Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Golden Week in Japan: Culture Study and Community Service Activities in the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori classroom activities golden week japan culture study community service folding cranes
The Golden Week includes four national Japanese holidays and two weekends. It becomes a very busy time in Japan when Showa Day, Constitution Day, Greenery Day, and Children’s Day (Kodomono-hi) are all celebrated. This year the weekends are not as well placed as usual, but Showa Day is April 29th, Constitution Day is May 3rd, Greenery Day is May 4th, and Children’s Day is May 5th.

A look at The Golden Week in Japan provides a special opportunity for geography and cultural activities in the Montessori classroom, while also encouraging the possibility of service and philanthropy for your 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 Thursday, April 28, 2011.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Teaching Civics in the Montessori Classroom: Activities for Learning About Voting and Democracy

NAMC montessori classroom teaching civics activities learning about voting democracy ballot box
Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own. ~ Daniel Webster, The Works of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1853), Vol. II, p. 108.

The Age of Enlightenment brought with it the basic tenets of equality and social justice. These ideas spurred both the American and French Revolutions. The American colonists sought their independence by suppressing the rule of the English monarchy and putting the governing power back into their own assemblies. The French revolutionaries, however, sought to abolish their own government and social structure and forcibly create a new one. Both the United States and France were interested in democracy – a government in which the citizens of the country elect their officials in hopes that those officials represent the voice of their constituency.

On December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations drafted and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This doctrine clearly states that, for the first time in history, fundamental human rights were to be universally protected. While the right to vote is now viewed as a fundamental human right, it is not upheld in many parts of the world.

As part of the Montessori Peace curriculum, it is important that elementary Montessori teachers not only teach their students about this fundamental human right, but how the voting process works, how to be an informed voter, and how to cast a vote as well in order for them to become fully informed and active citizens.

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, April 27, 2011.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Introducing Gardening to the Montessori Preschool Student

NAMC montessori preschool student introducing gardening girl watering plants
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.

Spring Is Here – Planting a Flower Garden
Spring is such a wonderful time of year and every day the children notice something different -- bulbs sprouting leaves in the garden, tiny buds emerging on the tree branches, and new birds visiting our bird feeder. With spring in the air, it is the perfect opportunity to provide children with a variety of different planting activities and it is amazing how much they enjoy them. Gardening encourages children to learn about the world around them and instills in each of them a love for nature. It provides them with the opportunity to experiment and it promotes social interactions as they compare, discuss and describe to one another what they are doing and what they observe.

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, April 26, 2011.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Learning About Birds with Fun Montessori Preschool Classroom Activities

NAMC montessori preschool classroom activities learning about birds gluing craft

Learning About Birds, Part 2
As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, in the weeks that followed our Montessori classroom visit from Charlie the Congo African Grey Parrot and Horton the Citron Crested Cockatoo, we have learned songs and finger plays about birds and have implemented a number of different bird activities to extend the theme and enrich our Montessori preschool students’ learning experiences.

A few of the extensions we have implemented in our Montessori preschool classroom include the following:

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, April 21, 2011.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Studying Birds in the Montessori Preschool Classroom

NAMC montessori preschool classroom studying birds feathers picturesLearning About Birds, Part 1
Birds are a wonderful theme to implement with young children and springtime is the perfect time of year to do so. As a Montessori teacher, I understand the importance of beginning each new theme with a concrete, hands-on experience and I decided the perfect way to do that would be to invite one of our Montessori parents for a classroom visit, along with her two parrots.

We were visited by Charlie, a Congo African Grey Parrot and Horton, a Citron Crested Cockatoo and the experience definitely sparked in the children an interest in birds and provided the perfect beginning to our theme! The owner of the parrots was extremely knowledgeable and the children learned so much. They learned what the parrots eat, how they eat their food, the importance of their beaks, how their wings work, and they especially enjoyed hearing their unique sounds.

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, April 20, 2011.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Green Curriculum Ideas for Earth Day in the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori classroom curriculum ideas for earth day planting garden

On April 22, over one hundred countries will participate in Earth Day. Earth Day has been celebrated annually for over forty years. This year Earth Day’s theme is “A Billion Acts of Green.” Individuals and businesses around the world will make pledges and commitments to live in a more environmentally friendly fashion.

Begin a discussion of Earth Day and “A Billion Acts of Green” to involve your Montessori students in activities that incorporate math and environmental education.

With your students, start a master list of activities they can do that are environmentally friendly. You can either start with a goal number in mind (100? 500? But probably not a billion), or keep listing to see how many you can come up with. To reinforce the math component, you can encourage your Montessori students to track the activities on the classroom list with bead chains, unit cubes or other math materials. As the list grows, students can group them by fives, tens, etc.

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, April 19, 2011.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fun Easter Curriculum Activities for Montessori Preschool Classrooms

NAMC montessori preschool classroom Easter curriculum activities egg spooning

Montessori inspired Easter Activities
With Easter just around the corner, we decided to enrich each area of our Montessori preschool classroom with Montessori-inspired Easter activities and the children have been thoroughly enjoying them! I have always found that seasonal activities help to renew a child’s interest in the classroom and the ideas for enriching a Montessori environment are endless!

I have included below some examples of activities that are currently in our Montessori classroom community, and I hope you enjoy them.

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, April 15, 2011.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Studying Artists and their Works in the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori classroom studying artists and their works girl painting
We cannot “teach” a child to be an artist, but as Dr. Montessori says, we can help him develop:
  An Eye that Sees
A Hand that Obeys
A Soul that Feels

with permission via The Joyful Child Montessori Company: (www.thejoyfulchild.us)

Maria Montessori wanted children to be surrounded by objects of beauty. Starting at birth, she admonished parents and care givers to use beautiful objects and toys to stimulate the baby’s senses. Reproductions of great masterpieces were to hang on the walls at children’s eye level rather than have them inundated with commercialized cartoons. She advised that the home be a perfect balance of beauty and order, with each piece carefully chosen not only for its function but also its form.

Teaching art appreciation is an important part of the Montessori art curriculum.

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, April 13, 2011.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Exploring the Boston Marathon in the Montessori Classroom with Curriculum Activities

NAMC montessori classroom curriculum activities boston marathon
Did you know that the Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the world? Every year the city of Boston hosts the event on Patriots’ Day, which is the third Monday of April. This year the marathon will take place on April 18. Tens of thousands of runners, both amateur and professional, flock to the New England city to participate in the road race which happens to be one of the five World Marathon Majors.

Why not use this current event as a springboard to math, history, and geography activities in your Montessori classroom? There’s plenty of information that can be explored in detail, whatever the student’s particular area of interest.

For example, the first Boston Marathon was held in commemoration of the fabled run from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, by the Greek soldier and messenger, Pheidippides. A study of this event can lead to further exploration of the origin of the word marathon, and how the concept has evolved into a global competitive sport.

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, April 12, 2011.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Focus on Peace at Pesach – Jewish Passover Montessori Activity Ideas

NAMC montessori activity idea jewish passover peace pesachJewish Passover (also called Pesach) is an extremely important holiday in the Jewish faith. Pesach marks the event of Moses leading the children of Israel out of persecution in Egypt in 1313 BCE.

In 2011, Passover will start at sunset on Monday, April 18th and will continue for 7 days until Monday, the 25th of April. Passover offers ample opportunities for Montessori students to explore and learn history, geography, culture, current events, and practical life surrounding cultural celebrations.

This year, you might consider a new activity such as a seder (a precise, ceremonial dinner) of peace!

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, April 7, 2011.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sing Peace Around the World - A Montessori Peace Day Project

Sing Peace Around The World Project


NAMC montessori peace project sing peace around the world
For me the song, “Light a Candle for Peace” has so much meaning in my classroom and it is a song that we sing regularly, which always creates a very calm tone during circle time. I am so grateful to Shelley Murley for composing such a beautiful song with so much meaning behind it. For those of you who don’t know who Shelley Murley is, she is a Montessorian as well as a talented composer from Vancouver, BC, Canada.

In 2009, Shelley created a worldwide singing project to celebrate the United Nation’s Peace Day on September 21. She composed the piece called Light a Candle for Peace and it was sung all around the world by various Montessori schools. Starting with New Zealand, schools around the world sang the song over a 24-hour period, and it ended with the Hawaiian Islands. The project took place again in 2010, and will continue in 2011, so keep September 21 in mind and have your students participate in this global peace project! The lyrics to the song are so simple and I encourage you to visit her blog, which has a wonderful little video about the project and clips of children singing this beautiful song from schools all around the world. You can also download the song and lyrics for free.

If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

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, April 5, 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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