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Kathy’s Insights

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

Hope and Possibility

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Montessori education has come into its own as an educational method for life. Teachers can be trained to educate people from infancy through high school. The American Montessori society is working on a certification for Montessori and special needs programs. The International Montessori Congress, to be held in Prague from July 27 to 30, 2017, is hosting The First Montessori Aging and Dementia Symposium. This will be the first conference on how to use Montessori principles in aged care and with people facing dementia. Montessori education truly is for life.

Last year a Montessori educator, Annie Daly, started a volunteer program called Montessori Worldwide. This group works directly with Achilles Kids, a subset of Achilles International. Achilles is an organization that provides physical activity for adults, teens, veterans and children with disabilities. We have a New York City chapter that holds walking and running work outs for disabled athletes and guides that enables a strong community of friendship and support among members and volunteers. Achilles Kids provides training, racing opportunities and an in-school program for children with disabilities. While the organization is primarily focused on running, that is simply one tool to accomplish the main mission: to bring hope, inspiration, and the joys of achievement to all.

2016 Hope and Possibility Race in Central Park.

2016 Hope and Possibility Race in Central Park.

 

I helped at the Montessori Worldwide volunteer table last June and plan to do so again for the Hope and Possibility Race on June 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM.  We had several people from Twin Parks Montessori Schools participate in the race.

Montessori Worldwide table.

Montessori Worldwide table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Tuesday evening in May, I had the opportunity to observe the gathering of the Achilles NYC chapter athletes and volunteers. The NYC chapter meets every Tuesday from 6-7:00 PM at the 90th Street and 5th Avenue entrance to Central Park. There were many athletes and volunteers present. The chapter organizer paired up runners and walkers. Many of the athletes arrived early, waited, and patiently watched for the group to trickle in. It was the most amazing demonstration of people making a difference in another person’s life that I have ever witnessed. The benefits were evident for all.

Achilles Work Out Group in Central Park

Achilles Work Out Group in Central Park

Hope and possibility is what is needed for everyone. When joy can be shared with people with challenges, hope and possibility are amplified. For readers looking for a volunteer opportunity or a way to join something larger than your current sphere, please consider volunteering. If that commitment is too much, plan on attending the Hope and Possibility race on June 25th and cheer for the participants!

Guides and Athletes paired up and walking in the park.

Guides and Athletes paired up and walking in the park.

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Montessori Management For Your Home

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Parents often ask, how do teachers do it? How do they manage 12 toddlers or 20 early childhood students at the same time? Where is the magic? Will I ever be able to do it too?

I will share a few time and experience-tested techniques that Montessori teachers incorporate in the classroom that you can try at home.

1. Ground rules

Montessori teachers establish reasonable ground rules based on respect that helps the community work together. Teachers respect each individual child. Children are taught to respect the teachers, the work materials, the environment and one another. Teachers accomplish this by stating the ground rules in a positive voice and modeling the expected behaviors themselves. For example, “We use inside voices” or “We use walking feet”. As children age and can communicate verbally, it is very powerful to include them in the creation of classroom rules. At home, you can do the same. An example of a positive ground rule at home would be, “We eat dinner together sitting at the table”.

2.  Consistent scheduling

Young children thrive in an environment that is predictable. Routines and expectations help children self-regulate. Having a consistent schedule enables children to have the beginning knowledge of telling time. Consistency is important in the home during those times when all family members are getting ready for the day and on their way to school or work. Bedtime routines are also crucial for evenings to flow smoothly. We all need more sleep. Starting with an ideal bedtime of 7:00 or 7:30 and working backwards to include reading together, self-care bathing and brushing teeth, free play time and dinner should help you establish your nighttime routine – and still allow for some alone time with partners.

Reading before sleep can be a family activity.

Reading before sleep can be a great family activity.

3.  Giving choices

There is a basic tenet of Montessori, “freedom within limits”. What this means is that after the teacher carefully prepare the classroom with appropriate choices of activities, children can choose what they would like to start with and do next. Making choices leads to independence and self-reliance – skills that benefit an individual throughout life.  At home a choice maybe, “Would you like cereal or eggs for breakfast?” or “Choose two books for bedtime” or “Do you want to wear this outfit or this one tomorrow?” Just as in the classroom, all of the choices at home need to be appropriate. For instance, summer clothes and flip-flops are not available to wear in the winter.

Children are more likely to try new food if they help prepare it.

Children are more likely to try new food if they help with food preparations.

4.  Allowing mistakes to lead to learning

Mistakes and accidents happen daily as children learn how to maneuver their bodies in space and their gross and fine motor skills are developing. We prepare the classrooms with all of the child-size tools necessary for cleaning up dry and wet spills, toileting mishaps, and material repairs. Children who are taught natural consequences and ownership for mistakes are more likely to find a solution the next time all by themselves. Montessori teachers do not hover or “fix” everything for the toddler who is showing signs of frustration over a task. Children are given time to try a variety of solutions to a problem which leads to perseverance and grit. Children are also given the words to use to ask for adult help, “Help, please”.

Every child can learnt to clean up spills.

5.  Consistent response

Perhaps the most common error a parent makes is giving in under pressure. Children are excellent interpreters of body language and what behavior parents will respond to immediately or eventually. Parenting partners must present a united front for managing behaviors. It is advisable to have “what if” conversations before the challenging behavior happens.

Are there exceptions? Of course, there are exceptions to all of the points in this essay. Families go on vacation, have relatives visit, have sickness in home, or a new baby. The goal for all of these events is to remain consistent as possible. Parenting is a life-long task and one willingly and anxiously awaited. The skills that your children learn directly from your role modeling, and your household management will last a life time and influence the adults – and parents they will become.

Family projects are one example of time well-spent.

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When Dreams are Encouraged

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about the messages your children will hear that will encourage them to succeed. I predicted that the message will be “people with grit make it in the world.” Grit as I define it means courage and resolve as a strength of character.

As a child, what did you dream of becoming when you were an adult? For a time, I wanted to ride a horse and have a pet monkey just like Pippi Longstocking. I also played school a lot with my sister’s dolls. Then I vividly remember wanting to be a detective and figure out mysteries. I did work as an archeologist in the US and Central America for about 15 years – which  somewhat fulfilled my dream to be a detective. My graduate education and second career allowed me to be the teacher I played at being as a child. Although I didn’t get a horse and monkey, I do feel that my dreams came true.

What do your children dream of becoming when they are adults?

How are they encouraged? Some of the ways that children can be encouraged is to talk about their ambitions and how to get there. If a child wants to be President of the United States, encourage them to work out how they could do that. Talk about what it takes to be president. Challenge them by encouraging academic risks, and celebrate successes no matter how small.

Giving children opportunities to see new things, and meet new people is important for developing social skills for life. Many families do not have the means to travel the world. Your children can see the world reflected in the books they read. Reading to your children, with your children, and role modeling reading is the most important thing besides love that parents can do for children.

Many children choose fantasy or animated characters to focus on during their play. A much healthier dose of exposure to real-life heroes and learning about their lives is a gift and a positive way to focus ambitions. What about doctors, authors, firefighters, pilots, veterans, and teachers? Encourage your child to learn more about the people they come in contact with on a daily basis. Children can be heroes, too!

The dreams of Elon Musk

This morning, I was watching a TED talk conversation with a remarkable man, Elon Musk. Elon was an avid reader. He was also bullied throughout his childhood in Pretoria, South Africa. He has since become an American citizen. At age 10 he was interested in computing and by 12 years taught himself computer programming. He created a BASIC-based video game called Blaster and sold it to a magazine called PC and Office Technology.

Today, Musk has a long line of companies from Zip2, PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, Hyperloop, OpenAl and The Boring Company that he has been involved with. Not to mention his co-founding of Neuralink, a company to integrate the human brain with artificial intelligence. Musk’s dreams included building electric cars, electric trucks and an underground tunnel that will allow skates to transport cars under the freeways around Los Angeles in a fraction of the time that people sit in traffic today. I watched the following video before reading more about Musk’s background. He is definitely a person who has worked hard to follow his ambitions, ideas and dreams.

 

I am also reading the series The Expanse, written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck under the pen name of James S. A. Corey. The Expanse is currently a Syfy television series. I don’t read a lot of science fiction, however, when my son recommended it and I found that they are well-written I was hooked. In this series, there are people living on Mars. The connection to the rest of this essay is that Elon Musk has ideas about people living on Mars. Maybe not in my lifetime, but maybe in your children’s lifetime. . . . add astronaut to your list of real life heroes!

 

 

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Quality Preschool Education

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There are pros and cons to every new education initiative in the United States. Universal PreK in NYC is not an exception. For children who would otherwise not experience preschool opportunities, the short-term benefits include better vocabularies, more regulated social and emotional skills, and motivation to keep learning. Follow up long-term studies show that children are less likely to engage in risky behavior, stay out of the penal system and are able to hold jobs as adults. Children who have the advantage of quality preschool can help lessen the achievement gap.

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These wonderful benefits depend on children receiving a high-quality preschool experience. The indicators of high-quality preschool are:

• interesting projects and emerging student-directed curriculum,

• children making choices that hold them accountable for their time,

• open-ended tasks and play,

• children are responsible and respected,

• children have time to share their experiences,

• opportunities for outside play,

• children develop confidence,

• social and emotional skill development is emphasized

The most important factor in high-quality preschool are the adults, administrators, and teachers who are spending the day with the developing children.

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High-quality teaching requires specialized education focused on child development and specific curriculum and instruction for the age of the child. In NYC, the Department of Health (provider of permits for preschool operation) and the New York State Department of Education requires lead teachers to have a New York State Teacher License to teach Birth to Second Grade and a Master’s of Education degree. Teachers with this level of advanced education have knowledge and experience observing children and analyzing and assessing children’s progress. With these skills, teachers can plan a curriculum that meets every child’s needs.

There are additional educational methods that go beyond quality to enhance early learning. Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf are just a few. Teachers working in these certified programs have specialized training above and beyond what the state requires to increase executive function skills in addition to academic skills. The teachers with specialized training meet all of the requirements that a high-quality preschool requires.

Teachers working in Montessori schools have chosen preschool education as a professional career – not just a job.

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They are committed to individualized instruction and creating an education environment that enhances all areas of development:

• practical living skills – care of self and environment,

• learning through senses – visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory and taste,

• social-emotional,

• executive function skills,

• gross motor and fine motor development,

• language development – oral and in writing,

• mathematical understanding and use,

• learning skills and work habits,

• grace and courtesy,

• empathy and care for others and their community.

Parents considering the many options for preschool, whether private, public or UPK, need to consider the full program and the options available at each before making a commitment. After all, studies have shown that preschool is important in developing the adult the child will become.

“It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to each child the chance to fulfill his potential possibilities.” ~ Maria Montessori

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When Children Ask Difficult Questions

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Children are curious about the world. They explore and discover through their senses and when they are verbal they ask questions. “How?” and “Why?” are typical questions that are asked, sometimes several times in succession. If a child is seeking attention by asking questions, they can be redirected. However, when they want answers they will persist. Parents need to be prepared to answer these questions – both the easy and the difficult questions.

 

I want to know everything!

I want to know everything!

 

Parents must always be the source of truth.

A child must be able to trust that parents can give answers. This process will serve families well as children age and questions about serious matters present themselves. Better to learn information from you than from the playground or on the Internet!

Keep in mind where your child is developmentally. For instance, you wouldn’t talk about the pleasures of sex with a two-year-old when asked: “where do babies come from”. You could say, “when two adults love each other and put their bodies together, a part from the dad and a part from the mom comes together and a baby starts growing in the mom’s womb.” Simple. Truthful. And often enough for a few years. An older child, 4 or 5 years can handle additional details included correct names for anatomical body parts.

Developmentally, children under the age of 6 or 7 are very egocentric. Anything new is filtered through with the question, “can it happen to me, to you, or to our family”. When someone is very sick or dying young children’s first thoughts are relative to their safety, health, and well-being. This is a great time to reiterate that it is important to take care of our bodies by eating healthy food, exercising and getting enough sleep. It is also appropriate to build trust for doctors, who can help a person get well.

Why? Why? Why?

Why? Why? Why?

Explaining death to children

When elderly family members are nearing the end of life or die, it is good to use the words, “Grammy was very old and her body stopped working”.  Mechanics are easy for young children to understand. “No, this will not happen to your parents for a very, very long time.” What about hospitals and funerals – should young children attend? The answer is, no, if you can avoid it. And, yes, for a very brief time if you cannot. Your family’s culture and traditions will dictate how you explain where the body goes after death. Please, do not say the person went to sleep and didn’t wake up. Who would want to go to sleep with that fear in mind?

Let me tell you about. . .

Let me tell you about. . .

Hospitals can be very noisy, unpredictable places. Witnessing an emergency or multiple hurt people can be disruptive to a child. This is one of the only circumstances I would recommend using technology with young children to FaceTime or Zoom in a relative in the hospital. Wakes and funerals are difficult because seeing multiple people mourning can be alarming. Witnessing some grief is fine and a part of life, however excessive grief is not so good.

How about when parents separate or get a divorce?

The best all-around scenario is when parents have an amicable, organized split and stay civil in the presence of young children. For young children, the message can be, “we will always be a family and love each other, but, we will be happier if mom/dad and I don’t live together anymore.”

Children need to be reassured that they are not the cause of the separation. Quickly work out a consistent custodial plan and share the schedule with classroom teachers. What is more disorienting than a child being unsure who will pick them up each day and where they will sleep each night?

I will share a personal story of a divorce done right: One of my family members separated from her spouse when her child was 2-years-old. She worked out the custodial schedule and stuck to it. Even though her ex-spouse was very frustrating, she never spoke poorly about him in front of her child. When her child was 4 or 5, she said, “I am the luckiest girl in the world because so many people love me!”

Families are all about love.

We are fortunate to live in New York City where we have all kinds of families and our children are learning about the inclusion and diversity of each.

“Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.” ~ Brad Henry

 

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What Message Will Your Children Hear?

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One of my areas of interest is learning about the differences in the generations of workers in the United States. School settings are particularly fascinating to me because there can be three or four generations of people working together. From an administrator’s perspective, it is important to know how people receive and give information and how to best communicate with our community of teachers. I also want to know the characteristics that are generally socially inherent within the groups.

My parents’ generation was referred to as the Silent Generation. They were born during the Great Depression and WWII. They are also called the “Lucky Few” because they became the first generation smaller than the one before. They experienced the most stable intact parental families in US history. The home environment was predominately paternalistic and children were raised to respect authority. One of the messages they heard from parents, religious affiliations and educational institutions was “because it is the right thing to do.”

Each generation compares themselves to the next generation. And surprisingly they think the new generation is the “me” generation. Even Boomers like myself were once the “me” generation. Those of us in our 50s through 70s today, born 1946 to 64, were the first group to be raised in a permissive paradigm of parenting. We tend to be rebellious (at least during our college days) and had no parental reservations about screen time! We may not have had computers but we sure had TV. My husband’s first words were, “New, Blue Cheer” —an advertisement for laundry detergent! We were the first generation really studied and marketed to. We surpassed previous generations with an increase in the number of people who attended college. Baby boomers are the generation with more workaholics and this may be attributed to one of the messages we heard in our formative years— “good things come to those who work hard.”

Generation X, born 1965-80, are in their 30s and 40s today. This group came of age with two-income families and more women in the workforce. They are the first “latch key kids.” And they were the first generation to grow up with computers. They are generally independent, and they enjoy freedom and responsibility in their work. One of the messages Gen X heard while growing up was “good things come to those who figure it out.”

Once thought to be the Peter Pan generation, the Millennials, born in the ‘80s and mid ‘90s, are holding manager level positions and rising rapidly. What I admire about Millennials is that many seek purposeful work. Many are supporters of gay rights and are environmentally conscious. Raised in diverse family combinations and in a permissive parenting mode, Millennials had more opportunities growing up. Many participated in sports and other team groups. They had parents and coaches helping them develop their best selves. One of the messages Millennials heard was “good things come to everyone.”

Generations-Healthcare

Now we have Generation Z or Homeland Generation, born sometime in the early 2000s. One aspect of this generation is the wide use of and comfort with the Internet from a very young age. Their parents could be Gen X or Millennials. Some think that they will be the first generation not to believe in the American Dream. Their childhood years included the September 11th terrorist attacks and the economic recession of 2008. They have seen parents and older siblings struggle in the workforce. They have concerns about student debt, a shrinking middle class and increased stress in families. They are loyal and cautious. Is their message “be alert and help change the world?”

What about the next generation – perhaps named Generation Alpha? At this point, social analysts are still busy profiling Gen Z members. The children born after 2010 have already seen aggressive turmoil in various parts of the world and at home during the 2016 Presidential election. They will see India and China be the center of gravity. They will definitely have mobile devices integrated into their lives and will be transferring thoughts within seconds. Perhaps they will hear “people with grit make it in the world.

What Generation am I?

What Generation am I?

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Parents: The Importance of Being You

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The characteristics associated with being a great parent, like all important tasks, goes through cycles. In the 50s when the outside world was perceived as a safer place, children were permitted to play outdoors without direct adult supervision. Parents set the limits and children were free to discover activities on their own. Parents were free to do other things while children entertained themselves.

Today, many parents are watchful and vigilant when children are playing outside. Parents plan after school activities, playdates, and family time with the children’s interests, or “what’s good for the children” in the forefront. Many parents’ worlds are overwhelmingly focused on the daily lives of their children.

In 2009, Lenore Skenazy wrote a book, Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry. In 2012 Skenazy offered parents an opportunity for children to play alone outside in Central Park for a fee. Does this horrify you or sound like a good idea?

Think for a moment about what parents need. Most often their days are focused on work and children. This is not a bad thing, it is actually quite selfless and demonstrates that parents take their responsibilities seriously. However, it is critical that parents take time for themselves to renew, refresh and recreate. Parents need to be healthy, rested and interesting people, it is then that they can be their best selves for their children.

What is it that you really enjoy doing: reading, writing, running, painting, boating, knitting, woodworking, or volunteering? Many hobbies help to relieve the stress buildup of everyday life. Parenting partners also need to have regularly scheduled personal time together without children. Date nights and afternoon outings help keep adult relationships healthy and interesting. Children need to observe their parents enjoying themselves, too. That is what will model the future adult that parents are raising.

Creating these opportunities can be challenging for single parents. Forming a babysitting co-op can help with time for yourself at a low cost. Finding like-minded adults at your children’s schools will lead to adult friendships as well as those for children.

Maintaining time to do what you enjoy and talking about it with children shows a side of you that is passionate and interesting. Your dinner table conversations will be livelier, when you answer the question, “What did you do today?”  You will also role model the essence of being an individual. Keeping ourselves in balance keeps our worlds in balance. Remember the importance of being you!

For more debate about Free-Range Parenting watch the video below:


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Are you a Lifelong Learner?

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Admittedly, sometimes, I fall into a passive, visual trap. There are so many interesting, historical or fantasy series on public and commercial television that it is easy to fall into a visual mind habit. I can justify it to myself by working hard during the day and “deserving” a stress-free evening. The background noise also helps me feel like I have company. No matter how I try to justify it – am I gaining any knowledge from the programming and am I using my free time wisely?

It’s the time of year when we ask teachers to self-reflect on their practices and think about their personal professional development goals. Montessori education values the development of lifelong learners – and how we role model that goal for our students. I was thinking about the professional development that Twin Parks Montessori Teachers participate in throughout the year. We have many health and safety classes with face-to-face and online options. We also offer curriculum and child development options. Our goal is to provide opportunities to facilitate lifelong learning.

Here is what I have learned about different generations and being a life-long learner:

  • Not long ago, I attended a 70th birthday party for my friend, Eddie. I was told to wear my dancing shoes. I did and I was honored to dance with Eddie’s 94-year-old aunt. Yes, 94 years young and she had some smooth moves. In conversation, I learned that Eddie is learning Kung Fu and Tai Chi as a way to be in tune with himself and the world.
  • Recently, I was catching up with one of my former employers, Patty. It was inspiring to listen to a member of the Silent Generation (born during the Great Depression and WWII). Patty has been retired for 20 years from the education field, but immediately became a travel consultant – a second career in her 60s. Patty lives a full life dating, traveling, enjoying dinner and movies, and going out with friends. She also leads a support group for single women. She told me about a book her group is reading. It is called The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully.
  • I also learned about the Quest program at City College of NYC comprised of retirees who teach classes to one another from computer technology, philosophy, and the arts. It is a peer-to-peer adult education community. Surely these individuals are lifelong learners.

Baby Boomers (born 1946 – mid-1960s), like me, always heard that “good things come to those who work hard.” Of all of the generations, there are more workaholics in this group than any other. One way Baby Boomers can avoid work burnout is to make a commitment to be lifelong learners. Boomers should consider opportunities to participate in classes that are non-work related.

Most of the teachers at Twin Parks Montessori Schools are members of Generation X (born mid-1960s to early 1980s) or Millennials (born early 1980s to 2000s). Research shows that both groups are fairly optimistic about the future and use multimedia to stay connected. Opportunities for learning is at their fingertips. According to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, work-life balance and opportunities to progress are among leading factors for millennials who are evaluating job opportunities. They appreciate professional development and collaborative work environments. Good to know!

Learning doesn’t end at the end of a college degree or when a certificate is earned. Learning helps you feel relevant, engaged and vital for a very long time!

Learning for a Lifetime

Learning for a Lifetime

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Lessons for Your Younger Self

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If you could go back in time and have a conversation with your younger self, what would be the one lesson you would share?

Would it be:

  • To spend time thinking about what you value most – what is important to you?
  • Be more optimistic?
  • Learn to play a musical instrument or a second language?
  • Learn from your mistakes, rather than consider them points of failure?
  • Be more empathetic?
  • Be kinder?
  • Be more honest?
  • Be more loving?

When you make your list, you will see the lessons that you will want to share with your children while they are still young. The first magical decade of a child’s life is when they develop their personality, their sense of justice and moral compass, and begin to mold into the kind of person they will become as adults.

Now is the time to start teaching these lessons!

Learning to play a musical instrument

Learning to play a musical instrument

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Begin with the Senses: How it Helps With Math Skills

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Everything we learn comes first through our senses. Babies are able to discriminate the sound of their parent’s voice, the shape of their family’s faces, the smell of milk, and the touch of skin. This is the beginning of learning about the world.

So much of what is taught in school, especially in math is rote learning and many students have little idea of how to put their skills to use in everyday life. Montessori education works with concrete educational materials first and later introduces abstract concepts once the understanding of the process has been internalized. For instance, in the Sensorial Area, we have materials called the Red Rods. The Red Rods are 10 graduated rods, each 10 centimeters longer than the one before. Three-year-old children learn to carry these rods with two hands, one rod at a time to a work rug. As their small arms stretch to carry the last rod that is 100 centimeters long (one meter), they learn the terms short and long, longer, longest as they compare and contrast the 10 rods. This is the very beginning of measurement and base 10 system.

The Montessori Red Rods

The corresponding materials in the Math Area are the Red and Blue Rods. These rods are identical in size to the Red Rods; however, every 10 centimeters they are painted red or blue, alternating to distinguish their segments. The children are familiar with arranging longest to shortest in a stair. They count each segment. This material helps them visualize the concept of quantity first and the numeral second – concrete to abstract.

Montessori Red and Blue Rods

 

Later, in a follow-up lesson, they can put the corresponding numeral card next to the correct rod. In addition to nomenclature, the students learn about hierarchical inclusion. One is part of two; two is part of three, etc. They can also learn about addition. If I put the one-rod and the two-rod next to each other, they are the same length as the three-rod. They are able to explore similar relationships with all of the rods.

Similarly, the Spindle Boxes provide a way for children to count the correct number of spindles to go into a box with the number indicated. The boxes are labeled 0 to 9. As the child picks up each spindle with one hand and transfers it to the other hand, and then into the box, the number grows. One spindle is easy for a small hand to manage. Nine spindles are not. Again, this material teaches a very concrete lesson of quantity getting larger. No spindles are put into the box labeled “0”. At a very young age, children are taught that “0” is the empty set.

Montessori Spindle Boxes

If the child has counted correctly, there will not be any spindles left over. If there are leftovers or not enough, somewhere a mistake has been made. The additional benefit of Montessori materials is the control of error. No person has to tell the child a mistake has been made, the child discovers the mistake and can recount. Part of Montessori’s genius was in the well thought out design of materials and the built-in control of error that allows children to learn from their mistakes.

All of the carefully designed activities that Montessori teachers put on the shelves for children to discover, enjoy, and learn have elements of sensory inspiration. The pouring work with jingle bells in the Practical Life area teaches fine motor skills, preparation for pouring dry and wet materials, and makes an enjoyable tingling sound when the small bells fall into the dish.

Pouring Activity

 

 

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Kathy’s Insights