A few of our primary friends got to experience the musical talent of Ms. Marlie today! Sharing our passion with our students is a wonderful thing!We got to listen to the different notes and scales produced by the trumpet, and feel it’s brassy exterior as the sound vibrated through the horn. We learned how a “mute” works by making the sound softer. Ms. Marlie showed us how to assemble and disassemble the instrument, and how to properly clean and care for all of its parts.A child’s curiosity is a beautiful thing! I see a few musicians in the making!
146 times around the sun; Happiest of Birthdays, Dr. Maria Montessori!
Our Primary community celebrated by participating in a traditional Celebration of Life for Dr. Montessori.A few friends were chosen to walk the earth around the sun, signifying the years of her life. Naturally, we didn’t make it around the sun 146 times, however we did talk about significant milestones in her life after each lap.
Students were asked “What do you like most about Montessori?” One child said they thought she had good ideas about children. Another reflected on how she worked in a hospital. We learned lots of interesting facts today!Following tradition, we baked muffins for the occasion, and shared them as a class.
A physician, scientist, educator, innovator, child rights advocate…
Dr. Maria Montessori spent a lifetime developing an educational method focusing on the way that children learn. This method is still widely known and practiced today.
Dr. Montessori was born on August 31, 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy. She later graduated from the University of Rome in 1896, becoming the first female doctor in Italy. She chose to focus on pediatrics and psychiatry as her specialties.
Maria Montessori became the director for the Orthophrenic School for developmentally disabled children in 1900. It was there that she began her research on early childhood development.
The first Montessori home was developed in 1907, called Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House). This is where Montessori first practiced her pedagogy, preparing each classroom environment to promote creative learning and exploration. Her methods soon became internationally recognized.
Around 1940, the Montessori movement began to fade, and Maria was forced out of Italy. She fled to India, where she developed a program called Education for Peace, which earned her two Nobel Peace Prize nominations.
In the years following, Maria Montessori continued to advance her approaches to education. She lectured all over the world, documenting her theories in books and articles. She developed a program to prepare teachers in the Montessori method; through her efforts, her pedagogy was adopted worldwide.
Article credit, voilamontessori.com
For conventional educators, reading is a skill that must be taught by means of drills, homework, and tests. Yet, most children who go through authentic Montessori programs are not taught to read; they discover reading on their own!
How do Montessori children learn to read without direct adult instruction, and is it possible to give your child the same experience at home?
In a Montessori environment, preparation for reading is everywhere. It’s in the left-to-right hand and eye movements required to wipe a shelf; in the rhyming songs we sing; in the vocabulary we give.
Presentations that guide a child towards reading start around 2 ½ years. With a fun group activity called Sound Games, children realize that words are made up of individual sounds. Each sound is then associated with a symbol when Sandpaper Letters are introduced. These symbols – the 26 letters that make up our alphabet – become the plastic (or wooden) letters of the Moveable Alphabet. Continue reading
These past few weeks have been filled with dinosaur fossil making, bone tracing, diorama making, story telling, and much more. Our Dinosaur Summer Camp was probably the most popular so far! The children loved reading about different dinosaurs, and creating various dinosaur projects.We created skeletons by cutting and pasting dinosaur bones onto paper. We made tiny dinosaur footprints, or “fossils” in dough, learning about the process of fossilization. Continue reading
When infants first interact with the world, they don’t have words to describe what they encounter, so they absorb their surroundings and new information through their senses. They experience the external world through the use of their senses. Our eyes help us see, our ears let us hear, our hands help us feel, our noses let us smell, and our tongues help us taste.
Children are spontaneous learners. Every day is a new opportunity for a child to learn. You can use almost anything surrounding you to help stimulate a child’s senses. Begin by experimenting with different smells, watch their expressive language for likes and dislikes. Visit a park, find nature objects to touch, taste, smell, using language to describe what you’re experimenting with. Children respond differently to sensory experiences. These experiences can greatly improve their motor skills, raise awareness of the world around them, and contribute to language acquisition. They can also be quite therapeutic. Enhancing and building upon the child’s senses helps improve their social, emotional, cognitive, physical and language development.
I had an interesting conversation with a prospective parent recently who teaches at a local college. She shared that she and her colleagues are constantly discussing “how underprepared kids are for college in terms of ‘soft skills.’” By soft skills she meant skills other than the purely academic — the personal qualities, habits and attitudes that make someone a successful college student and, by extension, a good boss or employee later in life. She had just come from an observation in toddlers and primary and was surprised to have seen that in Montessori, “starting in toddlers students develop the self-motivation, independence, and follow-through that many college students lack!” In other words, beginning at these very young ages, Montessori children are already developing the soft skills that will benefit them so greatly later in life.
It was a pretty astute observation for a prospective parent seeing Montessori for the first time, and it got me thinking. When I talk to parents, I often describe a Montessori learning material, like the binomial cube, detective adjective game, or golden beads, that leads to the acquisition of academic or “hard skills.” Obviously, hard skills are important, but soft skills are equally so. Continue reading