Saturday, November 28, 2009
1) Never touch a child unless invited by him (in some form or another).
2) Never speak ill of a child, either in his presence or in his absence.
3)Concentrate on strengthening and helping the development of what is good in a child so that its presence may leave less and less space for the bad.
4) Be active in preparing the environment: take meticulous and constant care of it to help the children to establish constructive relationships with it. Show the children where everything belongs and demonstrate the use of the materials.
5) Be ever ready to answer the call of a child who needs your assistance. Listen and respond to his appeals.
6) Respect children when they make mistakes. As soon as they can, allow them to discover their error and correct it by themselves. Stop firmly any misuse of the environment and any action which endangers a child, his development, or others.
7) Respect the child who takes rest or watches others or ponders over what he himself has done or will do. Neither call him nor force him to other forms of activity.
8) Help those who are in search of activity and cannot find it.
9) Be untiring in repeating presentations to the child who has refused them earlier; in helping the child acquire what is not yet his own and overcome imperfections. Make your ready presence felt to the child who searches- and hide from the child who has found.
10) Ever treat the child with the best of good manners and offer him the best you have yourself at your disposal.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
- Work either belongs on a table or a mat.
- We roll up our mat when we are finished, thus completing the work cycle.
- We sit on the carpet next to the mat so that the work is not interrupted.
- We walk around our friends' mats, instead of hopping over, to avoid damaging the work.
Typically, children coming from large families embrace the idea of a work space because they are used to defending their work (or toys, or books, or clothes...) at home. It is a relief to them, knowing once their work is on a mat, no one will touch it. Of course, the first six weeks of the year are an adjustment and new children are gently reminded to walk around the mat. Older children are often overheard using the catch-phrase "please do not touch my work" with the younger ones. After a few weeks, they get the idea.
We use one type of mat in three different sizes. The largest mat (29" x 42") is most often used for maps and large floor puzzles. The medium-sized mat (24" x 36") is used for just about everything else. We use a small matching placemat for holding bead cabinet arrows or puzzle pieces. I don't care for the mats from Montessori Services because of the fringe on the sides. I, personally, find them distracting and I wind up finding fringe littered about the classroom throughout the day. The children like this one from Montessori-N-Such:
Eventually, I'd love to get the fancy mat holder too! For now, we've got ours rolled and propped up in a tall basket, which works just fine.
Some Montessori families choose to incorporate mats into their home life. I recommend this idea when the child has difficulty putting activities away after use. Some toys, like blocks and legos, tend to spread throughout the entire room. The mat creates a confined playspace for that particular activity, avoiding lost toys and a messy room. Also, when there are siblings who are constantly taking each other's toys, some mats and a few basic rules can create a peaceful playtime.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
- "My mom doesn't do any of the cooking like the Native American moms!"
- "No one in my family cooks, we just get food from a restaurant."
- "My mom is always too tired to cook, so my dad does it sometimes."
- "My daddy is so strong, he could be a Native American warrior."
- "My daddy knows all the rules in our house, so he would be a chief."
- "Maybe my daddy is a Pilgrim blacksmith, because he has a lot of tools."
I really should write a book of all the things I hear on a daily basis. The amazing thing is how these children relate their daily activities to the activities of those who came before us. They also found it heartwarming that after all of the fear and confusion from the early years of the Pilgrims, both groups of people were able to put it behind them and come together to form a new community (at least for one day). I guess that's what America is all about!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Later, we went outside to create our own active volcano.
Build your own Baking Soda Volcano:
- 6 cups flour
- 2 cups salt
- 4 Tbsp cooking oil
- warm water
- plastic water bottle
- dishwashing detergent
- food coloring
- baking dish or pan
- 2 Tbsp baking soda
Here's what to do:
1. Mix flour, oil and 2 cups warm water. The mixture should be smooth and firm, add more water if needed.
2. Stand the bottle in the baking pan and mold the dough around it into a volcano shape. Don't cover the hole or drop dough into it.
3. Fill the bottle most of the way with warm water and some red and/or yellow food coloring.
4. Add 6 drops of detergent to the bottle.
5. Add baking soda to the liquid.
6. Slowly pour vinegar into the bottle...Eruption Time!!
In this reaction, carbon dioxide gas is produced, which is also present in real volcanoes. As the carbon dioxide is produced, pressure builds up inside the bottle, until the gas bubbles out of the "volcano".
This activity takes approximately 30 minutes from start to finish. Have fun!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Due to the very high demand for Montessori programs in this area, our little home-based school receives one or two information request phone calls a week. This high volume is attained simply through word of mouth from our current and/or previous families- I have them to thank for the spread of interest throughout our area. I am thrilled to be able to provide an educational program based solely on Maria Montessori's famed theories and values...now to an even larger group of children in our community.
I'll be working with another very passionate Montessori teacher- which is so very exciting for me. It is essential for teachers to brainstorm and problem-solve together. She will be the head teacher of the Pre-primary classroom. This room is for children not yet old enough to join the Primary classroom, and also for children who are still toilet learning. I've heard time and time again that there are no educational programs for children under 3, even though Montessori believed that the most critical period of brain development is between 0-6. Very young children will now have the same opportunities as preschoolers. My vision of this school is to encapsulate Maria's concept of Casa dei Bambini, or The Children's House. The environment, indoor and out, will be meticulously prepared to suit the needs of the children and their interests.
There are endless possibilities for the future of LVMA and the future of our children. I look forward to sharing this journey with you...pictures to come soon!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
After someone accidentally knocked over the pink tower, the top piece was missing. Another student said "It rolled away!" EK said, "But it's not a sphere, it's a cube...cubes don't roll!"
After using the Phases of the Moon cards, GG said, "I love looking at the faces of the moon!"
OP said, "I think I need to move to another table because he's making me feel crazy inside."
Monday, November 2, 2009
The children were amazed by the pictures I showed of the Horsehead nebula, the Eagle nebula, and a black hole. They were very interested about the fact that a nebula is the beginning of a star and a black hole is the end of a star. Below is a fascinating, simulated video of a black hole- suitable for children a bit older:
You'll be amazed to hear some of the interesting facts your children bring home. They soak up this information like a sponge...I can't wait for them to visit the planetarium next week!
GC had an intriguing thought when she said, "So, even when the sun is shining, parts of our universe are still dark." This comment proves that children of this age are capable of understanding the complex, abstract concept of space.