Normalizing

Discussion in 'Montessori Archives' started by MDMontessori, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Jan 17, 2004

    How are you all doing with this by now? I think they are getting it, then I sit down to give a lesson and it is chaos again. We have 23 kids and I have one assistant. They are STILL stepping on eachothers mats, not putting their lessons away before getting another out, etc.

    I really thought about a whole day (am) with NO lessons once a child does this. Make them sit with just a book or something like that. What do you think?

    Also, I could not access this site for over a month. Something like a download file came up but it seems to be ok. I missed you guys.

    Eileen
     
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  3. Bookworm

    Bookworm Companion

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    Jan 17, 2004

    I am curious. What is normalizing?
     
  4. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jan 17, 2004

    Sorry about the access problem... I didn't know it was a problem until Bookworm emailed about it, but I couldn't duplicate the problem until I tried it from my school computer. It turns out certain browser versions were unable to access the forums after I moved things to the new server. I was finally able to fix the conflict. If you have any problems in the future, be sure to email me right away, because I won't always know what's going on if you don't. :) Welcome back!
     
  5. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Jan 17, 2004

    repeat the procedures

    In Montessori education, the term "normalization" has a specialized meaning. "Normal" does not refer to what is considered to be "typical" or "average" or even "usual." "Normalization" does not refer to a process of being forced to conform. Instead, Maria Montessori used the terms "normal" and "normalization" to describe a unique process she observed in child development.

    Montessori observed that when children are allowed freedom in an environment suited to their needs, they blossom. After a period of intense concentration, working with materials that fully engage their interest, children appear to be refreshed and contented. Through continued concentrated work of their own choice, children grow in inner discipline and peace. She called this process "normalization" and cited it as "the most important single result of our whole work" (The Absorbent Mind, 1949).

    She went on to write,

    Only "normalised" children, aided by their environment, show in their subsequent development those wonderful powers that we describe: spontaneous discipline, continuous and happy work, social sentiments of help and sympathy for others. . . . An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, which has the virtue of inducing concentration rather than fatigue, adds to the child's energies and mental capacities, and leads him to self-mastery. . . . One is tempted to say that the children are performing spiritual exercises, having found the path of self-perfectionment and of ascent to the inner heights of the soul. (Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, 1949)

    E.M. Standing (Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work, 1957) lists these as the characteristics of normalization: love of order, love of work, spontaneous concentration, attachment to reality, love of silence and of working alone, sublimation of the possessive instinct, power to act from real choice, obedience, independence and initiative, spontaneous self-discipline, and joy. Montessori believed that these are the truly "normal" characteristics of childhood, which emerge when children's developmental needs are met.

    If your pink tower is being used as an architectural activity/phenomenon where the smallest cube is the FIRST one down, and they try to balance any others on top, then you must OMIT the materials until they are used correctly.

    I would also single out the kids to make their selections in groups of three... (let student a, b and c go make a choice, THEN let student d,e, and f... once all are engaged, Then TRY to get around to everyone. I would make the lesson choices for the child who is your gfg (gift from god) by having the mat AT a table, the child sitting IN a chair, and three baskets and a clipboard with all response papers needed so the child DOESNT move or get to make the independent choices. **I use this ONLY for my students who stall in making lesson choices and drag their work out. So I put the lessons out on the table they then must do them as I expect, within a certain time period. I will train them to work at an acceptable pace by showing them the work laid out is what i expect from them. If a child is not able to hold their attention for ten equations, then require only five, or three. I have students who will require me 'on top of' and then there are others who spend the entire day engaged.
     
  6. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Jan 18, 2004

    It is mainly those little 3 year olds. I think I am trying to give them too much freedom. We have 7 very young ones. One is very very smart and remembers just about everything. She was telling another 3 year old to get the ___________________when Ms Eileen is NOT looking...lol. I would like to have one section of the room like a corral to put them in. I think I need to come up with some more lessons that would like and can do themselves...i.e. one with animals....sort the farm ones from the zoo ones. Then they can "play" (please do not come and haunt me Maria) with it also. I found some really cute little dolls at 50 cents. I bought 2 of each and they love to match them up.
    Eileen
     
  7. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Jan 18, 2004

    RUTH IS ON THE RUN with memories

    Practical life in the elem. room 5-9 year olds. Needed serious creativity other then food prep. The dressing boards for tying laces was not realistic enough and i put out shoe pairs on a tray for them to practice. I started out with them in a basket but the kids always wanted to display how they 'did it'. so each pair of shoes (target shoes on super clearance) had a tray AND I not only had the flat laces but also the round kind that never seem to stay tied and are really popular in kids shoes!
    ( I only had the five year olds who were super bright and needed to 'leave' the preschool room early because the materials, maturity, and such were not challenging enough. SO, it means that my youngest ones were the easiest to normalize because it was all so new to them and they were 'famished' for stimulation!!!) It was my oldest who were sort of bored being led to abstraction only and they loved wanting to 'show' their peers the new lessons I ask them to demonstrate. (It might help you one day to pair up your normalized with a non normalized and let them shadow and work together as forced partners for a three day period.) You may even want to put colored dots on the shelf to mark what the 'slow to choose' are able to use as the shelves in my classroom were always loaded with stuff that some were just not ready for but others were. In math we use green, blue and red to represent ones, tens hundreds. Maybe you can put green dots on the shelves that you want your (green- un ripe) kids to choose from!!!

    You may want to think of new lessons that are totally going to attract them. I had knot tying (sailor knots/boyscout knots), soap shaving-used a cheese grater on a bar of soap, food prep included banana, grapes,bananas, bread, peanuts, walnuts, apples, oranges and also brought in veggies to peel or cut.(I used to buy from BJs and costcos big supply of brocoli, carrots, celery and cucumbers) I only put out in a basket once a day like a wedge of broocoi, two carrot, celery and one cucumber. I made it such an important part of their day as we served the veggies as snack when they were done they got to share with everyone.. (that helps them work faster)

    Maybe you can include more food prep lessons for them to do and share with the class (make sure the other kids THANK /praise the child for such nice cutting) You could even have a 'bar' of cheese to be cut into tiny squares, you can have a toast tray (melba toast or mini loaves of bread that are all toasted already like a cracker) and let the child spread butter and share- you could find the cutest spreaders and serving trays!!!Maybe you do once a week at school, you hardboil a supply of eggs and each day one or two get peeled and then put into a slicer. (my kids loved the slicer where you put the peeled egg down and they gulletine it with the wirey side)

    I had two barbies and lots of gadgets and clothes. I called it fundamental needs of man clothing design! I also had woodkins for clothing design. Not exactly a Maria created lesson but its all about interpetation of her ideas because its YOUR classroom not hers!(they are wood plate that has a wood stencil that lifts up. you place swatches of fabric down on the plate side and close the stencil and it looks like you have dressed the person. You could have a doll for baby care that needs to be dressed and 'pretend fed' and do a puzzle with.... You can also get a doll not stuffed animals and make the 'green' kids work with the doll to demonstrate the lessons to the doll. (go to consignment shops and get pappooses for them to wear the 'baby' in or slings) It might make them feel more mature since they are now having to show someone else their work. You might even want to create this lesson with VELCRO peices on the back(concentration/memory game) that you put the opposite velcro onto the dolls hands and then it can 'help- play with the child too'..

    classification/sorting is a great idea. string beads in patterns.
    hot cold
    fast slow
    colors sorting
    size sorting
    have you ever seen montessorinsuch catalog?
    they have the sorting of hot and cold with these cute objects. (i love the hunt for new objects:)
    My farm is where you have to place the critters as you want them, BUT, you must label the items with these cards that say for example: the grazing cow, the working horse... Hey, can you make mini environments for them to 'play' with? Maybe a doll house?

    I have got to make breakfast for my kids now but could brain storm with you any time. feel free to email me or post if you would like any ideas or to let me know if i can search for objects you need!!!
    My pleasure to help!
     
  8. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Jan 21, 2004

    thanks for the great suggestions. I decided to teach horses this week. I found some really cute ones at the dollar store. I made a lesson or sorting horses from other farm animals.

    What a great idea to use regular shoes. Who couldn"t I think of that. I will get some on my local thrift store.

    Wow..the doll idea is great. I have a baby wshing lessons that is very popular but messy. I will be hitting my favorite thrift shop Friday after work.

    Eileen
     
  9. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Jan 21, 2004

    keep me posted

    Let me know if you are in pursuit of any thing.... I would be more then happy to send you anything I find. I also wanted to add: let the kids match BARBIE and KEN shoes! :)

    By the way.... do you have the color tablets boxes? You can always go to home depot and get the 'samples' of paint squares or MICA samples to make your own color boxes.

    What about EYE DROPPER of liquid onto the little suction cup thingambobs (soap holder)
    Open and close= containers/jars
    lock and key ( get wood peice from home depot and drill in hinges with several locks for the child to take off and on. If you keep all the keys on a key chain that has an accordian/elastic then you wont lose keys unless you attach the key to the board (via string)
    Egg beater for bubble blowing
    pouring and transferring stuff etc..


    LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU SEEK!
     
  10. MDMontessori

    MDMontessori Companion

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    Jan 24, 2004

    I am steaming!!!! I leave the room at 3:00pm and the afternoon program goes until 5:30. I used to cover up all the shelves with fabric to keep the kids out. There were special toys for the aftercare. Now I have to leave them uncovered. There is a high school girl and a college freshman in there.

    The kids are making a huge mess in there. Lessons parts are put away in all the wrong places. Kids from the other primary room cause havoc in there also.

    I said something to her and all she said was if the kids were normalized...they would obey the rules all the time. Give me a break. That would assume the 3's have the inner control. She told me the elementary ones downstairs do and mine should also. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I guess that means that we no longer need babysitters for small kids. Just leave them alone in the house because they have the same control as when you are there.

    There is no reasoning with her so I spend a large part of the am putting the room back together again. I was trying to find some article I could print out to show that what she is saying is NUTS. Then I thought why bother cause it will not change her mind at all.
    But I will be waiting for an opportunity when she discusses her son to ask her when she stopped having a babysitter. He is 13 or so. I will whallop on her when she does not give me the answer of 3...lol. Guess she was not able to normalize one child never mind 25.

    There are some things you just have to let go at our school or you will go nuts. I try to stay out of her office and avoid her like the plague. I also try to think of her an mentally ill and not in control of what she says. I think of it as she has an illness and this is one of the symptons.
    p.s. I have the color tablets. Now the Barbie and Ken shoes....great idea. It seems that the kids are so much more attracted to more modern things than some of the old wood lessons. Not one child has done the touch tablets or things like that. They only do it if I do it with them.

    I found a really cute horse at the dollar store complete with a grooming brush. That is a great hit and never on the shelves. We were studying horses last week. I will leave it out year round. I bought 2 more for when that one gets wrecked.
     
  11. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Jan 24, 2004

    do the five senses

    Keep the touch tablets on the shelf BUT, when you are doing a unit on the senses or an english lesson on describing, then introduce the lesson to the group. I have taught in montessori schools and have visit Montessori classrooms and EVERY TIME I set up a classroom, I always resort to my M. albums and the traditional lessons. I LOVE the preschool classrooms with the traditional M. lessons. Most I love is seeing the practical life changes and how the different classrooms have the cutest scoopers or containers.

    In the elem. classroom the ONE lesson that I have and LOVE to fiddle with/play with is the binomial and trinomial cubes but it always sits on the shelf unless I do it with someone. The lessons from the preschool classroom that I DONT have, but totally love to play with is the knobbed cylinders.

    PLEASE let me know what EVER you need, I love to hunt for objects!!

    Do you ever go to the home schooling montessori sites for their printables? I usually print them and add them for future reference.

    Ya know why I dont teach the 3 year olds? I dont have the patience it takes to get them to the point of normalization! My older students have the inner discipline already!!
     
  12. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    Jan 25, 2004

    Where do I find the homeschooling site?
     
  13. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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