Montessori teachers and friends

Discussion in 'Montessori Archives' started by MDMontessori, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Aug 16, 2003

    Here is our thread. Our teaching style is very unique. I have been an assistant for almost 4 years in our school from 2 years old and up. I accepted a teaching position for the upcoming year and had to complete my training this summer. I did it through web learning which is not the best...but the best I could do considering where I live.

    School starts September 2 but the school is year round for daycare. My room has been staffed with 5 different "teachers"...and that means mostly college kids this summer. The materials have been played with all summer and the room is a total mess. The week of Aug 25 is for setting up the room...but the kids are in it. I will probably just clean and then spend the Labor Day Week end setting it up. I keep all the things I make at home in my basement. I have learned to accept this chaos and just try to get in the mindset that the school year will be different. We are located in S. Maryland. I am probably as old as some of your mothers, but have more energy than the high school kids who work here in the afternoon.

    Rather than email eachother back and forth privately about stuff, I thought we could share things here. There maybe lurkers that could benefit from us but do not post for whatever reasons.
    Eileen :D
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 16, 2003

    I am sure you offer loads more than energy - how about compassion, experience, patience, life experience, practicality, etc. These qualities tend to improve with age. I'm an older teacher, too, and am still learning.
     
  4. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Aug 16, 2003

    hey old lady

    i may be younger then you but at times I FEEL older!

    I spent my first year away from a montessori school and had a super year. professionally it was so amazing to set up and implement as many Montessori activities as possible. From language arts to cultural studies, and three part cards of EVERYTHING!

    I even had seasonal transferring lessons that the kids would use tweezers and bread tongs to transfer lady bugs from the tree to a leaf or the pine cones in the tree to a basket etc.. The one that the kids loved the most (because its the least I have left for the fall) is the mini, teeny, tiny reptiles that were quite realistic in color compared to other collections i have had.

    I did have an eyedropper lesson on a soap holder suction cup thingamajig with red food coloring on a WHITE tray. DUH- wont make that mistake again! Red food coloring tints and stains WAY to easily.

    Food prep lessons were out of control and deleted almost instantly after grapes were completed in one sitting. (the stash of grapes was supposed to last the week) I had bread and bannana cutting and deshelling of peanuts. apple coring and it was such a pain replacing the consumeables that i dont even think we still had it on the shelfs for open house.

    I am so excited about starting THIS MONDAY! cant believe my summer is over. no more late waking up, no more lunch with my hubby,
    BRING ON THE KIDS! (mommaruthie is ready)
     
  5. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    Aug 16, 2003

    Can the Montessori method of teaching work in a public school setting?
     
  6. Cindy

    Cindy Companion

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    Aug 16, 2003

    What is Montessori Teaching?
     
  7. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Aug 16, 2003

    traditional ala Montessori

    While getting my masters degree in Montessori and working in a magnet montessori school WAITING for an opening in the montessori program (does NOT happen often at a public school montessori program)
    I had successfully converted a traditional 4th grade class into one I documented as traditional ala montessori. The children LOVE freedom of choices and organized lessons. The prepared environment is VITAL.
    Last year was the first year I was in a public NON MONTESSORI school and I had that success again of traditional ala Montessori.

    Florida has several charter public schools or magnets with the montessori philosophy.
    See:
    coral reef elementary on the Rickenbacker Causeway
    Scott Lake Elementary - Dade County Montessori Magnet
    Virginia Shuman Young - Broward County Montessori Magnet
    Joella Good Elementary- Dade county
    Orlando has alot of them also, St. Petersburg has one that just opened called Gulfport Montessori.
     
  8. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Aug 17, 2003

    Ruth....Where did you get that soap suction thing? There was one in my class but it has disappeared this summer....arggggggggggh. I had small seed bead in a little container and they had to transfer them with tweezers. I packed alot of stuff before summer program and will pack way more next year. The summer staff knows nothing about Montessori and the lessons are not respected.
     
  9. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Aug 17, 2003

    dollar store

    I have seen many at a dollar store. I dont want the ducks and hold out for a star or a oval! One side suction cups are smaller then the other side. One is meant to stick to the tub and the other side is to keep the soap from slipping off. I did a tweezer activity with that too when we were doing johhnny appleseed, i had the kids transfer the apples to the basket! ruth
     
  10. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Aug 17, 2003

    Thanks Ruth. The one i HAD was an oval. I even tried to find it on the internet. The problem was I did not even know what to call the thingy. Next week in my last one home. The week after that is for meetings and setting up the room. I am much more ready than a week ago and getting in a better frame of mind about the whole thing. I have never had a summer off and so enjoyed it. I got a lot of lessons made. I am so gald about that.
     
  11. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Aug 17, 2003

  12. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Aug 17, 2003

    want me to send you one?

    Eileen, let me know if you want me to mail you one!
     
  13. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Aug 17, 2003

    Ruth,
    I will look at my Dollar Tuesday. I have to go in to interview a new child and the store is right by my school. If I cannot find one, I will mail you a check for a couple if you can get them. We have 2 primary classes and Erin, the other teacher, will need it too. I bet they would fit in a manila envelope. Thank you so much for offering.
    Eileen:D
     
  14. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Aug 23, 2003

    Ruth,
    I found those soap thingys...thanks for offering to buy them. Yesterday was the end of the summer program picnic. My room is totally trashed. It makes me want to cry. But I am a good organizer. The kids have been playing with the lessons all summer. I see my only alternative is to pack most of them away for a bit and have empty selves...kind of the way Paul Polk does things if you have read her book. I have bought some nice quality "toys" to use in the beginning.

    I did meet my aide who has been working there for a couple of weeks. She is young..so what else is new...but I watched her with the kids and she seems to love them. That is so important to me. I figure the rest will come along. I will not be starting with 25...maybe about 18 so that is another good thing.

    We have next week for a couple of meetings and then set up the room. I am in the same one I long term subbed in last year and I am very happy for that. It has good cabinets instead of one BIG closet like the one I assisted in.

    I am ready to go back. I was worried that I did not want to but seeing the kids made me anxious to get there. For that I am grateful. This is my first official year as teacher...so the director told me when negotiating salary....so she will just have to cut me some slack. I used to be afraid to speak up...but I find that is no longer a problem.

    When are you starting back? I finally got to see your printables and will probably use them later in this year when the kids are ready for that. Thanks for sharing them.

    Eileen
     
  15. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Aug 23, 2003

    IM BACK

    This week we went to the school without kids. Then THIS monday is our first day with kids. I dont really want to relive last week but its not the best transition from summer mode to work mode. Lots of kinks snags problems going on considering how tranquil my summer has been! Let me know if there are any lessons you need. I am STILL cutting and preparing the NEINHAUS grammar boxes that i duplicated (entered into my computer the entire program) Its for elementary level so I dont know if you want me to send it to you or not. I have been cutting card stock that matches the colors that neinhaus uses and mount the stuff i typed in, onto the colored card stock. It will be awesome once done and if i dont lose any peices along the way!
     
  16. AJK

    AJK Pre-k Montessori Teacher

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    Aug 23, 2003

    Good Luck on your first day Monday Ruth!
    I will be starting with only 15!!! I can't believe it. Our pre-k classes consit of children who pay tuition (almost like a private school), School Readiness students (part of a state mandated early intervention program...kind of like Head Start) and I have children in the PLACE program (these a children with special needs and disabilities). We have to leave a certain number of slots open in each class for each type of student...that leaves me with 15 right now, and 7 are returning students, and 2 are siblings of students who have moved on to kindergarten! I can't complain this year!!
     
  17. AJK

    AJK Pre-k Montessori Teacher

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    Aug 23, 2003

    Eileen,
    I've heard of but never done the "empty shelf" route. I leave every out (partly because I have 2 cabinets and no walk in closet). I do have puzzles, unifix cubes, geo boards, and other such "toys" for the first week or two, but they're used as lessons on rugs or at tables.
     
  18. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Aug 24, 2003

    AJ,

    That is sort of what I mean. The name of the book is Montessori for Today or something like that. I read it before my training when I was desperate for help. I will find it and give you the correct name. It is excellent. I got it through Amazon after reading it from my library. It is a diary of sorts of a primary teacher. The theory is that is helps the kids remember exactly where the lesson belongs. You have very little out and then bring out 2 or 3 a day.

    The thing you do with the legos...etc....is exactly what I was talking about. It gets them used to all the rules using a different piece of equipment. Many teachers do not have their rooms used during the summer and do not face what I do. The bad habits must be broken or the Montessori lesons are never respected and used properly.

    Monday is meeeting and then starting getting the room ready.

    Eileen
     
  19. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Aug 24, 2003

    Montessori in public school

    I teach at a public Montessori charter school. This is my second year. Last year, I taught Kindergarten and this year I will be taking my kids with me up to a first/second grade combo class. The other classes consist of a second/third grade class and a 4th/5th/6th, as well as a primary (Kindergarten and first). I enjoy it a great deal and find the balance of traditional expectations with Montessori materials and philosophies to be a wonderful blend. I know if I ever go teach in traditional public, I will bring many talents and tricks with me to use in the classroom.
     
  20. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Aug 25, 2003

    Welcome Tiffany,

    My school is not a total Montessori yet. We have touble getting trained people. I do just the same sort of thing you do...try to bring in the best of both worlds. Most parents put their kids in our school for quality daycare. They really do not understand Montessori at all.

    I had trouble sleeping last night thinking about all that I have to do this week. But then I know I will sleep well tonight.
    Eileen :D
     
  21. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Aug 25, 2003

    Yes, we also have a hard time finding trained individuals. We have a great team this year. So, hopefully, we can retain these teachers. We also have the problem of parents who do not understand the philosophy behind Montessori and we are trying to address this issue through mandatory parent education nights.
     
  22. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Aug 26, 2003

    WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    My room is a MESS. And to make matters worse the other primary teacher chose to extend her summer break during set up week. The director wants me to set up her room also....NOT. I have had trouble standing up to this woman but will dig in my heels on this one. She always wants me to step in a make bad stuff just go away. SHE allowed her to do this..so I guess she can go set up the room.

    But I loved seeing the kids again and will bring some of my good music with me today and really dig in. The parents are so glad the summer session is almost over and the regular staff will be here. It makes them appreciate us more...lol.

    This too shall pass.

    Eileen
     
  23. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Aug 26, 2003

    best of both worlds

    I too am now OUT of the montessori classroom, this will be my second year. I however have had a spectacular first year away using LOTS of montessori resources AND using both traditional text books with montessori supplemental lessons. I am currently going to do my second year, this time with fourth graders, and cant wait to start- have made LOTS of stuff this summer for the 4th grade and really cant use ANY until i am in my OWN room (right now, in a cafeteria!)
    If there is anything you ladies need, let me know.
    ruth
     
  24. AJK

    AJK Pre-k Montessori Teacher

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    Aug 27, 2003

    Do you have a favorite Montessori quote? I have a few, but I'll let you all post first!
     
  25. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Aug 28, 2003

    All I can think of right now is NOT Montessori..."this too shall pass" Another 12 hour day setting up. I swear, if I am not allowed to pack up the room at the end of the school year..I am QUITTING.
    Eileen
     
  26. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    i have a quote for my week

    it cant get any worse
    it can only get better


    (such optimism)
     
  27. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Aug 28, 2003

    Good one Ruth. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Another 14 hour day. Tomorrow should be it for me except for a couple of things I need help hanging on Sat. Heaven help the other primary teacher. She is coming back tomorrow. Oh well...she delayed and now will pay a horrible price.

    My math area is a mess but I am not worrying about that for a bit. I have some simple stuff for now and when they get all the beads straight...THEY...I will work on that area. It is tucked back into shelves and no one knows what it is supposed to look like anyway.

    So it looks like I will have a week end to rest up for the kids coming Tuesday. And We have tickets to see Martina McBride Sat night.

    Eileen
     
  28. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Aug 28, 2003

    elementary math

    I have had many times had to clean up the beads from the division racks and tubes lesson. One year at open house, my daughter was soooo quiet. never would i have imagined her entertaining herself with tube after tube, pouring them out onto the floor. ten beads times ten tubes, times seven sets. AHHHHHH.. what a mess. My least favorite to clean up is a stamp game that falls on the floor because the lid is bigger then the box, always a common error. OR, the little numbers that go with the bead chains. HATE IT!

    I am sure you primary can appreciate this one....
    What sound does it make,
    when,

    the moveable alphabet hits the floor!
     
  29. AJK

    AJK Pre-k Montessori Teacher

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    Aug 28, 2003

    Re: elementary math

    UGH! That has to be my least favorite lesson to clean up! The little peas or beans from practical life do run a close second though...
     
  30. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Aug 29, 2003

    I sure do know that sound Ruth. I had a little one trying to eat those little red beads. The dumb dumb director called then skittles one day. Here is something I wrote for another list.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have spent all week in my room after the summer program. ARGH!!!! Lesson pieces were scattered like leaves being blown around in a Fall windstorm. You CANNOT leave Montessori lessons out if you have untrained summer staff. Next year end...my new mantra will be RUBBERMAID TUBS!!!!!! Thank goodness for albums so I know what goes with what.

    I stand poised in an open doorway. I was an assistant for 3 years and took a correspondence course this summer. I know this was not ideal but we do not live in a perfect world. We all do what we can. Cathy Perolman from this list helped me one whole day in her room. For that I will be eternally grateful. I can now shop a thrift store and see lessons I can make for less than a dollar.

    I know my parents well. I have had some of these children over 3 years as I first worked in the 2 year old room. First they want their child safe....then loved, cherished, and respected...then educated. Do they care if I might make a mistake and not present a lesson perfectly? None that I know of. They want to know that I will hug them when something upsets them, read to them and open up a whole new world, sing to them, laugh together and experience the clouds floating overhead as we lay on blankets out in the playground. They want happy children when they drop them off in the morning eager to get in the room and get busy with a lesson. They want to see some art work their precious child proudly brings home.

    I will make lots of mistakes this year. I will get tired and frustrated. BUT when a little child comes up to me and hugs me so tight and says "you are my bestest teacher" all that will leave my body to be replaced with a warm glow.

    We all bring strengths and weaknesses to our room. We are there trying our best. "I did what I could and when I knew better I did better"...by Maya Angelou.

    Go into your rooms and love those kids. Let the light of Maria Montessori shine through your eyes. Be not afraid you will not do it right...just do it with love and joy.

    Eileen from Southern Maryland
     
  31. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Sep 3, 2003

    Firsy Day

    I am tired but today went really well. All the room organization really paid off. My assistant was totally impressed. I stayed until 5 to talk to parents but will not do that the rest of the week. I got there a little after 6 am and it was just too long. Tomorrow I will not have to get there so early. Today I still had some am stuff to do

    I straightened up the room I use in the afternnon. It will never be as good as my room as they close there…but that keeps them out of my room late in the day. A great tradeoff. My 3’s from down the hall were excellent. That is because the teacher down there does a great job. One new 3 little girl cried quite a bit but by 10 am was going really good. A miracle but the assistant worked with getting her settled.

    It will be some time before I can give a lesson but that will come. I have less kids in the afternoon and can do some there. I will just take my sandpaper letters with me tomorrow. I have another new kid starting next week. That puts me up to 21 and Erin only 18. But she is a long way from getting much control. Once I hit 25 I am done. Then she will have to take them. She is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to soft on these kids. They walk all over her. I managed to catch one about to cut another’s hair as I was watching. We can see each others room in the PM and I was watching my kindergarten kids in her room. I hate to see them acting the way they did, but they know it does not work like that in my room.

    I was going to work on the file cabinet in the afternoon but am just going to bring all that stuff home and work on it there. No hurry on it and if I am there…I am asked too many questions. Because people called in sick today they wanted me to have kids until 5. I said no way. If I did it today….they would always expect it. They hire poor workers and I cannot take up the slack. I was very proud of myself.

    All and all I was really pleased. Lunch went well and that is always tough. I put all the kids who buy lunch together in one corner and had the assistant over there. I did the lunchbox kids. Only 2 ate before the prayer. There are some really cute ones. I ran through a roll of film and dropped it off. I want some pictures for back to school night next week. I will take more tomorrow and drop them off also.
    Eileen
     
  32. AJK

    AJK Pre-k Montessori Teacher

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    Sep 6, 2003

    I'm looking for handouts/flyers/newsletters that compare Montessori and Traditional Education and/or explain a Montessori classroom, or anything like that. This would be to give out to parents. There's also a story I read once about a little girl and the pink tower, I think. Let me know if you have anything like this or anything similar, I'd love for you to e-mail and/or fax it. Thanks!
     
  33. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Sep 6, 2003

     
  34. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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  35. AJK

    AJK Pre-k Montessori Teacher

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    Sep 6, 2003

    another question, this from a friend who teaches k/1. Do you have a song/poem/mantra to get the kids to slow down? Her kids are rushing around the room, rushing to finish lessons, even rushing at snack! I know this teacher, she is modeling patience and "taking your time". We thought someone may have a cute rhyme or something...
     

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