Posts tagged #Primary

Primary Weekend Workshop Announced!

REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP IS CURRENTLY FULL. CLICK HERE TO GET ON THE WAIT LIST.

SELF-DISCIPLINE AND JOYFUL LEARNING:NORMALIZATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY MONTESSORI CHILDREN’S HOUSE

download a flyer / download a printable registration form

Normalization is a key element of Montessori theory for successful early childhood education. Montessori’s writings indicate that we do not need normalized children to do our work. Instead, our work is to help children achieve normalization. She identifies normalization as ‘the most important single result of our whole work’ – the result that makes all other personal, social, and academic achievements possible; and she assures us that if we understand how to ‘normalize the conditions’, then joyful engagement, spontaneous concentration, self-discipline, literacy, and practical mathematics are within the potential of every child, and social cohesion is within the potential of every group.

In this weekend workshop, we will explore Montessori’s theory of normalization in relation to the materials and activities found in a Montessori 3-6 classroom: how to first offer motives for concentrated activity leading to normalization and then turn this point of arrival into a point of departure through the materials for development in Sensorial, Language, and Mathematics.  Observation, friendliness with error, and indirect preparation will give further focus to this exploration across all of the areas and all of the ages in the Children’s House environment.

Intended Audience

Primary Teachers and Assistants

Schedule

Friday, October 10, 2014 6-9PM

Saturday, October 11, 2014 8:30AM-4PM

Sunday, October 12, 2014 9AM-12PM

Cost

$250 Early Bird Discount (before Sept 26th) / $285 full price (On or After Sept 26th) - Lunch included

10% discount for schools registering 3 or more attendees - Lunch included

download a flyer / download a printable registration form here

housing and travel information here

Continuing Education Units

This workshop earns both Oregon Registry and Washington STARS/MERIT credits.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP IS CURRENTLY FULL. CLICK HERE TO GET ON THE WAIT LIST.

MNW Trainers Published in Latest NAMTA Journal

We are delighted to note that both Sarah Werner Andrews & Ginni Sackett, both of MNW’s Co-Directors of Primary Training, are featured in the most recent NAMTA journal.

The North American Montessori Teacher's Association (NAMTA) links Montessorians with their legacy and their future. Its services include print publications, audio visuals, conferences, and research. 

One of NAMTA's  endeavors is the publication of a quarterly journal. This publication includes articles by Dr Montessori as well as scholarly papers on Montessori and related topics. 

The most recent NAMTA Journal - Vol. 39 #2, Spring 2014 - is dedicated to "Breaking the Poverty Cycle: Social Retooling of the Montessori First Plane".

The NAMTA Journal is typically only available to NAMTA members, but we’ve received permission to make available these great articles for you to enjoy and share!

Ginni Sackett's Article:  "The Lines That Make the Clouds" The Essence of the Mathematical Mind in the First Six Years of Life (download)

Sarah Werner Andrews' Article:  Joyful Engagement: Montessori's Common Core Standard (download)

If you’re interested in obtaining the full journal for yourself, it can be purchased here.  

Montessori in the Square 2014


On July 30th, 2014, Montessori Northwest will once again offer “Montessori in the Square,” a public glass classroom event held in the heart of downtown Portland.

This highly-visible celebration of Montessori education will feature three large interactive Montessori classrooms, activities for children, and information for parents. Trainers and guides will be on hand to assist viewers with questions.

But don't take our word for it--see for yourself below.

This video from last year's Montessori in the Square provided by ChildPeace Montessori.

Frozen

It is inherent in the nature of children to love their time and place, and boy do they love the movie Frozen.

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In the spirit of exploring ways to channel children’s interest in support of each child’s development (see our Primary trainers’ blog post on popular culture and holidays found here), we were struck by how thrilling it would be for a child to discover that they can compose a song from Frozen on the Bells!

The famous ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

The famous ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

Also, look at the amazing potential below for true stories about how beautiful structures can indeed be made completely of ice.  How else have you and the children channeled and enjoyed Frozen in Montessori environments?

Posted on May 21, 2014 and filed under Articles, Elementary, From MNW Staff, Primary, Resources.

A Montessori Morning

A fantastic link to share with parents of Casa-aged children!

This video compresses a great morning's work by four year old Jackson Palmer into a short and fun-to-watch summary of his three hour, uninterrupted work cycle. We've learned that the best way to talk about Montessori is sometimes not to talk at all, but to show.

Video reposted from the FaceBook page of  www.MariaMontessori.com

Thank You!

MNW's 2013-2014 Elementary and Primary Academic Year students.

A huge “Thank You” to our incredible Montessori community for sharing your wisdom and experience with our 61 primary and elementary MNW students during observation and practice teaching this year!

We couldn’t do it without you; and, thanks to your patience and generosity, when each of these students has a class of 25, that’s 1,525 children who can have a Montessori education next year!

 

Alcuin School
Bethany Village Montessori
Camas Montessori School
Cascadia Montessori School
Chestnut Grove Montessori Children’s House
Childpeace Montessori School
Community Roots School
Corvallis Montessori School
Franciscan Montessori Earth School
Good Shepherd Montessori
Harmony Montessori
Hershey Montessori School
Laurelhurst Montessori School
Lewis and Clark Montessori Charter School
Lighthouse Montessori
Little Oak Montessori School
Meher Montessori
Montessori Children’s House of Portland
Montessori House of St. Johns
Montessori in Redlands
Montessori School of Beaverton
Montessori Pathways
Northwest Montessori
Ottowa Montessori School
Pacific Crest Montessori School
Pioneer Meadows Montessori School
Portland Montessori Collaborative
Portland Montessori School
Puddletown Montessori School
The Renaissance International School
Sellwood Montessori School
Squamish Montessori
SunGarden Montessori School
Sunstone Montessori School
Three Tree Montessori School
Tiny Revolution Montessori School
West Hills Montessori School
Whole Child Montessori Center


On the Hunt for Language

In the Montessori Children’s House for children 3 -6, reading activities begin very simply, building on what the child already knows. Doing so helps safeguard that the experience is a joyful one and the child is immediately successful.  Even for the earliest reading, based solely in phonetics, meaning is attached to reading a word, and reading comprehension is built right into every activity.

Here we see a completed “Scavenger Hunt” completed outdoors by two children.  They read the words on the card, then brought the items to their mat.

(Picture courtesy of Chestnut Grove Montessori)

(Picture courtesy of Chestnut Grove Montessori)

Posted on April 17, 2014 and filed under From MNW Staff, Portland, Primary, Resources.

Making the Color Tablets

Color Tablets, Box 3

Color Tablets, Box 3

The Color Boxes are a lovely material in the Primary classroom to develop the child's ability to distinguish different colors and hues. A few years ago, we decided to replace the commercially-made Color Tablets in the Primary model classroom with ones that were wound with embroidery floss. This was partly for aesthetic reasons, and partly because the commercially-made ones kicked up a lot of glare that impeded one's ability to easily distinguish the colors. We've been asked so frequently about the process of making this beautiful material that it seemed worthwhile to describe it here in more detail. (skip to the bottom of this post for a PDF of how to wind the embroidery floss onto the tablet).

I'm not going to lie: it's a big task, especially if you're doing all three Color Boxes. Firstly, we had a local carpenter make the wooden tablets and matching box for us (while he appreciated being able to help the training center, he made it clear that this was a one-time project, so we shall not disclose his name). Then Corinne Stastny, our intrepid Primary Course Assistant, journeyed to Joann's Fabrics for the task of selecting the colors.

The trick with the embroidery floss colors is not to worry too much about the exact color families that the manufacturer offers, but instead, just put together a gradation of seven colors yourself using your own judgement. You can bring a commercially-made set of Color Tablets to the store as a guide if you need it. In Color Box 3, the middle hue (number four in the gradation of seven) is exactly the same hue of that color that is used in Color Boxes 1 and 2. This will help to orient you to where the "middle" of the gradation is, and will help you know where the extremes are. You may find it easy to sit down with a bunch of embroidery floss colors from each color, find the middle one, and then work to the extremes from there. Remember, it doesn't matter if the manufacturer thinks the colors belong to a set. What matters is that to your eye, they look like a set. It also helps if all the colors that are from the "darkest" are about the same hue, and all the colors that are "lightest" are all about the same hue. We found that one skein of embroidery floss would make one tablet, with very little left over.

The process of winding the thread on is time consuming, and I recommend doing at home, preferably on your sofa with your comfy pants on, Maybe a Netflix marathon playing in the background. Cats are not helpful for this process, by the way (I speak from experience). We've made a tutorial for winding the thread so you can see how to start it and how to finish it (see below for link to PDF). The method we use requires no glue or other fixative, and it's lasted for well over four years without coming undone.

The reverential gasps we get when visitors see the Color Tablets for the first time is worth the time and effort. We notice that people handle them more carefully, using only the edges to avoid touching the embroidery floss. They are indeed beautiful, and more than ever are a pleasure to use.

Tutorial: How to make the Color Tablets.PDF

NOTE: If the PDF is a bit wonky, please email Sally Coulter and she will send it to you as a Word document. Thanks!

Posted on April 10, 2014 and filed under From MNW Staff, Primary, Resources.

Practice Makes Better...

Here we see current Primary students Yuko and Savannah (top and bottom), as well as Elementary student Samuel (center photo). Pictures courtesy of the Portland Montessori School

Here we see current Primary students Yuko and Savannah (top and bottom), as well as Elementary student Samuel (center photo). Pictures courtesy of the Portland Montessori School

Montessori Northwest is noticeably quieter this week, as our Primary and Elementary students have left the training center and are spending time in local schools.

Observation and practice teaching offer students the opportunity to continue their study of the child in AMI Montessori classrooms. During observation sessions, students observe the children’s interactions with the materials and each other, as they apply to developmental principles. During practice teaching, students give lessons to children under the supervision of an AMI Primary-trained host teacher.

These two quotes from students sum it all up:   

“Practice teaching is going well…Overall it's really sweet and splendid, but a little daunting at the same time. My host classroom is amazing, and  I am sure it will feel more natural soon!” 

“I presented the bow tying frame, and it was so cool to see the look of utter joy on her face when she did the entire frame!  Then I got to see her do it two more times!  So great to see what we’ve been talking about all year in training come to fruition!”

Thanks again to the dozens of school who host the students of Montessori Northwest--your contributions are appreciated!

A Snakeskin Math Album?

The Addition Snake Game is a Montessori math activity, and would be played by children around 5 years and older. The goal of the game is to familiarize children with all of the basic addition facts as well as many different ways to make ten (1+9, 4+6, 3+2+5, etc...).

To play the game, the child makes a "snake" out of many different colored bead bars of varying lengths, and then begins counting the beads to get to 10. Every time 10 is reached, the child replaces the colored bead bars with a golden bar of ten beads, and any leftover beads are replaced with black/white “placeholder beads.” The child then continues counting, slowly transforming the colored snake into a golden snake. At the end of the game, there is a way for the child to check her work by comparing the sum of the colored bead bars to the golden bead bars.

In the AMI training, students create their own “teaching manuals” or “albums”  by watching the AMI Trainers give demonstrations of Montessori lessons. They make notes about the demonstrations, practice the presentations,  and turn their notes into guides for how to present these activities to children.  These presentations, and their accompanying illustrations, are the students’ own detailed summaries of the movements and key dialogue that define the Montessori activities.

Current Primary student and crafter extraordinaire Chelsae Roach created this amazing beaded cover for her Mathematics album showing the Addition Snake Game in process. It made the rounds at MNW today and received many oohs and aahs. We thought you might enjoy seeing it too!

Posted on April 7, 2014 and filed under From MNW Staff, Primary.

Spring Break Wood Polishing

Spring Break wood polishing happening right now at MNW.

Stella, the 4.5 year old daughter of our Primary Course Assistant, is visiting today. After declaring a general interest in “cleaning somethin’, she went on to vigorously beautify of one of the stools used here for student presentations. In addition to occasional visits to MNW, Stella is featured regularly in photos sent to us by her Montessori guide that we share with the teachers-in-training.  Always a treat to see a child delighting in independently chosen activity!  

Interested in learning more about what happens inside Montessori classrooms?

Posted on March 26, 2014 and filed under From MNW Staff, Past Students | Testimony, Primary.

Montessori for the Masses

Sarah Werner Andrews, Director of Primary training here at MNW, came across this interesting intro to Montessori article in the March 2014 newsletter of the ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) which is printed and distributed to over 140K School and District leaders. It's great to see information about Montessori making its way into the hands of so many influential educators!

Please also note the quotes from new MNW Board member and senior associate at the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector, Jackie Cossentino.

Download the full 3-page article by clicking above.

Download the full 3-page article by clicking above.

Posted on March 21, 2014 and filed under Articles, Elementary, A-to-I, From our Trainers, Primary, Resources.

Theoretically Speaking...

One of the many assignments that our Primary Students complete as part of their coursework is a Theory Project. The Theory Project represents a further exploration, integration, and understanding of selected topics and sources related to Montessori theory and practice.   

This assignment is unique in that it can take a handful of different forms. It can be a 5000 word essay presenting the student’s own synthesis of the chosen topic. It might take shape as a 20-minute presentation involving handouts, activities, visual aids, PowerPoint, or video. Some choose to create a sample “Parent Night, “ create a Podcast episode, or even interpret the information via artistic theater performance.  Each student is free to select the modality of their choice. (Very Montessori, no?)

Above we see Kate Simer, current Primary student, giving a presentation on the benefits of exposing children to second or other languages before the age of six.  She incorporated an interactive language lesson into the presentation, as well as a tasty food-preparation demonstration.

Kate has helped MNW with numerous Spanish translation projects and is the director of Hands-On Language, a Spanish language program for children that uses hands-on activities to make language learning fun.

 

Posted on March 19, 2014 and filed under En español, Primary.

Great Visual Resource

As educators, we often seek out unique and fascinating visuals to engage our students. With this in mind, an interesting resource for you--Enjoy!

(This post originally appeared on the Public Domain Review.)

Last week the ever-incredible British Library announced that they were gifting more than 1 million images to the world, uploaded to Flickr Commons under the public domain mark, meaning complete freedom of re-use. The range and breadth of images is phenomenal. As they say in their post announcing the release the “images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of”. Each image was extracted from its respective home (books making up a total of 65,000 already digitised volumes) by a program known as the ‘Mechanical Curator’, a creation of the British Library Labs project. A crowdsourcing application is being launched in the new year to help describe what the images portray – and the British Library is also putting out a general plea for people to innovate new ways to navigate, find and display this incredible array of images. (Email BL Labs here).

Doing Prekindergarten Right

We occasionally forward along relevant information from other sources.
For example, this great article from the Huffington Post by Ruth Bettelheim, Ph.D..

American leaders are beginning to address the deficits in our country's early education system. However, President Obama's call for a major expansion of public prekindergarten education, and even the commitment to providing universal preschool education recently made by both New York's governor and New York City's mayor, do not go far enough. While both proposals take big steps in the right direction, they would only apply to children age 4 and up, and would not systematically reform the kind of education these children receive. The only way to do preschool really right is to start when children are significantly younger, to use educational methods specially targeted at the emotional, social, and cognitive development of toddlers, and to increase mandatory training and salaries for preschool teachers.

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Preschool children think and function differently than school-age children, which is why primary school typically begins at age 6 or 7 everywhere in the world. Since the curricula and methods designed for older children don't work for toddlers, preschools are often run like babysitting centers, with teachers who are trained (and paid) much more poorly than their primary school counterparts.

However, we now know that the first 5 years of life constitute the most critical period for the development of social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills. If things go wrong at this stage, the price is a life time of handicaps and often failure in one or more areas. Far from not being ready for education, young children urgently need high quality educational experiences to maximize whatever potential they were born with.

This maximization requires different educational methods than those developed for older children. Fortunately, several methods have been developed during the past century to enhance learning for young children. Most prominently, Dr. Montessori developed her method by investigating which approaches could best educate the severely impoverished slum children of early 20th century Rome.

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The Montessori Method systematically teaches independent problem solving, starting at age 18 months, using hands-on learning and the native interests of preschoolers. She demonstrated that, given adequate food, regular health checkups, and the right full-day program, virtually all of even the most deprived children could learn to an equal or higher standard than their more privileged, traditionally educated peers.

Other methods, such as Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, Dewey, Abecedarian, and Bank Street, also address the unique needs of this age group. Unfortunately, sufficiently rigorous, longitudinal trials of these approaches have not yet been undertaken to determine which ones best serve the developmental needs of very young children.

Pedagogy and education research have both systematically undervalued the importance of social and emotional development in preschool children. Indeed, neuroscientific evidence demonstrates that all learning is based on emotional responses and social experiences. Therefore, social and emotional intelligence need to be developed as carefully and as thoughtfully as IQ. We now know that all three are essential for success in our highly networked, rapidly changing technological age.

Therefore, teachers need to be trained not only in the most effective approaches to cognitive development in young children, but also in how to foster and enhance their very sensitive emotional and social development. This will require both increased funding for research, and more rigorous training programs for preschool teachers. But recruiting and retaining highly talented and motivated teachers requires that salaries be increased significantly, to better match the critical importance and extremely demanding nature of their work.

While all of these measures may sound expensive, over a generation they would be far more than offset by the reduced costs of homelessness, unemployment, incarceration, addiction and all the other ills to which poor educational outcomes can lead, and by the increased productivity of a better-educated workforce. Indeed, according to Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman, the rate of return on investment when high quality preschool starts very early "is in the range of 6 percent to 10 percent per year per dollar invested."

However, even the best preschool education will not be maximally effective if it does not start until children are four, by which point the majority of that critical 0- to 5-year-old window has already passed. If we want to give every child the best chance for success, universal full-day preschool should start at 1+ or 2+. With that in place, in just a few years, children from all backgrounds will start arriving at primary school on track, with the skills and background necessary to be successful students. As we begin to expand and reform public preschool education, we should make the commitment to give all children a true head start toward fulfilling their potential.

Posted on February 5, 2014 and filed under Articles.

Language Material Making

this blog post available in Spanish here

Primary students (learn more about Primary here) submitted, displayed, shared, and ogled their handmade Language Material Making assignments today.  They each created a Phonetic Object Box, a set of basic vocabulary cards basic enough for any child new to the Casa, and a complete set of cards and definitions designed for the older children in the group. Their work shone with care, thoughtfulness, individuality and love.  It fills us with joy that these are the teachers of tomorrow.

We thought you might enjoy seeing a few pictures!

Posted on January 31, 2014 .