Because traditional schooling generally groups children of just one age together, mixed age groups is a striking difference between Montessori and traditional educational programs. There are pros and cons to the idea of mixed age groups, but I believe that the benefits definitely outweigh any possible negatives.
This is a touchy subject. We all recognize the educational value and beauty of Montessori materials. We shun the idea of teaching from textbooks. And yet, there might be a place in Montessori for workbook exercises.
Many years ago I taught at Midwest Montessori School, the school that was run by the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center. Because it was a training center school, our classroom was visited by many Montessori teachers and interns. One thing I noticed was that any people who visited were very interested in the set up and layout of the materials on the shelves. It seems that no matter how long you've been doing Montessori, there's always a new way to arrange the work.
I recently read the book "Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, ‘A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes" by Alfie Kohn, a noted author and outspoken critic of traditional education, including grades, test scores, and homework. Much of what he says is in agreement with the Montessori approach to education. As I read, I thought about this question: In Montessori, we often talk about the harm of external rewards, but are we using them without realizing it?
A few years ago, I spent some time putting together a box for each of the seven continents. As you can imagine, I used card materials from my Continent Kit Collection, but I also bought books, objects, and memorabilia to make each box special.
I am delighted to share with you a conversation I had recently with Andrea Coventry, a Montessori-child-turned-educator. She's a writer as well, with lots of interesting articles to her credit. I felt like talking to Andrea could help us, as parents and teachers, better understand how Montessori shapes a child's mind, and what kind of adults our Montessori children will turn out to be.
Just wanted to let you all know that I'll be taking a 'blogging break' for the next two weeks. We've got a lot of summer fun planned, including our church's…
Children love to use objects when studying Pink, Blue, and Green Series words. Objects can be used for matching, rhyming, spelling, and story writing. They're so cute, kids can't keep their hands off of them!
Those of us in Montessori education see the positive effects of Montessori on a daily basis. We watch as children’s fine motor skills are strengthened, their reasoning skills sharpened, and their independence encouraged through daily interaction with the prepared Montessori environment.
My daughter, age 5 ½, is currently using phonetic readers. Because I like to try different things to see which works best, I’ve ended up purchasing quite a few different sets for her in addition to the ones I already had.