Demystifying montessori

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All to often folks either don't know or have misinformation regarding the Montessori educational philosophy. This presentation outline is intended to bring some clarity and reference framework …

All to often folks either don't know or have misinformation regarding the Montessori educational philosophy. This presentation outline is intended to bring some clarity and reference framework regarding the value system Montessori.

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  • Welcome Demystify Montessori No or mis-info Fathom Context Review Agenda – next hour, time to ask questions Welcome Agenda Basic Tenets Bonus Benefits  
  • NOTES Moving from understanding of physical world to an understanding of abstract concepts Integrated Curriculum Six aspects/principles : Freedom; Structure and Order; Beauty; Nature and Reality; Social Environment; Intellectual Environment Freedom Free to explore and follow his own natural impulses, thus developing his potential and increasing his knowledge of the world around him. Within the prepared environment, the child must experience freedom of movement, freedom of exploration, freedom to interact socially, and freedom from interference from others . This freedom ultimately leads to a greater freedom: freedom of choice . Structure and Order While Structure and Order seem counter-intuitive to the aforementioned freedom, nothing could be further from the truth. Structure and Order in the Montessori classroom accurately reflect the sense of structure and order in the universe. By using the Montessori classroom environment as a microcosm of the universe, the child begins to internalize the order surrounding him, thus making sense of the world in which he lives. Beauty Montessori environments should be beautiful , the environment should suggest a simple harmony. Uncluttered and well-maintained , the environment should reflect peace and tranquility . The environment should invite the learner to come in and work . This atmosphere is easily seen by the attitude of those working there, both child and adult. Nature and Reality Deep respect and reverence for nature . Take children out into nature, rather than keeping them confined in the classroom. Natural materials are preferred in the prepared environment. Real wood, reeds, bamboo, metal, cotton, and glass are preferred to synthetics or plastics. Social Environment Freedom to interact , children learn to encourage and develop a sense of compassion and empathy for others . This social interaction is supported throughout the environment and is encouraged with the nature of multi-age classroom settings. Intellectual Environment The purpose of the Montessori environment is to develop the whole personality of the child, not merely his intellect . Children are given the freedom to fully develop their unique potential through a carefully prepared learning environment.
  • NOTES: The mind learns what the body does
  • Sensory learning promotes brain development Physically growing the brain and capacity
  • NOTES: Neuro-science of learning The mind learns what the body does By engaging as many senses a possible in the learning process, learning becomes a neurological vs exclusively a cognitive process. Brain Development = More Powerful Brain Repetition/Practice reinforces learning and increases the development of neuro-connections Brain development is time sensitive Spurt of Dendritic branching (neuro-forests) in the right hemisphere btwn 4-7yrs old; in the left hemisphere btwn ages of 9-12; full maturation of the neural bridge by the age of 13 (puberty/middle school)! Use it or Lose it Brain pruning from birth to puberty. “the brain is literally customizing itself for your particular lifestyle from the day that you’re born. Soon after, the brain prunes away unneeded cells and billions of unused connections”.
  • NOTES Role of the teacher Enlightened Generalist Deep and Broad Knowledge With the 3 yr cycle, teacher has an intimate and in-depth knowledge of the student Following the child, tracking propensities to leverage, aversion to dispel, method to diversify, approaching mastery/prepare for next lesson, review of prior concept Parent Conferences Fall, Winter, Spring Tracking progress, specific interests
  • Teach Students Skills Forget what ’s Taught Abstract Ideas Transfer of Knowledge Drilling without Practice
  • NOTES Pursue own interests Menu/Restaurant Chose from Basic Food Groups/Feed themselves Their work has relevance, interest to them
  • NOTES: 1. Interaction Creates an atmosphere where children learn to help and be helped by other children, because they interact consistently with children whose age and abilities are varied. Children gain an appreciation for their achievement and the accomplishments of others, and are naturally challenged by the achievements of others. 2. Learning from Each Other Older children learn to be patient and tolerant, serve as role models and teachers for the younger children. When an older child teaches a younger one, it reinforces previously learned concepts and is actually an aid in complete mastery of concepts. Younger children learn about courtesy, manners, and conflict resolution by watching the older children in the class. VOICE, POWER, PRIVILEDGE 3. Work at Child ’s Own Pace: Because teachers do not have to set the instruction pace by a whole group, each child is given the ability to learn at his or her own pace Not constrained nor inhibited based on the learning propensities of their classmates. 4. Community: By staying in a classroom for a three year period, children develop a strong sense of community and stability. This community aids the development of students as role models for one another. Tolerance for problem-solving, conflict resolution. 5. Familiarity: Being in the same classroom year after year allows a teacher to truly learn each individual child ’s learning abilities, style, and developmental level to better be able to set the learning agenda as well as build on strengths and work on weakness
  • NOTES Tootsie Roll Story Encouragement vs Praise Dan Pink Purpose Automony Mastery Rewards, grades, praise, incentives, gold stars squelch human tendencies Temporary compliance
  • Refer to handout – Tree and Detail Language Arts (Orton-Gillingham) - reading, writing, listening, comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary . Mathematics (Montessori – Michael Duffy) Arithmetic - Math Montessori materials are used to provide the child with understanding of math concepts from concrete to abstract reasoning. Through continual practice, the child masters math facts and operation processes. Linking the history of math of how numbers evolved gives the child a connection to the need and use of numbers. Geometry - The child explores the study of lines and its parts. The child uses Montessori materials to form angles and polygons; learning their names, concepts of similarity, congruency, equivalency, and measurement. Art is used to compare and contrast shapes, learn characteristics, and define fractions. Cultural Studies History - Cosmic education is the centerpiece of the elementary program. Beginning with the creation of the universe through the appearance of humans, discoveries are made in the developments of time, calendar, writing, math, and fundamental needs of humans. Geography - In a three year cycle, the child studies each continent in depth. The biomes (grasslands, forests, ...) are introduced across the earth to show the interconnectedness of life at the kindergarten level. Biomes are studied within each continent at the elementary level. Mapping, building land and water forms, and studying earth, air and water gives insight to the dynamics of the world. Political and economic geography highlights boundaries, capitols, flags, and interdependence of people and materials. Science Biology - Biology is the study of plant and animal kingdoms, their classification, characteristics, and habitat. The child explores this through working with nomenclature material, research, field trips, observations, and caring for animals and plants in the classroom. Physical Science - The child explores the energies of the earth by studying the effects of magnetism, electricity, gravity, states of matter, and the solar system. Much of this is presented by questioning and discovering answers through experiments and building models. Practical Life Children learn how to cook and bake, use a washing machine, iron a shirt, tie knots, use hand tools, plan a party, dress appropriately for any occasion, write thank-you letters, pack a suit case or backpack, first-aid, self-defense, and everyday rules of etiquette. The Montessori classroom is a small community run almost entirely by the students. They keep the room in order, care for classroom animals, tend to the plants, and set up for special events. Practical life is incorporated throughout the curriculum. Math processes are used for cooking, sewing, weaving and experiments. Cultural studies incorporates many hands on activities that require practical skills from caring for the environment to shopping, planning for needs of the classroom and oneself. Additionally, the outdoor classroom is an important aspect for exploring and caring for plants, animals and formations of the earth.
  • Refer to chart…encourage parents to examine and ask questions Seven (7) biomes (see Waseca) Wetlands, Grasslands, Deserts, Tropical forests, Temperate forests (what we live in), Polar regions, and Mountains  Program is designed for children ages three to twelve   A peaceful approach to geography because it looks at the world as a whole and not divided by continents  Draws in the rest of the curriculum by studying by theme which exemplifies contrasts and comparisons Outlines the interdependency of plants, animals and people  Highlights environmental education
  • 8:15-8:30 Greeting, morning work, towel folding   8:30 morning meeting *calendar *days at school *brain gym *work presentation *show and tell 8:30-11:30 work cycle *math *language *geography *science *sensorial *practical life *food prep *artisan crafts *visual arts *music *Latin 11:15-11:30 cleanup, jobs, circle *story, poems, songs 11:30- 12:00 recess 12:00 dismissal 12:00-12:30 lunch 12:30-12:45 cleanup, jobs 12:45-1:15 Rest, quiet reading 1:15-2:00 P.E 2:00-2:20 relaxation, story 2:20-3:10 handwriting, creative writing, free choice, leveled reading, spanish 3:15-3:30 dismissal
  • Independent Work Cycle 30 min free play – recess 45 min DAILY physical/health education
  • Notes: Physical Changes – losing baby teeth, legs get longer, head is a bit more proportioned to body, physical health is more stable. More Stamina and Energy Able to apply more effort and attention capabilities demonstrate marked increase Formation of self as an individual emerges, versus as a child in a family; assertiveness Curiosity is Limitless Appetite for knowledge is immense, not satisfied with morsels of information, want to grasp the ‘whole’ knowledge Can be described as a “Philosopher”, wanting to know everything about everything New power of mind emerges, searching for “reasons” for facts Reasoning allows us to keep facts & ideas in relationship to each other (transfer of knowledge), thus allowing the ability to compare, deduce and arrive at conclusions New world of independent thought and discovery Imagination excels (heroes)


  • 1.  Demystifying Montessori Sat, Sept 28, 2013
  • 2. Agenda  Welcome  Agenda  Basic Tenets  Bonus  Benefits 9/28/13 Demystifying Montessori 2
  • 3. Basic Tenants  Prepared Environment  Kinesthetic/Tactile/Sensory Learning  Individualized Learning & Assessment  Choice/Development of Life Skills  Motivation/Intrinsic Reward 09/30/13 3
  • 4. Prepared Environment 09/30/13 4
  • 5. Prepared Environment  Structure and Order  Beauty  Nature/Reality  Social Environment  Intellectual Environment 09/30/13 5
  • 6. Sensory Learning 09/30/13 6
  • 7. Sensory Learning  Kinesthetic (Body)  Visual  Auditory 09/30/13 7
  • 8. Sensory Learning Using multi-sensory, hands-on materials foster the proliferation of neural connections among different lobes of the cerebellum. Using materials that rely on self-correction and active, discovery learning activate the pre-frontal cortex (the most “advanced” part of a child’s brain in terms of evolutionary development and higher powers of thinking). Michael Duffy – Math Works 09/30/13 8
  • 9. Neuroscience of Learning  By engaging as many senses as possible in the learning process, learning becomes a neurological vs exclusively a cognitive process  Through Repetition/Practice Learning increases the development of neuro-connections  Brain Development is Time Sensitive  Use it or Lose It  Pruning begins at birth  Maturation of the Neural Bridge by age of 13 09/30/13 9
  • 10. Individualized Learning 09/30/13 10
  • 11. Individualized Learning  Not inhibited nor constrained based on that of their peers  Actively record, monitor, and educate the individual child across every dimension of the curriculum  Constant assessment of skill/concept acquisition  Scientific analysis for amendments, diversity, modifications, and accommodations 09/30/13 11
  • 12. Why Don’t Students Like School? 09/30/13 12
  • 13. Why Don’t Students Like School?  As humans we are naturally curious, at all ages  In order to continue to kindle the flame of curiosity (motivation), the calibration of difficulty needs to be continually monitored.  Variation in student preparation (storytelling, arts, humor, projects, etc), make them interesting  Memory is the residue of thought – for material to be learned (end up in long-term memory), it must reside for some time in the working memory. “How” the student thinks of the experience determines what will end up in long term memory.  Make subject matter relevant to students interests 09/30/13 13
  • 14. Choice/ Life Skills 09/30/13 14
  • 15. Choice/Life Skills  3 hour work cycle  Life Skills  Responsibility  Time Management  Autonomy  Prioritization  Independence  Self advocacy 09/30/13 15
  • 16. Multi-age Classroom Setting  Interaction  Learning from Each Other  Work at Child’s Own Pace  Community  Familiarity 09/30/13 16
  • 17. Motivation & Intrinsic Rewards 09/30/13 17
  • 18. What do you want for the child?  Life-long Learners  Successful  Curious, Creative  Happiness, Independence  Responsibility, Self-Discipline  Peaceful, Compassionate 09/30/13 18
  • 19. Human Tendencies  Order  Orientation and Exploration  Communication  Activity, Manipulation and Work  Repetition and Exactness  Abstraction  Self Perfection Natural Impulses that Drive Humans to Achieve 09/30/13 19
  • 20. Motivation/Intrinsic Reward “Intrinsic motivation is the desire to engage in an activity for its own sake. Extrinsic motivation is participating in an activity because of some other benefit that doing so will bring” – Alfie Kohn 09/30/13 20
  • 21. Montessori Approach  Develop the child’s self-discipline  Source of discipline comes from within each individual child  Can control his/her own actions and make positive choices regarding personal behavior  Self-discipline is directly related to development of the child’s will 09/30/13 21
  • 22. Bonus 09/30/13 22
  • 23. BONUS  Community  Common value system  Respect  Camaraderie  Partnership  Intimate nuances of the child/student Tremendous and True Appreciation for the Privilege of Supporting the Growth and Development of our Students 09/30/13 23
  • 24. Montessori Educational Benefits Child works as long as s/he wants on chosen project Children encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other Child chooses own work based upon own interests and abilities Child sets own learning pace to internalize information Child spots own errors through feedback from material Learning is reinforced internally through child's own repetition of activity and internal feelings of success Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration & development Organized program for learning care of self and environment Child can work where s/he is comfortable, moves & talks at will (yet doesn't disturb others); group work is voluntary & negotiable Organized program for parents to understand the Montessori philosophy & participate in the learning process Emphasis on cognitive structures & social development Teacher's role is unobtrusive; child actively participates in learning Environment & method encourage internal self- discipline Individual & group instruction adapts to each student's learning style Mixed age grouping Child formulates concepts from self-teaching materials
  • 25. Sources  Science of the Genius  Why Don’t Students Like School?  Alfie Kohn  Drive – Dan Pink  Math Works – Mark Duffy 09/30/13 25
  • 26. Thank you 09/30/13 26
  • 27. Vision The vision of Southern NH Montessori Academy is to provide a world-class educational experience to children ages 3-15, through an enriched curriculum in an intriguing environment that cultivates human potential, nurtures curiosity and inspires a sense of wonder… 8/25/10 Parent Info Mtg 27
  • 28. Mission At Southern NH Montessori Academy:  Children learn at their own pace intellectually;  Through an integrated curriculum, concentration is given to educating the “whole child” (all facets of the child's being, including: intellectual, physical, emotional, social and creative aspects) with a strong emphasis of hands-on and experiential learning;  Each child’s education is guided by individualized learning plans;  We shepherd the character development of each child promoting independence, self-expression, and respect for oneself, others, and the world. 8/25/10 Parent Info Mtg 28
  • 29. Curriculum Core  Language Arts  Math  Cultural Studies  Science  Practical Life  Sensorial* Enrichment  Elementary Latin*  Physical Education  Creative Arts (Visual & Performing)**  Foreign Language/Spanish & Mandarin***  Technology 5/14/09 Parent Info Mtg 29 *K & Elementary **All students regardless of schedule/program *** Upper El - January
  • 30. IntegratedCurriculum 8/22/12 Parent Info Mtg 30
  • 31. ECFoundation- Science Sept Living/non Plant/animal Nature walk Oct Vertebrate/invertebrate Air/land/water Weather/record keeping Leaf peeping Thermometers Nov/Dec Mammals/Harvest Sink/Float (Nov.) Magnets (Dec.) Solid/Liquid/Gas Jan Aquarium/Fish Ice/Snow 8/22/12 Parent Info Mtg 31  Feb  Sound/Telephone  Human Body  Water sounds  Mar  Cold Blooded Animals  Wind  Surface Tension  Apr  Water cycle  Birds/Seeds  May/June  Insects/Animal Homes  Volume
  • 32. LE Foundation – Biomes/Evolution of Life  Mountain Region  Grasslands  Wetlands  Polar Region  Temperate Forest  Rainforest  Desert  Invertebrates  Vertebrates  Amphibians  Fish  Birds  Mammals  Insects Parent Info Mtg 32 *2013-14 Focus
  • 33. UE Foundation – Continents/Political View  North America  South America  Africa  Australia  Asia  Antarctica  Europe Parent Info Mtg 33 * 2013-14 Focus
  • 34. History/Science  Presented in a 3-year cycle  The Ancients/Biology & Matter  Middle Ages through early Renaissance/Earth Science, Space, Chemistry  Renaissance through Modern times/Physical Science, Invention  Studied by both Lower & Upper Elementary programs (Lower more impressionistic, Upper more detailed study)  Literature, writing, art and other hands-on experimentation are integrated with these themes.  Field Trips, Presenters/Experts, Literature and Art Projects will be used to enhance the students experience. 8/12/12 Parent Info Mtg 34
  • 35. EarlyChildhood Schedule 8:00– 8:15am Arrivals, Greeting 8:15-11:15am Independent Work Cycle (Morning Circle: Calendar, Days of School, Work Presentation, Show & Tell, Brain Gym) 11:15-11:45am Recess (30 minutes) 11:45am-Noon Dismissal/Lunch Preparation Noon-12:30pm Lunch* (30 minutes) 12:30-1:00pm Quiet Time (Reading, Soft Music) 1:00-2:30pm AfternoonWork Cycle (Handwriting*, Creative Writing, Leveled Reading, Spanish*) 2:30– 3:00pm Physical Education* (30 minutes) 3:00 – 3:15pm Dismissal
  • 36. Lower/Upper ElementarySchedule 8:15 – 8:25am Arrivals/Greetings 8:30 - 9:00am Morning Meeting/Instruction 9:00 - Noon Independent Work (3 hours) Noon - 12:30pm Lunch (30 minutes) 12:30 - 1:00pm Recess (30 minutes) 1:15 – 2:00pm Physical Education (45 minutes) 2:00 – 3:00pm Reading/Picture Writing/Spanish 3:00 - 3:15pm Meeting/Closure 3:15 - 3:30pm Dismissal Enrichment Fridays: Art, Music, Technology, Innovation
  • 37. Second Plane of Development Ages 6-12  Intellectual Period  “He wants to know everything. His thirst for knowledge is so insatiable that generally, people are at their wit’s end about it.” (Maria Montessori, Lecture at the University of Amsterdam, 1950).     Sense of order is internalized  Driven to reason the "how", "why", and "where" behind things  Ability to imagine beyond the concrete  Social development seeks independence and is monitored by a deep sense of morality and justice. Functioning within peer group “micro societies” enables the child to test the limits of right and wrong. 09/30/13 37
  • 38. 5/14/09 Parent Info Mtg 38