Montessori Plus School

Posts Tagged ‘Maria Montessori

  1. Music:
    1. Please use a variety of songs and a variety of melodies.  Don’t use the same familiar melody and just put words to it.
    2. Don’t sing, “Here we go,” or “1, 2, 3” before every song.  Just begin when you can see and hear that the children are ready.
  1. Calendar:
    1. It is good to clap the date to scale, but don’t show the calendar every day.  It gets repetitive to the children.
    2. Don’t ask them what day it is.  You can look at the calendar and ask the children to raise their hands if they can see what number comes next.  If you didn’t put in all of the previous date’s numbers, do that yourself with the children or before circle.
  1. Circle:
    1. Circle should be only 15-20 minutes, and a time to show something that is interesting and 3-D.  Don’t show card material.
    2. Don’t use a write-on board at circle.
    3. Don’t give away the surprise of what you will do or show at circle.  Just say, “I have something interesting (special, etc) to show you.”
    4. Always ask the children to raise their hands when asking a question at circle.
    5. Limit your words at circle.  If you use a new or hard word, define it.
    6. Don’t ask them to critique your song or work.  Just smile and go onto the next part of your circle.
    7. Please get out your own rug.
  1. Classroom Leadership
    1. Do not sit at a table with the children.  The small chairs are for the children unless you are giving a lesson.  Stand a short distance away to observe the children.
    2. Always give a full lesson: get out rug, then the work, show it to a child, and return it yourself.
    3. Do not interrupt children’s work, either by talking to them or getting your work in their hands.
    4. After you show a work, step back and allow the child freedom to choose it, or not.  If they do choose it, still keep back and watch off and on from a distance.
    5. Allow children space to make a mistake or to create a small variation from the work you showed him.  Only correct him if he is causing harm to the work or to himself or others, or if he is not going to be successful with the work.
    6. Do not respond to a child who interrupts you during a lesson.  Make plans with a co-teacher to come to your rescue and to help the child so that you can continue your demonstration in peace.
    7. Always use two hands to carry your work and to push in a chair.
    8. When a child touches your work during a lesson, say, “This is my work.”  If he continues to touch it, say again, “This is your turn to watch.  Please keep your hands in your lap.”  If he continues to bother your lesson, either stop and put away the work (say, “I am sorry. I will put away this work until you are ready to see it.”, or say, “I am sorry that you are not ready for this lesson.  I will finish it but you may find some other work.”  If he gets out the work again, without having seen the full lesson, go to say, “You did not see the full lesson yesterday.  When you are ready to watch it, I will show it to you.  Or you may put away that work for now.”
    9. A child who runs inside needs to have outdoor play time even more than others.  Allow him to be called first to go out, for a few times, and then watch his outside activity to see if you can learn more about him.
    10. If a child is concentrating on a work and continues his work rhythm, he may work as long as he would like, within reason. Depending upon the school’s policy, he may leave out his work with his name card except for Fridays. If he is not concentrating and making progress on his work, the teacher should ask him to put it away and begin another day.
    11.  If a child makes mistakes that ruin his/her success of the work, then make a note and tell him that you will show him that work again tomorrow.
    12. If a child wants to sit and watch a friend do his/her work, say, “You may  watch for a little while, but come choose your own work soon,” or say, “After a short while, come to me and I will show you another work.”
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About Alessandro Montessori by Donald McClurkin

I am Alessandro Montessori, the proud father of Maria Montessori. Born in Fararra, Italy in 18323, I lived a reserved, disciplined, patriotic life as an Italian soldier and, later, as an accountant in a salt and tobacco factory in Italy.  I was recognized and decorated with a medal of valor in 1849 for my part in the successful unification of Italy.  I really wanted to be free of the Austrian occupation of Italy, but, on the other hand, I am a bit insecure in handling the resultant freedom with its changes and obligations.

From 1850-1853 I volunteered to helped the Pope put the church’s financial work in order.  I enjoyed this very much.  After that I left to work again in the salt factories in Bologna and Faenza.  In 1859 I was promoted to be the Inspector of Finances and Accountant of all of the salt and tobacco factory finances.

When I met Renilde Stoppani, I was a middle-class farming executive, managing all of the grain, grapes, arts, and leather-making of the area.  She was a beautiful, creative and imaginative young woman and shared every idea I had, and more, about the unification and liberation of Italy.  We were married after twelve months of courtship in Venice.  I later discovered that she welcomed change more and more rapidly than I.  Five years later we had Maria who became the center of our lives.  She was so cute and smart, enough to see our differences and to take advantage of them.  Right away she saw that I was not comfortable with change and her mother was more flexible than I.  Consequently Maria went to her mother for permission for unconventional activities.

Maria was a good student so we decided to move to Rome when she was five to give her every advantage to rise to her full potential.  We had wonderful times as her math skills developed, but when she later wanted to compete with male students and enter a male-dominated profession, I tried to redirect her.  But she was stubborn, just like me, and I relented.  After a few years she then decided to enter medical school.  I flat out said, “NO!”  She went to the Pope, got his approval and went anyway.  I just let her go and didn’t say a word to her for four years!  Would you believe that she topped the class and wrote a brilliant final paper?  I surprised her and went to hear her read the paper. She looked at me, and I smiled at her from the back row! I also went to her commencement service where she received many honors.

Even though I missed out on a lot because of my stubborn resistance to her ideas, I have the grandest daughter in the world! She knows how to change this world and will leave a legacy for the Montessori name wherever she goes.

One of the most profound concepts in Dr. Maria Montessori’s work is her view of the child’s “spiritual embryo.”  Before child psychologists such as Piaget laid out their stages of development, Montessori gave us the counter-cultural view of the child’s nature as “full” rather than blank.  She found, through her keen observations that children are born with a “psychic pattern” that unfolds after birth. Unlike animals, the human is not guided by fixed instincts but through his absorbent mind in his environment. The human being, therefore, is free and likely to develop in more varieties of personality.  It is imperative that the adult be careful to protect the child’s psychic life as he develops it secretly “over a long period of time.”


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