Old Typewriter Prompts Written Language Work

by Rachel Larson, Montessori Elementary Guide There is some art that never dies. There are some old fashioned ways of doing things that never quite go out of style. The typewriter has always been a mysterious and enticing object to me, and after I purchased one, I decided to put it in my classroom. At first, I just thought it would be a lovely piece to add to the ambiance […]

Turnips for Toddler Food Preparation

by Minaxi Punjabi, Toddler Guide Preparing a snack of baked turnips helps toddlers acquire a taste for a variety of flavors and develop nutritious farm-to-table eating habits. On our classroom shelves today, we had boiled turnips, green onions, red sweet peppers, garlic for peeling and chopping, and some olive oil with Braggs amino’s stirred in for basting and some black pepper ground with a hand-grinder. The toddlers came into the classroom and […]

Kindergarten: The Misunderstood Milestone

What is it about life’s milestones that they always propel us to want to reach the next one, rather than enjoying what we are currently experiencing? I can remember the excitement of kindergarten as a child — anticipating going to school with neighborhood kids, riding the bus, excited to learn to write my long name and get all the “L’s” in the proper order. I remember having thoughts of reading […]

Freedom v. “Free-for-all”

Recently Fiore parents participated in hands-on, activity based workshops designed to help them experience the perils of freedom without any structure. Toddler parents discussed that just as limits or rules are necessary in a free society in order for everyone to cohabitate respectfully, some boundaries are necessary for children to be successful in our classroom communities. The order and organization is well planned and always involves setting up the physical space in a […]

Observation Window: First Days of Discovery

Montessori-style Discovery A little boy not quite three years old worked so very hard today building the Pink Tower. Back and forth he patiently crossed the room, gathering his material the way he had been shown. When he had finished carrying each of the ten cubes slowly over to his rug one by one and erecting the tower, he stood very still and very close to it. He didn’t touch […]

Reality Vs Fantasy: Encouraging Real Experiences During The Holiday Season

As the holiday season arrives, the world around us becomes increasingly immersed in a world of fantasy.  Halloween brings scary images to grocery stores, Thanksgiving brings talking and walking turkeys, and the Christmas holiday brings Santa Claus imagery in abundance.  Whether or not a family takes part in these holidays, the imagery is there in the world around us; it cannot be escaped completely.  Even beyond the season, fantastical imagery […]

Managing Interruptions

Children can learn from a very young age how to wait their turn when others are talking.  From a Montessori perspective, this is a lesson of Grace and Courtesy.  In the classroom, we demonstrate to young children that it’s important to wait their turn and let others finish before talking.  We show the child how to signify that they would like to talk without actually interrupting those who are talking. […]

Wandering Is Actually Part Of Learning

Have you taken time out of your day to observe in your child’s classroom, or have you observed in a Montessori classroom when deciding on a school?  During these observations you will see a number of things: children working independently, children helping each other, children socializing, and children getting one on one lessons from teachers.  These all sound wonderful, but you may see something else that, without experience in the […]

The Impact of Movement On Your Child’s Learning

“Movement, or physical activity, is thus an essential factor in intellectual growth, which depends upon the impressions received from outside.  Through movement we come in contact with external reality, and it is through these contacts that we eventually acquire even abstract ideas.” – Dr. Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood If you walk into traditional-style classrooms, you will find rows of desks at which students sit and are presented with […]

The Windows Of Opportunity For Learning

The relationship between a child and learning has a very specific foundation and trigger: interest.  In helping guide a child to learning, Dr. Montessori found that if we capitalized on interest, we would know what the child is ready to learn and what their mind is driven towards.  She defined this drive, or almost compulsion, as a sensitive period.  By observing what sensitive period the child is in, we can […]