Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Benefits of a Multi-age Classroom

Next week we will host a presentation for parents of our toddlers who will be moving up to our Early Childhood program in the fall.  One of the biggest differences their children will experience will be that of a multi-aged environment.
We see the tremendous benefits of this environment every day, and I thought sharing the highlights of these would be advantageous for all readers.
A multi-aged environment provides:

Natural Life Setting/Real World Preparation

Families are made up of different age groupings; it is natural for a classroom environment too.
Our classes function like a family unit.
Children learn to collaborate and solve problems together.
The real-world setting encompasses different ages, abilities and social expectations.
Children are prepared to function in the real world.

Experiential/Individualized Learning

By the nature of different ages and developmental skill sets, children are provided the opportunity to learn at their own pace.
Expectations are tailored to each child’s readiness and capabilities.
Comparisons are eliminated, and children develop pride in their own accomplishments.

Character Building Opportunities

Patience and tolerance are developed.  Older children learn to understand the needs of a younger child.
Older students developing leadership skills through role modeling.
Younger children look up to and admire their older classmates and aspire to be able to do as they do, which increases confidence.

Peer Teaching

Older students are given opportunities to teach younger children and solidify their own learning by so doing.
Younger students see that not only teachers can teach.

“The main thing is that the groups should contain different ages, because it has great influence on the cultural development of the child. This is obtained by the relations of the children among themselves. You cannot imagine how well a young child learns from an older child: how patient the older child is with the difficulties of the younger.”

Dr. Maria Montessori, The Child, Society and the World 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Teachers, we celebrate you and thank you!

"much of the work you do (also) is about the intangible - it's about fostering that almost indescribable, and yet unmistakable, spark between you and your students."

John B. King Jr., Secretary of Education, US Department of Education

Thank you, Teachers
Teachers are keys
That unlock the student’s mind
You are guides who mold our mind.
You are one of a kind.

You are like a shepherd
Who guides the sheep
To the right path.

You, teachers, turn the pages
Of the great books.
You train us well
To reach great heights.

Thank you, teachers,
For all you have done.
In the group of many
You are one.

© Meghana Vincent
Published May 2017

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Montessori Outdoors

Now that the warm weather has arrived, children will be spending more time outdoors enjoying and learning in nature. There is so much to do outside! This week, we thought we'd share some activity ideas that went beyond playing on the playground.

  • collecting, playing, and making patterns with rocks
  • take a listening walk
  • write letters in the sand or dirt with sticks
  • arrange sticks to form letters
  • graph nature items found on a walk
  • use chalk to trace shadows at different times of the day
  • make a sun dial
  • make a musical instrument from objects found in nature
  • balance rocks or sticks to make a sculpture
  • planting and caring for a garden or flowers
  • outdoor yoga
  • nature scavenger hunt

There is no description, no image in any book that is capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all the life to be found around them, in a real forest. Something emanates from those trees which speaks to the soul, something no book, no museum is capable of giving. 
                                                - Maria Montessori