Friday, February 24, 2012

Montessori Views on Infant and Toddler Behavior: A Parent and Caregiver's Role

NAMC montessori views on infant toddler behavior child and montessori parent with flowerTimes have changed, and science has made great progress, and so has our work; but our [Montessori] principles have only been confirmed, and along with them our conviction that mankind can hope for a solution to its problems, among which most urgent are those of peace and unity, only by turning its attention and energies to the discovery of the child and to the great potentialities of the human personality in the course of its formation. ~ Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child

Over time, we have received a few inquiries about managing toddler behavior. What we find most alarming in the nature of some inquiries is that what may be very natural behavior at this age is, at times, considered problematic. It seems that these inquiries focus on discipline and control of the child, when in fact it may be more appropriate to return to the principles of Montessori. This brings our attention to the very special role that parents, educators and caregivers have in the lives of very young children.

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, February 24, 2012.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

George Washington’s Birthday and Presidents' Day in the Montessori Classroom

president's day george washington's birthday NAMC montessori classroom activitiesThe first US President, George Washington, was born on February 22, 1732. Today, George Washington’s birthday is celebrated as a national event annually on the third Monday of each February. Many US citizens also know this as Presidents' Day- to recognize all past US presidents- although the name of the holiday has never been officially changed.

In the days leading up to this national holiday, there are many opportunities for your Montessori students to learn more about this aspect of US history, and to participate in related cultural activities. Here are a few ideas to kick start your plans,

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, February 16, 2012.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Montessori Perspectives: United Nations World Day of Social Justice, February 20th


united nations day social justice NAMC montessori cosmic education children holding hands around world
"Social justice is more than an ethical imperative, it is a foundation for national stability and global prosperity. Equal opportunity, solidarity and respect for human rights -- these are essential to unlocking the full productive potential of nations and peoples.."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message for the 2011 World Day of Social Justice

In 2007, the UN General Assembly proclaimed February 20 as the World Day of Social Justice, to promote the recognition that social justice is the underpinning of a peaceful and prosperous global society, and to encourage the international community in this effort. This important cultural theme is linked closely to Montessori cultural studies and Cosmic Education, and we have compiled some research resources for you to inspire celebration in your Montessori studies and classroom.

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, February 15, 2012.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

National Flag of Canada Day in the Montessori Classroom, February 15

canada flag NAMC montessori philosophy national flag of canada day february 15On February 15, 1965- just two years before Canada’s centennial celebration of Confederation- the country raised its national flag for the first time. The search for a new Canadian national flag began in 1925 and has an interesting history of collaboration and cooperation. It was Canada’s 14th Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson, who led the process to its completion in 1965. His wish was to have a distinctive national flag as a vehicle to promote national unity.

The following words, spoken on that momentous day by the Honourable Maurice Bourget, Speaker of the Senate, added further symbolic meaning to our flag: 

"The flag is the symbol of the nation's unity, for it, beyond any doubt, represents all the citizens of Canada without distinction of race, language, belief or opinion."1

There are many ways for Montessori students of all ages to celebrate National Flag of Canada Day. Here are a few ideas to help you prepare fun, inspiring and educational activities in your Montessori classroom:

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, February 9, 2012.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Montessori Community Celebration of Valentine’s Day and Activities, Part 2

Part 2 of 2: Community Valentine's Day Montessori Activity

montessori teacher young girl make valentine's day card activities in the classroomEach year for Valentine’s Day our Montessori preschool/kindergarten students exchange greeting cards. For those families new to the holiday, these “Valentines” are typically small holiday-themed cards containing messages of friendship that the children exchange at school. Students participate in the preparation of the cards with their families.

Preschool-age children do not always have the energy to make the number of Valentines needed on their own if they wish to give a card to each classmate, so we have developed a cultural activity to make the exchange more manageable and enjoyable for all students, and whereby the focus remains on the original intent – that of peace education.

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, February 8, 2012.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Montessori Community Celebration of Valentine’s Day Games and Activities

Part 1 of 2: Celebrating Valentine's Day with Montessori Friendship and Family

Many Montessori classrooms consist of students from countries around the world, and it has been my experience that these parents really want their children to learn about North American holidays and customs. Valentine’s Day on February 14 is an ideal celebration to share with students and parents, and I have developed a simplified version to honor and include all of our families.
boy holding heart card NAMC montessori community activities valentine's day
A primary aspect of our Valentine’s Day is the exchange of cards between the children, which will be addressed in detail in Part 2 of this series.

On Valentine’s Day we always begin class with our usual routine. The celebration is in the last hour and a half of the day. Children are free to continue working during the celebration. It is never required that a child has to make the crafts. Some children will not want to make any. Some will try with an invitation from the teacher. I try to plan the day so that I can be a “floater” to help children who need assistance.

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, February 6, 2012.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Meeting and Greeting New People - Montessori Grace and Courtesy in a Practical Life Activity

girl and boy shake hands NAMC montessori children grace courtesy practical life activityFollowing is a Montessori Practical Life activity created by NAMC Graduate, Sarah F. Our thanks to Sarah for sharing this with all of us.


Grace and Courtesy: Meeting and Greeting New People Montessori Practical Life Activity

Purpose

To give students practice in meeting new people and conducting a polite conversation with new acquaintances.

Materials
  • Command cards with scenarios written on them. Example: It is a sunny day and you are at the park. A girl is playing on the monkey bars. You would like to meet her and play with her while you are there. Invite a friend to join you for the lesson and each pick props from the basket. Decide who will play each part and then act out what you would do in the situation.
  • Basket with props like hat, apron, scarf, sunglasses, reading glasses, etc.
Presentation
This can be presented in Years 1 to 3. Prepare the material and put it in the practical life area. Choose a place in the room where students can use this lesson without disturbing others.

Part 1: Introducing the concept
  • During group time, gather the students in a circle. Announce that the students will have another opportunity to do little plays involving good manners.
  • With an older student or another teacher, role-play the basic steps taken when meeting, greeting, and carrying on a basic conversation with someone new.
  • Discuss with the students what words were said and how the actors behaved.
  • Discuss that when meeting new people they should walk toward the person and stand about an arm’s length from the person.
  • Demonstrate the materials used and how to follow the directions on the command cards. Instruct the students that each pair of students will use only one command card so that it gives others a chance to work with the materials.
Part 2: Working with the materials
  • Invite a student to take a card from the command card box. Have them read this to you and then help them gather the props needed from the basket.
  • Pick which role each will play.
  • Role-play what the command card says having the child use the rules for meeting and greeting new people and their imagination for the conversation.
  • Put the materials away and invite two students to demonstrate the correct way to use the materials.
  • After the presentation invite the students to use the lesson at the designated time for practical life activities.
Extensions
Create command cards for different scenarios that are common in life and have the children decide what props are needed. Make a short video of one of the plays and share with family and friends.

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, February 2, 2012.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

NAMC Elementary Mastery Checklists: Blending Montessori with State Standards

montessori teacher and girl reading state standards montessori method blended combination public schoolsFollowing is a brief account of how one NAMC Upper Elementary Diploma Program student is using the NAMC Mastery Checklists to align her program with state standards. Our thanks to Jodi for sharing her insights and ideas.


Can the Montessori Method and State Standards be observed together? Here is a great Math example:

The NAMC Upper Elementary math checklist is very similar to the checklist I have been using with my public school students. Each student receives a checklist that they paste into their Montessori Math Journals. The topics are along the left side of the page and are based on the State Standards/Critical Competencies for our District (my next project is to re-word them so that they match the Montessori Common Core Standards).

Also listed is a series of possible activities that incorporate all my general bag of tricks for each topic. Some are taken from the NAMC Lower Elementary math manuals, some from the NAMC Upper Elementary manuals, some are practice pages from the District-provided text books (which can be used in conjunction with the materials and/or work abstractly), trade books that teach math concepts through stories and some are random presentations that I have collected from various places.

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, February 1, 2012.
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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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