be a problem for them at all. They would see it simply as a barbarous state, opposed to civilization—an absurd and incomprehensible phenomenon, as expendable and defeatable as the plague. (Maria Montessori, Peace and Education, 1932)

Maria Montessori endured living through both World Wars. She watched as European nations crumbled under self-serving dictators. Forced into exile by the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini, Maria Montessori moved to India and turned her vision toward education and World Peace.

… they will be witnesses to the unfolding of the human soul and to the rising of a New Man who will not be a victim of events, but will have the clarity of vision to direct and shape the future of human society. (Maria Montessori, Education for a New World)

Civics, or Civic Education, is the course of study which applies knowledge of history and cultural geography to the world today. Aligned with Montessori’s vision of Cosmic Education and Peace, civics uses the study of state and local governments and the Common Needs of Humans to help children prepare to become citizens of the world. Children explore such common global themes such justice, law and morality, genocide, and religious and racial persecution. And they learn what it means to be a participating member of a community.

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, March 29, 2011.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Exploring South America: Curriculum Activities for Montessori Preschool Classrooms

Exploring South America
NAMC montessori preschool classrooms curriculum activities south america sewing
One of my favorite aspects of teaching in a Montessori environment is being able to celebrate diversity and instilling in my students an awareness of and interest in other cultures. This month we have been exploring the continent of South America and the theme has been integrated into every area of the classroom. The painted tree on our main wall has been transformed into a rainforest tree and the Montessori students have enjoyed creating animals and placing them in each of the layers (forest floor, understory, canopy and emergent layer).

When studying a particular continent, it is nice to reinforce the color of that continent by putting activities on the shelves that reflect the continent’s color and the Montessori Practical Life shelves gives us the perfect opportunity to do just that. I have included below a list of some of the activities that we have had on our shelves over the past few weeks:

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, March 18, 2011.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

World Events in the Montessori Classroom: Alleviate Fear and Anxiety by Empowering Students

The Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan
...we see that a child has a natural tendency to adapt himself to the other human beings who surround him in a striking way. In this tendency we should strive to find a basis for a love for, and a solidarity with, all mankind. ~ Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child

NAMC montessori classroom empowering students world events fear anxiety circle time
It has been a very interesting week at our Montessori preschool, full of emotions and unusual behavior. The recent earthquake in Japan and its aftermath has been a huge topic of conversation and it is clearly weighing heavily on the minds of many of the children. In fact, first thing Monday morning one of my Montessori students raised his hand during circle time to share some news with his classmates and I was shocked at his interpretation of what happens during an earthquake. He began to tell his fellow students about the earthquake in Japan and said the following, “Where there’s an earthquake, the earth starts to shake and then it just opens up and swallows people. The earth swallowed lots of people in Japan and then a tsunami washed away their families.” There were a few horrified looks from several of the younger preschoolers and I knew at that moment a discussion was needed to explain the situation clearly.

Often the emotional reaction of a traumatic event is related to how far away one is, but with television and technology bringing intense images right into our homes, we are all impacted, especially children! Observing a catastrophe like the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan can be devastating for young children, and the visual images and emotions connected to the event can be on their minds for a long time. Children may absorb worry and sadness from their parents and feel anxious about whether something like that will happen to them and affect their own lives.

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, March 16, 2011.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Montessori Preschool Cultural and Geography Studies: The Continents

NAMC montessori preschool cultural and geography studies the continents globes 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.

Cultural Studies
We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe, and are part of the universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity. ~ Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential

Young children are eager to learn about the world and they soak up the information like little sponges. In the Montessori preschool classroom, children discover their relationship to other humans through stories, cultural celebrations, and the enriched cultural curriculum and materials. I so enjoy introducing the beautiful Montessori Sandpaper Globe and Colored Continent Globe to the children as they are always mesmerized by the beauty of each of the globes as well as what they symbolize.

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, March 15, 2011.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Montessori Students and Sensitive Periods: Working at the Child's Pace

NAMC montessori students sensitive periods working at the child's pace landformsFollowing the Child - Part 2
I have a very amusing story to share, and it is the result of me NOT following a child’s lead. I have a wonderful, spirited little boy in my class this year who just turned three years old and he definitely keeps me on my toes. He is so full of life and keen to try everything and anything.

For the past couple of weeks, this enthusiastic young Montessori student has been asking to use the Montessori Land and Water forms, and each time, I have redirected him to another activity explaining that he hasn't yet had a lesson with them, and letting him know that he will have the chance to work with them one day soon. He asked me again this morning and I gave him the same response.

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, March 14, 2011.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Montessori Students and Sensitive Periods: Follow the Child

NAMC montessori students sensitive periods follow the child cornmeal 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.

Following the Child - Part 1
I have such respect and admiration for Maria Montessori and all that she accomplished during her lifetime. The impact that she has had on education and child development is incredible and she is truly an inspiration! For me, one of the most beautiful components of a Montessori environment is the fact that teachers “follow the child” and that respect is given to the child to work at their own pace.

A Montessori teacher is a guide who facilitates lessons based upon each child’s unique needs, strengths and interests and believes that the child instinctively knows what he or she needs to do. I was definitely a skeptic at first that a child had the ability to guide their own learning, but over the years I have seen it proven time and time again. Young children choosing an activity and working with it over and over until they “get it”!

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, March 11, 2011.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Montessori Cultural Celebrations and Activities – St. Patrick’s Day, March 17

NAMC montessori cultural celebrations and activities st. patrick's day
March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, and many people around the world enjoy this cultural celebration that originated in Ireland, whether or not they have Irish roots! Children especially enjoy cultural celebration activities that appeal to their sense of fun and creativity. St. Patrick’s Day offers great opportunity for learning history, geography and culture while at the same time providing fun, artistic ways to incorporate Montessori practical life activities.

This year, you might add a new activity such as a simple St. Patrick’s Day parade!

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, March 10, 2011.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Students Joining the Montessori Community Later in the Year - The Friendship Salad

Welcoming New Students Mid-year, Part 2 of 2
NAMC montessori community new students joining later in year
Montessori is an attitude, not just a technique and one must have great love for and understanding of each individual child. Montessori is a spiritual attitude toward mankind and mankind begins with childhood. ~ Maria Montessori

Making a Friendship Salad
In Part 1 of this blog, I explained some of the challenges faced when new students join the Montessori preschool classroom mid-year; students who have not yet been in a Montessori environment. One activity that we chose to reinforce respect for community is the Friendship Salad.

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, March 8, 2011.

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Students Joining the Montessori Community Later in the School Year - Welcoming and Observing

Welcoming New Students Mid-year, Part 1
NAMC montessori community new students joining later in the year welcoming observingBack in January, I was discussing with my Montessori assistant how lovely it is to see all of the children working in a normalized manner and thriving on all of the activities on the shelves. The Vase of Kindness was being filled on a regular basis and the level of productivity in the class was incredible.

Recently two of our older children moved away and our Montessori preschool has welcomed two new children into our Montessori preschool program. Subsequently the dynamics of the group have changed, and an adjustment is underway.

Both incoming students are new to a Montessori environment. I observe that they will benefit from guidance to develop the social skills necessary to compromise and problem solve, and that both are a little on the aggressive side. The impact of this new dynamic on the tone of our class community requires some care and attention.

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, March 4, 2011.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Introducing the Montessori Movable Alphabet to the Preschool Student

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 movable alphabet introducing to preschool student

Interest in the Movable Alphabet – Part 2
I was so excited to be able to introduce Jordan to the Movable Alphabet simply because he wanted to do it for so long and it is wonderful to see that he is finally ready to be introduced to it. The look on his face as we carried the Movable Alphabet to a floor mat was priceless! Jordan eagerly sat down on the floor and removed the lid of the box, his eyes wide with anticipation.

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, March 1, 2011.
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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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