Monday, October 31, 2011

Orientation of New Students at Start of School - Montessori Summer Transition

Part 2 of 3 - Summer Transition

NAMC montessori new student summer transition orientation child looks at natureIn Part 1 of this three-part series, I began with some ideas for a phase-in approach to orienting new students in the Montessori 3-6 environment. This basically involves the introduction of new students through a shorter daily work period with a focus on grace and courtesy lessons, rules and routines, along with a phasing-in of the multi-age student body over the first weeks of the school year.

A further option for phasing-in new students came about with the implementation of summer camp at our Montessori school. I found that for many years, my new students often attended our summer camps before the beginning of the school year in the fall. This was an excellent way for new children to acclimate to the school environment. I felt that having a phase in period was not as necessary as before. When I did get some new students later in the fall, it was not difficult to give them the time they deserved to acclimate to the school 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 Monday, October 31, 2011.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Orientation of New Students at Start of School- Montessori Phase In

NAMC montessori teacher orientation new students phase in greeting childPart 1 of 3 – Phase-In Orientation

Each year approximately one third of the established Montessori multi-aged classrooms will be children new to the Montessori experience. A phase-in orientation strategy in the first weeks of school is a valuable tool in helping new children become acclimated to the Montessori environment. The larger, established Montessori school likely already has an established phase-in policy that the Montessori 3-6 teachers follow. The independent Montessori school may have more flexibility in determining what approach works best for its particular group of students.

Phase-in orientation basically begins with a shortened work period and smaller class size to help introduce the environment to new 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 Friday, October 28, 2011.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Creativity of the Montessori Teacher: Flexibility and Classroom Design

NAMC montessori teacher creativity flexibility classroom design and boy growing plant"What is it like to be a Montessori teacher? Is there much creativity in it?"

Recently I read a reply to this question that said that those seeking creativity in a teaching job should look to other methods instead of Montessori. The reply stated that "the Montessori materials were already chosen" leaving little room for teachers to utilize their creativity.

I found this interesting. I remembered that as an art and design major in college the last profession to interest me at the time was teaching. However, once I discovered Montessori through my first child's preschool experience, I found myself drawn to this unique blend of order, movement, beauty and creativity.

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, October 19, 2011.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Elementary Standardized Testing and Montessori Education - Is Testing Right for Your Classroom?

NAMC montessori education standardized testing right for your classroom smiling students I recently spoke with a NAMC student who, during the course of our conversations, told me that she did not give tests and quizzes in her Montessori classroom nor was she a fan of standardized testing, as there is no ”standard child.” But she went on to ask me which standardized test she should administer to her Montessori students.

I was immediately curious. Why she would want to give a standardized test if she didn't believe in them? If she did not give tests and quizzes (and rightly so!), then I need to question her on the need for a standardized test. Was it an administrative decision? Was it to appease parental concern?

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, October 14, 2011.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Assigning Montessori Appropriate Math Homework to Montessori Elementary Students

NAMC montessori math materials appropriate homework boy with skittles

A few years ago I stopped assigning homework in both my lower and upper elementary Montessori classrooms. (You can read about my experience here: Homework in the Montessori Classroom: Does it Actually Help Students?) You see, I had spent two years photocopying worksheets for both follow up work and homework. It was so time consuming and frustrating because no matter how hard I tried, nothing really aligned with the Montessori curriculum and materials. I also made the decision early on that I would not assign work that requires abstract thought, while students are still using concrete materials to learn concepts in the Montessori curriculum. Consequently, that ruled out almost every math book around.

Recently, a NAMC upper elementary graduate called to discuss school culture that requires assigning math homework. There are different views and philosophies about assigning homework, and this can vary among individuals and schools. Math is certainly one of the elementary-level subjects that comes into question time and time again with respect to assigning homework.

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, October 11, 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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