In Montessori, 3-part cards are used in Primary (3-6) to teach the names of things found in our world. In Elementary (6-9), definitions are given to add another layer of information.
I get a lot of questions about albums, so I'm going to try and answer them all in one helpful post! In this post, I will also give an in-depth review of the printed Montessori albums that are available, and give some links to online albums as well.
This is a question that I am often asked by parents: how can I help my child make the transition from primary (preschool) to elementary? Or, from an elementary teacher, how can I help the incoming first graders make a smooth transition? My Montessori trainer, Sister Mary, used to tell us that transitioning from the 3-6 to 6-9 environment was one of the hardest things a child had to do. Most of that was because of the differences between primary and elementary.
While you're setting up your classroom for the new school year, you'll be planning lessons for language, math, history, and geography. But one thing we sometimes forget to plan for is peace education.
One of the neat things about Montessori is how "customizable" it is. I doubt that any two Montessori classrooms anywhere are identical - not only do the materials and the set-up vary, but the way everything is done can differ greatly. This can be a negative, too, but right now I want to focus on the positive aspects of it. When I was knee-deep in the Montessori training (you know, making materials day and night, talking non-stop about Montessori theory), I asked my husband this question: "What do you really think of the Montessori method? Is it a viable way to teach children?" I figured by then he had heard enough to form some kind of opinion. His response: "It really depends on the person doing it."
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.
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.
We Montessorians never tire of running contrary to cultural expectations. Whether it's introducing sounds at age 3, discouraging dramatic play in favor of real activities, or delaying fantasy and fairy…
When I was a 3-6 (preschool) assistant, I vividly remember what would happen each August: I thought the classroom looked perfectly fine, but a few weeks before school, the directress…