Category Archives: Montessori

Fire Safety

Today we were very fortunate to have two firemen come to the school with the truck to teach our kids about fire safety.  They got to see how “normal men” gear up in what can sometimes be scary fire gear.

After learning how the gear works and seeing how firemen move through a house, the kids got to tour the fire truck and even sit in the seats. They were very excited, and they don’t think Firemen are scary anymore.

 

 

Montessori and STEM

Every few years, certain buzzwords begin circulating throughout the education communities. Most recently, it’s STEM. For those not familiar with the concept, STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  The wonderful part for us is we already do a lot of these activities in our everyday teaching.  The North American Montessori Center says it best:  “Beginning in the Montessori preschool environment, students learn the fundamental rules of math and science through the discovery of natural laws through manipulation of didactic materials and problem-solving with peers. The work engages the senses and insures the internalization of concepts, not just memorization of disjointed facts and figures. Through the Montessori concept of Cosmic Education, the curriculum reinforces that everything is interrelated; students see how math and science work harmoniously in nature, like in the Fibonacci sequence.”


We love guiding children through practical and real life situations to help them learn about their world.  The Montessori method of teaching and learning has always been a hands on and fluid dynamic, making STEM activities a wonderful complement to the classroom.

 

Play Is The Work Of The Child

One of August’s themes for our school is to study Maria Montessori. Who she was, what she taught, and her value of children. We study her because it is her model we follow so closely.  A favorite quote, and one that circulates often, is “play is the work of the child.” This quote drives much of what we do, from setting up classrooms to building lesson plans to how we set up the playground and choose outdoor toys.  Children learn about their world by playing, so play is their work.   Toys are not toys, but tools to help the child explore their world and learn.  They learn counting, practical life, and colors, just to name a small amount, all with tools designed for them.

 

Mystery Box

A mystery box is a wonderful way to teach children about their sense of touch.  This DIY activity is easy to set up, and can be made with supplies you keep around the house.  Simply cut arm size holes in a box and put a few different objects in for the child to feel and guess what they are.  Have them describe the textures, if it is hard or soft, if it is big or small, if it warms to the touch or is cool. The options are only as endless as what you can put in the box!

 

For more detailed instructions and further ideas, check the link below:
http://www.howwemontessori.com/how-we-montessori/2015/07/five-minute-montessori-diy-mystery-box.html

Sweetened Condensed Montessori

Sometimes someone who has never interacted with a Montessori school finds themselves confused with how we do things.  The link below offers a beautiful description of what we do, how we do it, and most importantly, why.  If you have a few minutes (probably less than five), click the link below to check it out!

https://www.childoftheredwoods.com/articles/montessori-101-the-basics

If you don’t have a couple spare minutes, here’s the short version of the short version:

At Montessori schools, we want to learn from the child and let the child cue us on how they learn best.  For children, play is their work, and at this incredibly important life stage, structuring that work with care and gentle guidance offers the child the best opportunity to learn about their world.  Montessori teachers are worthy of respect and offer children the same respect in each interaction.

Want to foster independence in your child?

img_2716

Tala Wagner, a Montessori educator and mom, describes what fostering independence means at home, and how it shapes a child’s work in the Montessori classroom. Read on!

Montessori parents often tout the academic benefits of a Montessori education. Even more worthy of note is the character of the children who attend those schools. It is often said that Montessori schools foster independent, confident children. But beginning the journey of a Montessori parent takes a huge leap of faith. To talk about independence and real items such as knives and glass objects in the same breath might incite panic in families considering Montessori education.

But what are we really talking about when we say independence in the classroom? And what does te term mean for families at home?

Maria Montessori’s own vision for early childhood education was to be an “aid to life”. She wrote that “to aid life, leaving it free, however, to unfold itself, that is the basic task of the educator”. Many Montessori schools call the adults in the classroom “guides”. Adults in the Montessori classroom do not teach by disseminating information. They provide a prepared environment for children to reach their own discoveries, with plenty of failures and triumphs along the way.

In order to provide a personalized education, Montessori guides spend much time observing each child. They see what a child is mastering, what a child enjoys, and what a child needs more time practicing. So, for example, after months of watching a child handle glass bowls and cups with care, refine their motor skills through practical life works, and spend increasing amounts of time concentrating on works, a Montessori guide might introduce that particular child to bread or cheese cutting… with a knife.

So what is the point in fostering independence in our children (besides letting them use sharp objects)?

Our children know how to solve problems. Independence is an ability to discriminate between “this is tough” and “this is truly beyond my ability”. It is both a determination to trust oneself, and the ability to see getting help as a solution instead of a failure. Independence means empowering our children to trust themselves.

To cultivate a home life filled with independent opportunities, you do not have to be a trained Montessori professional, just an observant and mindful parent. Ask yourself what you can do to help your children help themselves. Do they need more time to get dressed without help or interference? Embrace little mistakes. Is there a low shelf with cleaning supplies so they can clean their own spills? Anticipate their needs. Is there a water source available so they can get their own drinks? Decide what works best for your home and your family. Find what you can do to nurture the independent spirit in your little ones.

Information found here: https://primary.community/independence-means-trust