-

Montessori Encourages Love for the Natural World

Posted by Edith On August 17th

The Montessori curriculum believes that an early and profound love for the natural world is an important part of a child’s personal development.

This is the eleventh of 12 Ways Montessori Schools are Different from Traditional Classrooms, a free Montessori guide that can be downloaded from our website.

Dr. Montessori believed that nature possesses beauty, order, and harmony — all wonderful qualities for children to explore. Montessori students learn both from nature and in nature using lessons that not only contribute to an appreciation for the environment but also help develop a child’s motor skills and foster creativity.

A significant number of the learning materials in Montessori classrooms focus on the natural sciences and encourage environmental exploration, and many of our classroom activities are performed outdoors where students can interact with the native ecology of their community.

Read the rest of this entry »

How Montessori Schools Teach Community Living

Posted by Edith On July 17th

In Montessori schools, we believe that a strong community is at the heart of a productive learning process. Our community is made up of students, teachers, and parents, and we aim for this network to be as warm and supportive as possible.

This is the tenth of 12 Ways Montessori Schools are Different from Traditional Classrooms, a free Montessori eBook that can be downloaded from our website.

How is our community different from traditional classrooms? Because we offer a multi-age-level approach to learning, students remain with a single teacher for three years. This allows strong bonds to form between the teacher and child, and between the teacher and the child’s parents. The teacher is able to understand and appreciate a child’s learning patterns and interests.

Just as importantly, children come to know the other members of their class on a deep and personal basis. This forms tight bonds and helps foster a sense of collaboration that is at the heart of the Montessori experience. These relationships between students encourage group work and learning, problem solving and sharing. We emphasize respect within this community — children are discouraged from raising their voices or using hurtful behavior. We like considerate, courteous manners and a willingness to help.

Read the rest of this entry »

Instinctive and Active Learning

Posted by Edith On June 17th

This is the ninth of 12 Ways Montessori Schools are Different from Traditional Classrooms, a free Montessori guide that can be downloaded from our website.

The Montessori curriculum emphasizes our belief that children gain knowledge instinctively through active learning. Our educational approach is hands-on, experiential, and investigative. Children don’t wait passively to be taught. Instead, they seek out their own lessons and follow their own passions.

We don’t practice information drills or rote memorization. Children are free to choose the specialized materials they would like to work with and lessons are constructed to appeal to a child’s unique abilities and enthusiasms with a special emphasis on puzzles and problem-solving.

Read the rest of this entry »

Montessori programs use special materials that are uniquely designed to encourage the learning process.

We don’t rely on texts or workbooks, but instead employ a range of beautiful, hands-on tools that foster a deep sense of concentration and a curiosity about the world. Many of the materials found in Montessori classrooms seek to teach lessons especially important for young learners, like how to tie a bow or fasten buttons.

Our learning materials are made from a variety of elements, like polished wood or enameled metal, and we like to use items from the natural world in our classrooms such as sea shells and butterflies. These tools have a variety of unique textures and can be used for exploratory activities like sorting.

Our materials appeal to all the senses and encourage children to use their abilities to look, taste, touch, smell, and listen.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is the seventh of 12 Ways Montessori Schools are Different from Traditional Classrooms, a free Montessori guide that can be downloaded from our website.

Montessori classrooms are intended to be exciting and fascinating places where children love to learn. We use natural lighting and soft colors, keep our spaces uncluttered, and arrange materials on open shelves so that children can access them easily. We believe that a harmonious, ordered, and calm classroom encourages learning.

Because we place such an emphasis on personal choice, Montessori classrooms are divided into different sections for various activities. There are quiet corners for solo learning projects and larger areas where students can work together in groups. A child might choose to sit for a time in the space devoted to peace and reflection or curl up in the classroom’s library on a soft floor cushion. He or she might investigate the Language Arts or Math areas for a lesson on vocabulary words or counting.

Read the rest of this entry »

Montessori Schools Encourage Social Classrooms

Posted by Edith On March 17th

The Montessori approach believes that children learn best in a social environment.

Montessori classroom meets outside to hatch butterflies

This is the sixth of 12 Ways Montessori Schools are Different from Traditional Classrooms, a free Montessori guide that can be downloaded from our website.

We think that a comfortable classroom filled with developmentally appropriate materials open to exploration is the best way to encourage each child’s unique development. Children are born with individual personalities and these personalities develop and grow as they interact with others, especially other children.

In the Montessori classroom, young learners spend much of their day socializing with other students. This helps them grow both their interpersonal skills and independence.

Read the rest of this entry »

In the Montessori curriculum, we think that mistakes are part of the learning process.

It's great to learn from mistakes in the Montessori curriculum

This is the fifth of 12 Ways Montessori Schools are Different from Traditional Classrooms, a free Montessori guide that can be downloaded from our website.

 

We teach students not to be embarrassed or ashamed by the errors they make. We want students to learn in a natural, human way and we think that rewarding perfection is not the best approach. Our teachers often use their own mistakes as learning moments in the classroom so that children can see that even adults are not perfect.

As we all know, the experience of childhood is filled with small errors like spilling water or dropping food. Instead of raising their voices or scolding the child, Montessori teachers use these moments as lessons.

They identify the mistake and then go about solving it with the child. For instance, a teacher might say, “It looks like you spilled water on the floor. Let’s clean it up together.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Montessori Teachers are more like Guides

Posted by Edith On December 17th

The Montessori method holds that classroom teachers are collaborative members of the learning process.

Montessori Teachers guide your child to enlightenment

This is the fourth of 12 Ways Montessori Schools are Different from Traditional Classrooms, a free guide that can be downloaded for free from our website.

You will not find our instructors standing in front of the classroom giving a lecture. Instead of dominating the classroom, they act as guides in a child’s developmental journey.

Our teachers offer personal and meaningful feedback to each child and never dispense false praise. Montessori teachers do not rely on harsh discipline or control to maintain a child’s focus. Instead, they encourage learning both individually and in small groups as they work with children. They also lead large group activities and circle time.

By taking this non-traditional role, Montessori instructors make room for students to manage their own classroom experience. This allows children to develop their positions in the classroom community and encourages them to hone their leadership and independence skills. Our instructors facilitate learning, but a child’s individual passion leads his or her learning process.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Montessori philosophy assumes that all children are born intelligent.

Montessori classrooms accommodate varied learning styles

We believe that an individual child’s learning style is as unique as his or her personality and each child learns in his or her own way at his or her own rate.

Montessori classrooms are conscious of these innate difference, and that’s why we provide a wide variety of settings and activities to appeal to each child’s interests. We offer learning centers where lessons can be completed alone or in small groups, as well as fieldwork excursions led by an instructor where children learn as a class. This variety not only ensures that each child’s unique learning needs are being met, but it also helps young learners develop flexible thinking strategies. Montessori classrooms have high expectations for all students, not a select few.

Read the rest of this entry »

Children Gain Independence in Montessori Classrooms

Posted by Edith On October 21st

Montessori classrooms place a high value on independent learning.

Independence in montessori environment

Students are encouraged to reach their highest potential at their own individual pace. In traditional classrooms, students follow the same lessons — leaving some children behind while others pull ahead.

In Montessori classrooms, students don’t have to keep pace with others. They set their own learning agendas, challenging themselves when they’re ready.

The learning materials first designed by Dr. Montessori encourage young learners to assess their own learning progress and spot errors.

Read the rest of this entry »