Twin Parks Montessori Schools - Preschool Manhattan, Upper West Side, New York City (NYC)

Kathy’s Insights

Insights on the Montessori method and Early Childhood Education from Dr. Kathy Roemer

Kathy’s Insights

What’s so great about MUD? International Mud Day – June 29th!

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I have fond memories of the role mud played in my childhood.  From raiding the kitchen of old containers and pots with dents, to gathering twigs and bits of moss, to finding a water source so essential to any mud project.  My learning evolution progressed from a sensorial experience with mud on my hands and squishing between my toes, to cooking mud cakes in the sun, to sliding down a muddy hill on a flattened cardboard box, to constructing whole communities for my troll doll, Pumpernickel.

Those of you with access to green space around your home will appreciate the latest article by Mary Rivkin in the Community Playthings newsletter.  Click here.  Rivkin has also written a book, The Great Outdoors:  Advocating for Natural Spaces for Children.

Jan White’s Natural Play Blog also talks about creating a mud kitchen.  I love this picture that is posted on Jan’s blog.

Mud cooking with small hands!

Mud cooking with small hands!

 

Did you know that there is a World Forum International Mud Day?  It is happening on June 29th!  It is for children and early childhood professionals , parents, and mud enthusiasts all over the world.  Check out their FaceBook page!  The pictures are fantastic!   I am disappointed not to find any mud day activities listed for my back yard – Central Park in NYC.  I will have to find my own mud!  What will you do with your children on June 29th to celebrate International Mud Day?

 

International Mud Day!

International Mud Day!

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Toddlers and Social Skills

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New York City is a wonderful community that provides learning opportunities for people of all ages.  Parents have multiple opportunities for their children to participate in a variety of educational settings.  One such opportunity for toddlers was highlight in an online article in the Wall Street Journal. I was contacted by the journalist who wrote the article asking my opinion about the program and the length of time the children are in this particular program.  Please read the article and respond.

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Dr. Tovah P. Klein Lets Little New

Yorkers Resolve Their Own Disputes

 

 

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Why do we need handwriting skills?

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Many of you have heard me say that we must limit screen time for our toddlers and early childhood children.  The ideal would consist of no screen time under 2 years of age and no more than 30 minutes for 3 and 4 year old children!

Many schools are moving away from teaching handwriting after 1st grade and focusing on keyboarding skills.  This is a mistake.  The New York Times published an article on June 2, 2014 titled, What’s Lost as Handwriting FadesRead it here.

03WRIT-master495What is lost when we skimp on handwriting skills?  According to psychologists and neuroscientists, there is a link between handwriting and broader educational development.  Children learn to read more quickly wen they first learn to write by hand.

Montessori always taught writing skills before reading, or simultaneously.  When learning sounds that letters represent, we use sandpaper letters.  Students trace the letters while hearing the sound and seeing the letter.  The tracing reinforces muscular memory.  Hearing, seeing, touching, use three senses to learn letters.  Experts say that handwriting has links to working memory – a skill linked to long term success in school.

Plus if were are not writing when would we get a chance to doodle? And you all know that doodling can aid a person’s memory by expending enough energy to keep one from daydreaming.  But that’s a topic for a future blog!

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