Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thoughts on Teaching Values for Montessori Educators: Apologies, Sincerity, and Modeling Behavior

NAMC montessori educators thoughts on teaching values apologies sincerity modeling behavior
I recently had an encounter where the teenage son of a friend typed a very inappropriate response to a message I had sent my friend during an online chat. My response was “That was very inappropriate.” My friend was devastated when she realized what happened and was ready to ground her son. I asked her not to be hasty and let her know that I had already responded.

I suggested that she allow some time for them both to calm down and then to ask what her child was thinking at the time. What made him think his response was okay? Why would he think to do that? And then, ask him what he was going to do to remedy the situation. She asked me if I wanted a written apology. I told her to please ask her son what he thought would be the right thing to do. If he wanted to apologize, that was fine, but it had to be his idea. An apology without sincerity is not an apology.

How many times have you had personal encounters which made you think a person just wasn't sincere? Was it a disgruntled sales clerk who told you “Have a nice day” when you know she would rather have been texting her boyfriend? Maybe it was when you knew you were having a bad hair day and your mother told you looked great? Or maybe an older child pushed her younger sister down on the playground and yelled “sorry” over her shoulder as she laughed and ran away?

As Montessori parents and educators, we want our children to grow up happy, healthy, and responsible. We want them to be well-adjusted, caring and concerned members of adult society. We teach them to say please and thank you at an early age. However, teaching them the words is not enough. How do we teach a child about sincerity? It is a difficult task! We must teach them how to feel and care. We must teach them to not simply go through the motions, but to put themselves in the position of others.

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, November 15, 2012.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Presentations in the Upper Elementary Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori upper elementary classroom presentations girls working

I recently received an email from an upper elementary NAMC student who wanted to know how to present factual information like taxonomic classification to upper elementary Montessori students. She asked:

“I think I understand pretty well Montessori's approach to teaching when it comes to small kids (preschool, kindergarten), but how do you implement it with Upper Elementary? For example with zoology, there is a lot of factual material that has to be somehow presented to the students. You cannot put a handout of the Linnaean classification on the shelf and expect the kids to be excited about it. I was thinking about doing a group presentation, introducing the material in a form of a handout that they have to fill out while watching a Power Point presentation. This way, those of the students who are visual learners can retain more. Or should I just make copies of the text from the manual?”

My response is: Why can’t you be excited about Linnaean classification? It is all in how you present it! Remember, Montessori students have been classifying animals since the 3–6 program. They are used to classification, and this is just the next level of difficulty. In the lower elementary environment, students first classify the difference between living and non-living. Then, they classify the difference between plants and animals, and progress to learning the different classifications of animals: amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals.

In the upper elementary classroom, students learn to classify by relationships. They learn that a dog and a wolf are related. How closely? Well, let’s classify each of these animals, starting with its Kingdom and see how far down the chart they differ.

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, November 9, 2012.

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Favorite Upper Elementary Montessori Material: Sentence Analysis Material

NAMC montessori material favorite upper elementary sentence analysis boy writing

Many upper elementary Montessori teachers I know will tell you they love the Montessori Cubing Material best. While I agree it is a truly beautiful work, my own preference is the more humble Montessori Sentence Analysis Material.

NAMC montessori material favorite upper elementary sentence analysis

The Sentence Analysis Material actually has its origins in the lower elementary 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 Friday, November 2, 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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