Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Montessori Method and Philosophy Explained - Why Choose Montessori?

The following is a brief overview of some key elements of the Montessori method as reflected in the Montessori environment, as described by NAMC tutor, Bree.

NAMC montessori method philosophy explained why choose montessori girl with flashlight

What is the Montessori Method?
The Montessori method of education is more than just a set of nicely designed materials, and it is more than a few useful techniques. The Montessori method is a comprehensive approach to working with children based upon careful research which is passed on to teachers through training. It is a dynamic system of education in which each generation of teachers has the opportunity to pass on the knowledge gained through training and experience to future generations. It is a system of education where the best is kept and improvements are added and passed on. It has been used in different cultures and countries around the world and continues to be a very popular Method of teaching. But beyond this, the Montessori Method is a way of life -- it is a method of teaching that cultivates in each child a love for learning and gives them the confidence to tackle any challenge that they are faced with.

What are some of the main characteristics of the Montessori method?

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, July 28, 2011.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teacher Tested Suggestions for Montessori Lower Elementary Reading Programs

NAMC montessori lower elementary reading programs teacher tested suggestions
I love to teach language and literature; I would have to say it is my favorite curriculum area. But when I began to teach in the lower elementary Montessori classroom, I was initially at a loss to engage my struggling readers in appealing literature. I want to share with you the reading programs that I have seen be successful in my classroom, as well as those which are a great fit with Montessori philosophy.

Today, my favorite readers to use at the Montessori lower elementary age (6-9) are the Junior Great Books, and I cannot say enough good things about them. The Junior Great Books program ties perfectly with the Montessori philosophy as it incorporates critical thinking, rather than simply choosing the best answer to multiple-choice questions. The first three levels (appropriate for lower elementary) are meant to be read aloud by the teacher.

I used the Junior Great Books with my entire Montessori lower elementary class. Because at the lower elementary level, the teacher reads the stories, I was able to include even my special needs, non-readers.

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, July 19, 2011.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Montessori Teacher Perspectives: Prepared Environment and Classroom Design

NAMC montessori teacher perspectives prepared environment classroom design state map puzzle
This is a student response to one of our NAMC blogs, The Peaceful Montessori Classroom: Prepared Environment Design. We would like to share it with you. Thank you to NAMC Lower Elementary student Michelle S. for her insights!

I wish I had read this blog when I first started to learn about the Montessori method. I went through a stage of trying to define what made the prescription for the Montessori classroom. I lived in a rural area and had seen only a few elementary classrooms early in my training. I am proud to say my ability to set up, arrange and organize the Montessori elementary environment has grown through my NAMC experience.

I still go through brief moments of doubt when I feel everything is chaotic, and I do sometimes miss my traditional rows of desks and everyone turning to the same page of their math textbooks. As a matter of fact, the last time I felt that way a few boys in the Montessori classroom were building a robot, one of my girls was solving binomials, several were working on the pin map of Africa, the Timeline of People was out with books on early man, another student was working on an embroidery project. The classroom felt like a whirlwind of activity.

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, July 14, 2011.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Montessori Student Journals: Finding the Right Fit For Your Classroom

NAMC montessori student journals finding the right classroom fit binders vs notebooksI have recently been asked a number of questions about Montessori student journals that are worth sharing with our blog readers. The questions posed by NAMC elementary diploma program students are paraphrased as follows:

Instead of having a journal for every subject: Math, Language Arts, History, etc. did you ever use a three-ring binder or something similar for each student with dividers breaking the subjects up into different sections? In doing this, the Montessori students still get the beginning-of-the-year experience of labeling each section (as they can do this with the dividers), and it seems less wasteful (is all the paper in spiral bound notebooks used?) and for first graders, it seems a bit easier to handle.

I did an observation in a Montessori elementary class with the various journals and found that the students’ cubbies did not have the same orderly appearance of the Montessori classroom. I realize that this is a skill that the Montessori teacher needs to guide children into. What do you think would be the drawbacks, if any, of trying the one main notebook idea? On a side note, I think I would keep separate the creative writing journal and the travel journal that my Montessori students take outside to record observations.

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, July 12, 2011.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Subtraction Snake Game - How Montessori Materials Help Students Learn to Love Learning

NAMC montessori materials learn to love learning subtraction snake game
As a tutor for the North American Montessori Center, I enjoy the curiosity and thoughtful care in which our students approach their studies. Their questions often challenge me to help them understand the theory and philosophy behind the Montessori method, which is ultimately the truly important aspect of their training.

A recent response to one of my students’ questions prompted me to share it with our blog readers. I think it represents a critical, defining intention of the Montessori method. The question is paraphrased here:

“I don’t know why we should bother to teach students this [Subtraction Snake Game] when there is a much easier way and I could simply show them the shortcuts to reach the final result. Am I missing the point to these tedious materials?”

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, July 8, 2011.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Using Montessori Materials: Helping Students Enjoy Work and Respect the Classroom

NAMC montessori materials helping students enjoy respect work classroom math charts
The first time I walked into a Montessori environment, I was speechless! I gazed around at the calm, organized environment and wondered in awe at the beautiful, child-size and developmentally appropriate materials. The combination of purchased and teacher-made works were displayed neatly and uncluttered on the shelves, as if there was all the space in the world and this one spot was made just to hold this beautiful work.

I quietly observed the children, ages 3-6, enter the Montessori classroom and it was as if the materials called to the children to take them off the shelves and get to work. There was no jostling about or loud voices. There was calm; there was purpose. There was intense concentration. There was work!

A few years later, I began my Montessori life teaching in the upper elementary Montessori environment. My “big kids” were accustomed to using the materials and if any untoward usage occurred, I was able to quickly refocus it with a glance.

Things changed when I entered the Montessori lower elementary environment. I found myself with several students who had never been in a Montessori environment before and they regarded the materials as toys rather than work. As my normalized Montessori students looked on aghast, I quickly realized it was time to start from the beginning and take time for lessons in how to properly use the materials.

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, July 6, 2011.
Find What Interests You Easily!

Are you interested in reading back through NAMC's blog articles from years gone by? Are you looking for more information on a specific topic?

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

Post Category Labels

We'd love to hear from you!

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.

NAMC is always looking for feedback and dialogue with our students and other Montessorians. We invite you to contact us if you may have any questions or comments in regards to our blog or articles we have posted here at our Montessori Teacher Training page.

Please note:If you want to learn more about NAMC, are interested in our programs, or are a student, please contact us through the main NAMC site to ensure a timely response from one of our advisors, tutors, or education specialists.

Fill out my online form.