Teaching Montessori

How I Found Montessori (Or, How Montessori Found Me)

The year was 1994. Newly married, I had nothing to offer the job world but a degree in History and a winning smile. By that point, I had figured out that I liked working with kids and was pretty good at it. As I scanned the local job ads, I saw that a Montessori school in Niles, IL was advertising for an assistant.

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The Optimization of Classification

In Montessori, we pay particular attention to the skill of classification. At its simplest, classifying means organizing objects by their similar or dissimilar characteristics. The process of classifying helps children obtain information about the world around them, as well as developing their thinking and reasoning abilities. Being able to manipulate objects is essential to internalizing […]

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History Doesn’t Have to Be Dull and Boring

Last week, I wrote about math. Later I realized that I’ve written about math many times – I even went back and linked to five previous math posts at the end of this most recent one. After a little thought, I was astonished to realize that I’ve never written about the study of history in […]

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Take Learning to the Next Step with Research

Learning begins with naming. Young children have been carefully observing their surroundings since infancy; the key to unlocking all that knowledge is to give them the names of everything they see. Think about the very first words a baby responds to: his or her own name, and “mama” and “dada”. Picture a toddler, frantically pointing […]

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Getting Ready for Earth Day, Montessori-style

Next Tuesday, April 22nd, the northern hemisphere will celebrate Earth Day for the 37th time. Now more than ever, it seems like a great time to talk to kids about the amazing planet that we live on and how we can best use and protect its resources. If you find yourself experiencing feelings of fear […]

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Building Your Classroom Community with Line Time

Most Montessori classrooms have some sort of line time before, during, or after the work period. Activities can vary, but they often include songs, lessons, and stories. Line time can be a powerful way for a group of children to build a sense of family – to really bond together. It builds community and gives […]

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5 Easy Travel Games for Kids on the Go

Spring is just around the corner for many of us, and with the milder weather come field trips, vacations, and other adventures. Sometimes it’s tempting to let kids bring hand-held game players with them on trips (it certainly does keep them quiet), but it also keeps them from talking, laughing, and learning. So, here are […]

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Write What You Know, Write What You Love: Two Things Every Kid Should Hear

Nothing blocks the creative spirit of the writer like an unwanted task. Nearly all of the world’s finest authors have suffered writer’s block at one time or another, and if they have to force themselves through a project in order to meet a deadline, the joy of the process disappears. It’s much better if they […]

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The Secret of Successfully Recording a Child’s Work

In many ways, the work done in a Montessori classroom is ephemeral. A child takes out the red rods, puts them back, and there is nothing tangible left. Putting aside the intangibles gained from the Montessori materials (which are numerous and have been outlined pretty clearly here), is there a way to record Montessori activities, […]

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How to Evaluate the Progress of a Montessori Child

Most Montessori schools and homes do not use grades or test scores as a way to evaluate children’s progress. While it’s wonderful that we don’t subject children to these sorts of assessments, which are often arbitrary and biased, it can be hard to find a meaningful way to estimate their progress. How can we measure […]

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