December 20th, 2013:
An otherwise quiet day at Montessori Northwest turned into something quite unexpected. Watch our current Primary students (those training to work with 3-6 year-olds) as they add their unique twist to the Silence Game.
Unfamiliar with the (non-Flash Mob version) of the Silence Game?
The Silence Game is played in Montessori classrooms to help the children develop a higher level of self-discipline. The following quote really sums up its origins and intentions.
One day I came into class holding in my arms a baby four months old, which I had taken from the arms of its mother in the courtyard. ... The silence of the little creature struck me, and I wanted the children to share my feeling. ... To my amazement I saw an extraordinary tension in the children who watched me. It seemed as though they were hanging on my lips, and felt deeply all I was saying. "Then its breathing," I went on, "how soft it is. None of you could breathe as it does, without making a sound..." The children, surprised and motionless, held their breath. In that moment there was an extraordinary silence; the tick of the clock, which generally could not be heard, became perceptible. It seemed as if the baby had brought with it an atmosphere of silence such as does not exist in ordinary life. This was because no one was making the smallest movement. And from this came the wish to listen to the silence, and hence to reproduce it.
Maria Montessori (The Secret of Childhood)