Montessori classroom

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by PeggyL, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. PeggyL

    PeggyL New Member

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    Sep 14, 2012

    I've just taken over a Montessori classroom with 19 children. I'm newly qualified so not much teaching experience but I was a mature student so I've 24 years experience of children (5 of my own!). I'm Montessori thru and thru and my problem is my new class seem to have had a very loose Montessori experience up to now. My problem is none of the children seem able to concentrate well and all head for basic practical life or simple sensorial. How do I (quickly) get to a point where the (few) older/more able might be encouraged to work on more advanced stuff and how can I encourage a bit more concentration in the rest? I've lots more questions for anyone interested in chatting to help me please!!
     
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  3. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Sep 15, 2012

    I think you need to establish rules no matter if it is a Montessori classroom or not. (I've taught Montessori but spent the last 10 years in a progressive school.)

    1) Use your morning circle time to establish clear rules. Talk about the volume in the room, and how you treat materials.

    2) Model the material first. Bring a new item to the circle each day and model how it is used. For example, teach them how to use the geography puzzles, or the pink tower.

    3) Open areas of the classroom slowly. Say, today we are going to work in the practical life area, or the math area. Observe those areas.

    4) children need to come to you for a lesson on the materials. They can use the materials after getting their lesson. Until then, they can use the materials you model for them, or materials they had lessons in previously.

    5) Make your work time shorter to begin with and allow more time as they seem more ready. Maybe they can only sustain 15-20 minutes of work time. Have everyone come back to the circle for a story, and model another choice. Then do 20 minutes again. I bet by the end of the year they will be focused and working for an hour or more.

    6) Model, model, model. You can have one of the older children who has mastered a task come and share the work with the other children. Have that child model during your circle.

    Even if you circle 5 times a day, that's better than chaos or bored, restless or distracted children. I would hate for it to be noisy, or stressful!

    Do you have books and drawing materials in your classroom? Some Montessori classrooms do and some do not... if not, I would suggest you do, because those are choices children can make without you needing to do a lot of preparation or a lesson.
     
  4. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Sep 16, 2012

    I think there is a specific board for Montessori. You're of course welcome to post your question here, but since it's specific to Montessori I wanted to mention it in case you were not aware. Congrats on your new position!
     
  5. PeggyL

    PeggyL New Member

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    Sep 17, 2012

    Thanks for that Miss Froggy! Yes I have been dooing lots of cirle time for that very reason. Establishing order and standards of how we work, move around the classroom etc. However I don't like doing group presentations of material. It's preferable that it's presented individually, some culture work can be done in small groups but I don't like the idea of presenting Practical Life / Sensorial etc to the whole group of 19...though I have to say occasionally I've been tempted but I'd like to avoid if I can. I noticed this morning they worked much better than last couple of weeks...I'm sure tomorrow I'll eat my words but maybe we are make small progress! Meanwhile have you any tips for one boy in particular... other staff are very quick to label him ADHD, after just a few weeks I don't feel I know him well enough yet. However his concentration is disastrous and he has no interest in the work offered. He also avoids taking out work or else takes it out, sets it up and then hops of to the bathroom...!! We had a colouring exercise today following a culture lesson on the sun and the earth and he just scribbled all over his though he is 100% capable of better. Definitely attention seeking but there's more to it... Any tips?

    Thanks!!

     

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