Friday, September 30, 2011

Thoughts on Daily Preparation Routines for the Montessori Preschool Environment: Planning for Space and Time

NAMC montessoridaily preparation routines preschool environment planning space time labeling animalsAs stated in Part 1 of this series, it is the responsibility of each Montessori teacher to follow the child and present the learning activities that are conducive to the child’s changing needs. This is how the Montessori educator ensures the child’s success in every step of his/her development, and fosters a lifelong love of learning.

Each Montessori classroom does things a little differently and each teacher finds the balance that works for them and their students through thoughtful observation. One of the Montessori environments in which I have worked was essentially two spaces or “rooms” separated by a wall. Our Montessori environment was academically focused and rather than giving the children complete freedom to choose their daily work, we arranged one new presentation each day for students to complete. This functioned quite well and the children all loved working on their "big work". We divided the two rooms into the main Montessori preschool/kindergarten (ages 3-6) subject areas:

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, September 30, 2011.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thoughts on Daily Preparation Routines for the Montessori Preschool Environment: After School Planning

A teacher is destined by his own special work to observe not simply insects or protozoa but man. And the man he is destined to observe is not one busy about his daily occupations, like those of insects when they wake up in the morning, but man when his intellectual life is awakening. ~ Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child

NAMC montessori preschool environment daily preparation routines tips planningDaily preparation is an important part of a Montessori teacher’s routine, and there are many ways in which this can vary, according to the individual, the Montessori environment, and of course, the Montessori students themselves. Personally, I like to create a tentative plan at the end of each day as to which presentations I would like to introduce the following day. I am always flexible with my plan, but it serves as a helpful guide and aids my personal daily preparation and organization for the Montessori environment.

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, September 29, 2011.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Montessori Elementary Teacher Perspectives: Tips for Following and Inspiring the Child

NAMC Montessori elementary teacher tips inspiring following the child math checkerboard

Recently I received an email from a NAMC student asking about working with a family that is quite outspoken as to the precise curriculum schedule they want to be presented to their child. She was concerned about following and meeting the needs of their child within the confines of their demands for him to follow a rigorous and precise academic schedule.

Her question is a tough one. On the one hand, I completely understand the parents’ point of view – they want to make sure that their child does not ‘fall through the cracks’ and miss important information and lessons. On the other hand, I am a firm believer in Montessori’s wisdom of following the child and allowing him to discover his own path, and am secure in the knowledge that the child will eventually choose to work in all areas. I have experienced this firsthand with my own son. (You can read more about my son and his Montessori elementary years in my blog: Making Connections between Montessori and Traditional School)

The purpose of the Montessori environment is to develop the whole personality of the child, not merely his intellect. Montessori said “The aim of the children who persevere in their work with an object is certainly not to “learn”; they are drawn to it by the needs of their inner life, which must be recognized and developed by its means.” (Discovery of the Child)

Sometimes, however, it is not simply enough to follow the child.

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, September 23, 2011.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Montessori Elementary Teachers – Tips for Curriculum Scheduling

Actually, [the teacher] will learn from the child himself the ways and means to his own education, that is, he will learn from the child how to perfect himself as a teacher. ~ Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child

NAMC montessori elementary teachers tips curriculum scheduling geography puzzle

As many of our students and graduates begin a new year at their Montessori elementary schools, questions about how to schedule curriculum activities is often top of mind. Below are some thoughts on setting up Montessori lesson/activity schedules using examples in the cultural studies.

Firstly, I would like to remind our readers that while the Montessori curriculum is rich in lessons and resources, it is important to always keep in mind that the child has three years in which to learn the material. There are several schools of thought when approaching the issue of implementing the elementary curriculum in the Montessori classroom; here are three popular approaches:
  • Every subject is taught spontaneously throughout the year at three different age levels
  • Cultural subjects may be rotated over a three-year cycle
  • Cultural subjects may be rotated throughout the year, with different age-leveled presentations
Below are a few examples:

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, September 8, 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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