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Classroom Content Montessori Extras

What is all the hype about? A detailed look inside a traditional Montessori classroom

By Anitra

You’ve probably heard about all the hype and craze surrounding Montessori and Montessori schools. Anything and everything from the teaching method,the classroom environment, child led activities, and Montessori materials.  But what does all that mean?  The Montessori method is a very unique, very distinct, very individualized learning environment with a proven way of teaching young children.

 

The materials, along with the carefully prepared environment, is what makes Montessori, Montessori.  There are various areas and activities of a traditional Montessori classroom.  This is what sets a Montessori primary (preschool) classroom apart from other preschool classrooms. Many people have heard of Montessori, but haven’t had the opportunity to actually see inside or visit a classroom.  Please be aware that there are many different Montessori run schools, each individually owned and operated; so unfortunately not every Montessori school classroom will be set up or run exactly the same.  With that being said; I try to keep a traditional Montessori classroom.

 

Curious to learn and find out more…?   The pictures are from my actual classroom that I currently teach in.  The shelves are child sized, with age appropriate, enticing materials.  The common item you will notice in most Montessori classrooms and materials is wood.  The use of natural wood for the shelves and materials, along with neutral wall colors, is meant to soothe the senses and and the attract the children to the beauty of the room.  Montessori classrooms differ from other preschool classrooms in that they are calming, peaceful, and uncluttered.

 

 

LANGUAGE AREA

 

“Language lies at the root of that transformation of the environment that we call civilization.” -Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind, pg. 98

The Language Area is composed of phonetic sound recognition, three letter phonetic word building, four letter and more phonetic word building, and blends & phonograms.  The three letter words make up the Pink Level, the four letters and more make up the Blue Level, the phonemes and hard & soft letters make up the Green Level.

 

The Pink Level also covers word families, picture to

word matching, and easy phonetic sentences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blue Level also covers beginning & ending

consonant blends, and complex phonetic words

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Green Level also covers silent “e”, double vowel consonants, phonemes, and hard & soft letters

 

I also have opposites, parts of speech, sentence building & writing, and even antonyms & synonyms.

 

 

MATH AREA

 

“The results we obtain with our little ones contrast oddly with the fact that mathematics is so often held to be a scourge rather than a pleasure in school programmes.”-Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind, pg. 170

The Math Area is composed of number recognition up to ten, mastering the teens & tens, and working on numbers up to one hundred.  This area also covers simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and even division.  More complex works include place value, the clock, and fractions.

 

Number recognition from one to twenty, with various materials & activities to master these skills

 

Simple addition, the tens work, & the hundred board all round out the Math Area

 

 

Telling Time, Place Value & Fractions are the

more advanced Math activities

 

 

 

SENSORIAL AREA

 

“And if we look at the sensorial apparatus which is able to evoke such deep concentration…helps also to the development of the mathematical mind.”-Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind, pg. 170

The Sensorial Area is composed of activities that engage the senses of the children.  There are activities for smell, taste, and hearing; and various materials that promote sight and touch.

 

Sensorial materials to manipulate sizes, color,

touch and hearing

 

Complex materials that introduce geometric shapes, as well as tasting & smelling materials

 

 

 

CULTURAL/GEOGRAPHY AREA

 

“…the child’s mind can acquire culture at a much earlier age than generally supposed, taking in knowledge is by certain kinds of activity which involve movement.”-Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind, pg. 157

The Cultural and Geography Areas is the area of a Montessori classroom that frequently changes.  It is an area where new activities can be added on a weekly or monthly basis.  These areas are composed of science, botany (plants), zoology (animals), geography, and art.  This is by far one of the busiest areas of a Montessori classroom.

 

 

Study of continents, seasons land, air & water                                  Botany, zoology, & insect puzzles and magnets

 

 

Geography Maps

 

 

PRACTICAL LIFE AREA

 

“Activities here build on the child’s natural interest and help him develop good work habits, concentration, eye-hand coordination, a lengthened attention span and control of his body.”-Maria Montessori The Sense of Childhood, pg. 1

The Practical Life Area is another area of a Montessori classroom that changes frequently.  The Practical Life Area has many components to it that make it the most important area of a Montessori classroom.  Since children learn basic working, concentration, and eye-hand coordination skills, it is the prerequisite to all of the other areas in a Montessori classroom.  Activities could include spooning, using a ladle, pouring, scooping, and cutting.  This is by far the busiest area of a Montessori classroom.

 

Other activities include food preparation work,

and using tongs & tweezers

There are also washing activities, bubble making,

table setting, and water activities

 

 

 

All of the areas in a Montessori classroom contribute to the development of the whole child.  As stated before, not every Montessori classroom will be furnished and set-up exactly the same.  In quality, true to Montessori schools and classrooms, you will see similar setups and materials.  One of my favorite areas is the Practical Life Area, I like to come up with fun water work activities, food preparation works, and washing activities.  I like to add variety, and add activities that promote the individual needs of the children currently in my classroom.

 

 

 

Now can you see what all the hype is about?!  Trust me, the pictures just give you a small glimpse of what a Montessori environment looks like.  Can you imagine how wonderful it is to see the children actively working in a Montessori classroom…it’s PRICELESS!!

 

Anitra

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Back 2 School Classroom Content Montessori Extras

How using doTerra essential oils in the classroom helps with focus, concentration, & a peaceful environment

By Anitra

Being that it is back to school time, I am on a mission to start the year off right.  I want to set clear guidelines and rules of the classroom, and am looking to have the classroom run as smoothly as possible as soon as possible.  There are children returning from Summer vacation, children who are new, and others that were at the school during Summer Camp.  The beginning of a school year is the time to get everyone on the same page, and get everyone “normalized” within a quick time frame.

“Normalization” in Montessori terms is used to describe the process in which children in the classroom find inner discipline and peace, and the children are able to concentrate and focus on working freely throughout the classroom.  To assist with the process of normalization, a friend recommended the use of doTerra Essential Oils in my classroom.  Leticia Baxter is an Elite Wellness Advocate for doTerra Essential Oils, and she educated me on the positive effects of using the oils in my classroom.  The most important thing I learned about using essential oils is to do my research.  Not all oils are created equal, and doTerra oils have proven to be superior to other brands currently on the market.  To learn more about doTerra Essential Oils click here.

 

I invited Leticia to share some of the benefits of using doterra essential oils in your classroom (or home).  doterra Essential Oils offer a variety of oils for a variety of health benefits, however, Leticia discussed only a few; the ones that are beneficial for focus, concentration, and calming.  Without further ado-here are the benefits of using doterra essential oils.

 

Why Use doTERRA Essential Oils? How can they be a benefit to the home and classroom?

 

I am going to touch on a few doTERRA Essential oils and the amazing benefits of using them in the classroom.  

 

It is so important when choosing an essential oil brand! Many companies claim their oils to be therapeutic grade and some may be pure. In reality, very few of them are subjected to rigorous testing and standards for chemical composition.  doTERRA essential oils are cross tested to ensure both the exact purity and composition potency of each batch.   doTERRA works side by side with a global network of leading essential oil chemist and growers to ensure that our oils are the safest, purest, most potent and beneficial oils available in the world today.  Please make sure the oils you are using are to the highest standards of quality. You can really tell a difference not only in smell but when using.  

 

 

Lavender

The Oil of Communication

Lavender is known for its calming and relaxing qualities.  It helps reduce anxious feelings and helps ease feelings of tension. When you think of lavender… think all things calming.  Lavender has many uses and  helps with some of the following: restful night’s sleep, anxious feelings, emotional balance and sooths occasional skin irritations. These are just to name a few.  Lavender can be used aromatically, topically and internally. Be aware that this does not go for all brands of essential oils.  As long as there is a supplemental fact label on the bottle, you can use topically and internally. This is very important when using essential oils and why quality really does matter.

Diffusing Lavender in the classroom can help in calming the room and aid in better focus and concentration.

 

 

 

Balance

The Oil of Grounding

Sometimes life can bring on stress leaving us off guard and feeling overwhelmed.  This blend helps to restore and ground us.  Balance brings a feeling of calmness, peace and relaxation. It can evoke feelings of tranquility,  sense of balance and ease anxious feelings. Balance can be used aromatically and topically.  

Diffusing balance in the classroom helps ground the whole room, setting a calm peaceful environment.

 

 

 

OnGuard

The Oil of Protection

OnGuard supports healthy immune function and can be used to boost the immune system. It can also clean surfaces to protect against environmental threats just by adding to water for an effective all purpose cleaner.  OnGuard can be used aromatically, topically and internally.

Diffusing OnGuard in the classroom helps shield individuals from germs, bacteria, mold and viruses all while purifying the air.

 

 

Wild Orange

The Oil of Abundance

Wild Orange inspires abundance, fosters creativity and supports a positive mood.  Wild Orange has a variety of uses such as cleansing, uplifting, invigorating and lowering anxious feelings or nervousness. It can aid in increasing concentration, emotional balance and so much more.  Wild Orange can be used aromatically, topically and internally.

Diffusing Wild Orange in the classroom helps with concentration and focus while cleansing the air.

 Oh… and it smells amazing too!

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions, or are interested to learn more, please visit and contact Leticia Baxter at eoswithbaxter4.com.

 

About the Author:

 

Hi, my name is Leticia Baxter from eoswith baxter4.com.  I’m a stay at home mom who felt stuck in mom life.  I love being able to stay at home with my kiddos and be there for them, and am truly lucky and blessed to do so!  I found doTerra and it has helped me in so many ways!  Natural solutions using the oils has empowered my family and my life.  Why would I not share these life changing products with other?!  I love that I can offer others hope! I look forward to helping you!

 

 

So know that you know about the benefits of using doTerra essential oils, I will share with you about actually using them in my classroom.  My oil station is on a shelf in my classroom.  My set-up is quite simple and using the diffuser is easy too!  I use a small sized diffuser and add the oils to it.  The easy to follow steps are listed below.

-Fill the diffuser to the red dot with water.

-Add two to three drops of each oil (for a stronger, more noticeable smell,add more drops).  I personally stuck with the three drops

-This is where you can personalize the oil blends.  You can use one, two, three, or all four oils!  Depending on what your aim and goal is, you can pick different oils for each situation.

 

The children in my classroom absolutely LOVE the oils!  They walk around commenting on how good it smells.  It truly does work, I used them towards the end of the school year when the children start to get a little “unfocused”.  They worked amazing!  I noticed the difference in their ability to focus and concentrate, as well as the calming effect on the classroom overall.

 

I am so happy that I was able to find such pure, safe, and beneficial products to use in my classroom! What more could you want for your child or the children in your classroom?

 

Anitra

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Classroom Content Montessori Extras

Why child made mini books are important-Montessori Extras

By Anitra

Making mini books is an activity I learned in my training.  Not all training programs discuss or touch on mini book making.  I am very fortunate that my training did cover it, because it is something that I use on a regular basis.  Before I get into what mini book making is, I should give you a little insight about where the mini book originates from.

 

Mini books come from Nomenclature cards.  Nomenclature cards; or 3 part cards as they are frequently referred to in a Montessori classroom, are cards that come in 3 parts; hence the name!  The word “nomenclature” comes from the Latin word “nomenclatura“, which means to give or assign names to things.  The first card in the nomenclature set is the label card, which is a picture and a word associated with the picture.  The second card in the nomenclature set is the picture card, which is just the picture.  The third card in the nomenclature set is the word card.

 

Nomenclature cards; 3 part cards Butterfly Life Cycle

 

Nomenclature cards are the basis for mini books.  I try to use mini books often in my monthly curriculum.  Mini books are child made books that represent the parts of ____, the life cycle of ______, or the can be the inhabitants of _____.  Child made mini books have benefits to child’s overall development.  Mini books are a good way for older children to begin to associate pictures with words and their meanings.

 

Mini Books are blank copied mini pages of a given parts of ____, life cycle of ____, or inhabitants of ____.  The teacher provides a “Master Mini Book” that has either been handmade or commercially copied (with permission).  I tend to use a combination of both handmade and commercially copied.

 

The Master Mini Book is colored or copied by the teacher.  I normally copy my masters onto white card stock for durability.  Once I have each of the pieces of the master book colored and cut out, I then glue it onto another piece of card stock.  I normally chose a color that compliments the colors of the mini book.  I use various ways of completing the label part of the Master Mini Book.  I use writing, printed words, or a label maker to make the label for each part.  It just depends on your personal preference.  After this, I laminate all of the Master Mini Book pages.  I ALWAYS laminate EVERYTHING that the children will handle on a regular basis.  It provides more durability, and a longer shelf life for the work I create.  SIDE NOTE: *If you don’t have access to a laminator, you can use a roll of clear contact paper*.  After I laminate each page of the Master Mini Book, I use a single whole punch and punch a whole in the top left corner.  I then attach a medium sized book ring, so that it is easy for the children to flip through the book to get to each page.  And that’s it…easy instructions on making a Master Mini Book!

 

Along with the Master Mini Book, I also provide the necessary coloring tools to complete the book, and a pencil for labeling the book.  I tend to put all of my materials for mini book making on a tray, so that it makes it easier to present it to the children.  It also makes it easier for use for the time we are studying a certain subject.

 

Parts of a leaf mini book

 Parts of a butterfly mini book

 

As I stated earlier, mini books have benefits to a child’s development in many areas.  Mini books nurture a child’s language development; such as their communication, literacy, and interest. Mini books also contribute to their cognitive development; such as inquiry, curiosity, and knowledge.  They also help with fine motor skills, while having to color within the lines, a certain part or area, and use of pencil writing skills.

 

Ways that mini books benefit a child’s language development

1.They foster and build vocabulary

Mini books foster and build a child’s vocabulary.  When a child colors and labels each part of a mini book, they are learning new vocabulary words.

2. They help with identifying part of a whole

When children make mini books, it teaches them the various parts of a whole or characteristics of a given subject

3.They help with recall(memorization)

When children make mini books, they are able to take them home, and hopefully will share about each part of their mini book, which helps with recall skills.

 

Animals of South America mini book

 

Not only do mini books provide a child with enhanced vocabulary, knowledge, fine motor skill development, and memorization; they also are a fun and interesting way to introduce new topics.  Making learning interesting is the best way to ensure that children will openly and willingly want to learn and become the natural learners that are.

 

Anitra

 

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Classroom Content Practical Life

4 fine motor activities for fun and development

By Anitra

Fine motor development is an important skill that children will need in all aspects of their development.  Fine motor skills aid in the development of the small muscles in their hands, fingers, and thumbs.  The development of these skills help a child with correct pencil grip, writing; and such activities as buttoning, zipping, and tying.  From a young age, young children naturally use their whole hand to grasp, grab and pick up items.  Their small hands need practice developing dexterity and strength frequently.  There are many activities that can be introduced in your classroom or homeschool, and even during play time.  In a Montessori primary classroom, there are many areas that include the inclusion of fine motor activities.  In the Language area, there are the Metal Insets.  In the Math area, there is the one to ten hanging beads.  In the Sensorial area, there are the knobbed cylinders.  The most prominent area of the classroom where most fine motor activities are introduced is the Practical Life area.  The Practical Life area is an area where the teacher can use her creativity and personality to add activities to the classroom.  Most of the the other areas in a Montessori classroom have very specific work that is customary and standard.  There are some opportunities to add to other areas of the classroom, but in the Practical Life area, you can be as creative as you would like.  One of my favorite areas in a Montessori primary classroom is the Practical Life area.  I have integrated various activities in my Practical Life area over the years; I have added to my list of works, and have done away with a few as well.  The list of activities for the development of fine motor skills are currently activities in use in my classroom and are favorites of the children.  All of the items used in each of these activities use inexpensive items.

4 activities that promote fine motor development

 

1. Cutting practice

I have 4 cutting practice activities set up daily.  I use hot dog trays and matching scissors.  I have a cutting strip of either dotted or solid line in each tray along with an envelope.

Procedure: Select a tray, and cut along the lines.  Once all of the lines have been cut, they can put their cutting strips into the provided envelope, and it can be taken home.  The tray then gets returned to the shelf.  Throughout the morning work time, I just replenish the cutting strips and envelopes as needed.

 

2. Single hole punching

I have a basket of 3×3 squares of printer paper cut.  I then have 3 small bowls with a single whole puncher in them.

Procedure: Select a bowl, and get a  paper square.  Hole punch the paper over the bowl, and once complete, they empty the paper holes in the trash and can keep the paper with the holes in it.  The bowl is then returned to the shelf.

 

3. Tweezing peas   

I have a tray of peas, two small, clear bowls, and a pair of tweezers.

Procedure: A child will use the tweezers to transfer all of the peas from one bowl to the other.  This work actually takes patience, and it takes awhile to complete.  Sometimes the peas are a little hard to pick up, but I like that it adds a little difficulty to the work.

 

4. Pin Poking

A tray containing a giant push pin, a push pin pad, and a small bowl for the pin to sit in. This work is one of the favorites of the children!  When it is first introduced, I go over the importance of keeping the poking pin in the bowl when not in use, as well as how to properly use the pin poking so that no one gets hurt.

Procedure: There are two of each pin poking trays.  The children pick a paper with a shape to poke and once complete, they bring it to the teacher to help with getting the shape out.  This work can be fun; I use metal inset shapes, shapes related to various holidays, or pick things that go with what we are learning for the week.

 

The most important thing to remember is to develop and enforce safety rules and procedures while giving the lesson on each activity.  Also be sure that you reinforce the safety rules and procedures as well.  Each of these activities can be easily incorporated or even modified to fit into any classroom or homeschool.

Anitra

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Classroom Content

What’s so special about Montessori…? EVERYTHING!

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

The Montessori Method is a unique, individualized learning method that uses enticing materials and a hands on learning experience. In a Primary Room, there are anywhere between twenty and twenty four children; depending on the state ratio;  ranging in age from 2 1/2 to 6 years old.  The Montessori Method has been around since the early 1900’s, and its popularity and proven method has added to its continued growth and acceptance throughout many parts of the world.

The Montessori classroom is an environment where you will find very enticing and beautiful “works” on the shelves.  The activities are considered “work”, in that children willingly and enthusiastically work their way throughout the classroom on their own free will; working on mastering various skills on a daily basis.  The Montessori work time can be a two hour or a three hour block of uninterrupted time in which children learn, create, and explore their natural learning abilities.  A Montessori Primary classroom will have children working on simple tasks such as serving themselves snack, to engaging in the preparation of food work, to mastering number and numeral skills, to spelling and reading.  All developmental levels are present in a Montessori classroom; and each individual child and their abilities are fostered and nurtured.

The three year age span is customary in a Montessori classroom.  The infancy/toddler three yer span of 0 to 3 years old, the primary three year span of 3 to 6 years old, the lower elementary three year span of 6 to 9 years old, and the upper elementary three year span of 9 to 12 years old.  it allows younger children to learn from the older children; and the older children help guide and set an example for the younger children. Each child works at their own individual pace, choosing work either individually or with a friend that helps them master a certain skill set. Children are taught Grace and Courtesy, life lessons using practical activities; called Practical Life, geography of the world, botany, zoology, mathematics, language, and ways to define their senses through the Sensorial area.  Children are shown how to care for the environment, for one another, and be an active participant in their daily classroom activities. They are taught to accept others differences, inclusion for all “friends”, and to love and respect them all.  All of this, together with the aid of the Montessori Trained teacher’s guidance, makes for a very unique and genuine classroom of children who are caring, helpful, loving, kind, and accepting of others;…I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty…special.

 

Maria Montessori, 1913

Maria Montessori

August 31,1870-May 6, 1952

Italian Physician and Educator

Photo courtesy of American Montessori Society, 2017

Looking for more information…interested in learning more about the method and the classroom environment? Want or need additional information or resources? Check out these Montessori Books perfect for any teacher, homeschool mom, or parent.

 

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Anitra

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Classroom Content

5 Tips to Promote Independence in Your Preschooler

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

As a mom and a Montessori Teacher, I understand how important it is to teach children how to be independent. No mom or teacher wants to do everything for their little ones. The list of “To Do’s” wold be never ending…getting them dressed, putting on their jackets, getting them something to drink, getting them something to eat; I could keep going for hours! You wouldn’t have time in your day to do anything else. These 5 tips will give you a few ideas on how to instill and promote independence in a preschool aged child, and hopefully shorten your list just a little! The tips below could be used for any classroom or homeschool.

 

1. Provide as many opportunities as possible for them to dress themselves. Young children are very capable of getting themselves dressed.  It just takes a little time and patience on your end.  Starting with something small like letting them put on their shoes or socks can boost their confidence and make it easier when you introduce them to other aspects of dressing.

 

2. Provide opportunities for them to be able to serve/and or get their own food/drinks. This is an important one, especially in the classroom.  Having a classroom of preschoolers, serving snack can be time consuming and tedious.  If possible, have a space available where they can pour their own drinks.  Have a child sized pitcher; either glass or plastic, a tray, and child sized cups available.  Show them how to properly hold the pitcher with two hands, and watch the magic happen!

 

3. Have an environment that is “child centered”. An environment that is child centered has child sized chairs, tables, shelves, etc.  Providing an environment that is child centered gives the child a sense of independence; in that they can comfortably maneuver in the environment unassisted.  They can reach items, sit without assistance, and feel that it is a space designed for them.  This helps in fostering a sense of autonomy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Provide opportunities for children to help with cleaning up. Letting a child help with cleaning can sometimes lead to more of a mess!  With the tools, and a few simple ideas, children will enthusiastically want to help clean up.  Provide small wash clothes, for wiping tables, find inexpensive, hand brooms to allow sweeping up small messes.  You could even invest in child sized brooms, mops, and dustpans.  There are cleaning sets that are child sized and perfect for little hands.  Allowing children the opportunity to assist in cleaning their environment instills a sens of pride and responsibility. Trust me, I have an entire classroom of twenty four preschool aged children begging me to wipe the tables everyday!

 

5. Provide choices within limits.  Children are very capable beings.  Giving them a choice between two options gives them a feeling that their opinions matter.  By making choices, it gives them the sense that they are important and so are their choices.  By having the option to choose, they build independence skills that in turns builds confidence.  An example of a choice within limits could be that you let them choose between eating their sandwich or fruit first, but expressing that eating the potato chips first is not an option.

 

These are just a few ways that I nurture and stimulate independence throughout my classroom on a daily basis.  Each of these tips can easily be modified to better accommodate a homeschool or parent co-op environment.

 

Anitra

 

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Classroom Content Teaching

Teaching young children 101-Learn to laugh at yourself!

By Anitra

Early on in my life, I knew that I wanted to be a Teacher.  I would play “school” with my stuffed animals in my bedroom, I wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher. I would play that way for hours.  When I first started going to college, I began taking Early Childhood Education classes, and figured out early on that I wanted to work with younger, preschool aged children.  When I discovered the Montessori method and took the training, I discovered that I had definitely found my niche.  For me, my Montessori instructors were fun, lively, silly, and complete down to Earth people.  They showed me that teaching young children takes a very special individual, who has a special heart.  Teaching young children is not for everyone; not for the weak at heart; you will get sneezed on, coughed on, hit, kicked, and have a sad child screaming in your ear that they want their mom!  You will also be so loved, get endless hugs, called “mom” accidentally, and get the most fabulous homemade drawings you’ve ever seen!

Want to know the secret to being a successful teacher of young children?  Wait for it…BECOME A PRESCHOOL TEACHER!

Hahaha!  Good one, right?  No, but seriously, I think that sharing my experiences to help others become successful preschool teachers is the least I can do.  I had people who shared their amazing experiences with me at the beginning of my career, and it has helped me and mold me into the teacher that I am today.  Proud; I sure am.  I take great pride in what I do, and I love each and every child that is in my class (past, present, and future) as though they are my own.  They all have a special place in my heart forever…

I assure you, if you adopt these simple tactics, your days of teaching young children should become easier, more fun, and hopefully more memorable!

Teaching Young Children 101

1. Learn to laugh at yourself!– young children like when you can laugh if you make an “oopsie”.  It is important for them to see that no one is perfect, and it is ok to make mistakes. Trust me, I make these on a daily basis, and when I do, I just LAUGH…seriously. Like the saying says; “Laughter is good for the soul”; try it sometimes!

2. Don’t take yourself too seriously!– ask anyone who knows me, I am a kid at heart! I love to do fun things in my class. Have fun with them, smile, be silly, do anything except BE SERIOUS!!!

3. Relate to their interests– one of the best things a teacher can do is to be interested in what the children do or enjoy.  Do you know how many cartoons I’ve watched? A million; I know all about Doc McStuffins (one of my favorites actually), Littlest Pet Shop, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Imagination Movers…I could go on for hours.  The important thing is that they LOVE when I can talk with them about these things! It makes them feel so special!

4. Have fun and don’t be afraid to join in– Halloween; dress up! Join in on any of the activities or celebrations the children have.  Just like you would encourage children to join in on the fun, it is always a good idea for you as their teacher to do the same!

The important thing to remember is, yes; you are there to teach them, but you are also there to teach them to have fun and enjoy themselves!  They are kids after all!

Anitra

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Classroom Content

Using glass in the Primary classroom-Yes, it’s crazy!

By Anitra

GLASS CUPS

Using glass in a classroom of preschool aged children is not for the weak at heart.  It can be a recipe for disaster; it can be a clean up nightmare; it can even cause a dangerous situation if a child picks up broken glass…I get it, glass and preschool aged children is a bad mix…UNLESS you are optimistic, confident, and detailed in that you can teach small children how to take care of the glass being used throughout the classroom.  I personally use A LOT of glass in different ways throughout my classroom.  I use glass mainly in the Practical Life area; which is the area of the Montessori classroom that incorporates and teaches skills practical to everyday life.  I also use glass cups with the children’s names on them, as well as glass plates for lunch time.  They use their Practical Life skills and wash and rinse off their plates after lunch. (Don’t worry, I rewash and disinfect all of the glass cups and plates daily.)

 

GLASS PLATES

As stated earlier, I use glass in the Practical Life area of the classroom.  I use glass bowls of various sizes, glass pitchers, and any other glass container I can find that would seem interesting to use for the many pouring, scooping, and spooning works for the dry and water activities.  There are many reasons that I choose to use glass.  It teaches the children to BE CAREFUL…It teaches them to be conscious of what they are doing, to pay close attention to their work, and teaches them to take care of the glass items.  Even my youngest of children in my class are exposed to glass throughout the classroom.  If the initial lesson is given in a way that demonstrates to the children the importance of being careful, taking care of the glass, and using/holding glass properly, the children can be very successful in using glass in their classroom.  Does something break sometimes?…Of course it does, but when it does, I use that opportunity to reteach the lesson on being careful with the glass.  It actually doesn’t happen as often as you would think, but often enough to turn those accidents into teachable lessons on how to use glass properly.  The children enjoy having glass items in the classroom; I find them even reminding their friends about how to hold their glass cup or glass plate with both hands…it is very rewarding to see that the children are taking part in the care of their classroom!

DRY SPOONING USING GLASS BOWLS

 

Anitra

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