Sunday, December 21, 2014

Total Impressions


Looking at education from the viewpoint of taking in total impressions, aids the adult in understanding the need for opportunities for rest to calm the conscious mind.

Over-stimulation can urge the brain to too much activity, preventing the unconscious mind from doing its work; the subconscious then closes all the doors, making learning extremely difficult. 

The child needs to return to simpler work after a period of intense activity and learning, or will require a short nap or area of quiet, in order to calm the mind overall and to fully absorb into the unconscious mind all that was just experienced.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dr. Montessori left us a plan

Dr. Maria Montessori developed an approach to working with children based on observation and response - through observation, she found the best response was to provide key experiences based on real life: keys which open the doors for discovery and exploration.

The keys she developed are found in albums and training (albums being the written description of the key experiences as provided in training) which adhere to the concept of the "universal child" and leave time and psychological space for exploration and personal discovery.

Yes there are some albums/trainings that have too much, modified much over time, with many details that Montessori left for exploration and personal discovery now handed to the child. There are still VERY good presentations and suggestions, just perhaps beyond the keys.

The adult can only know how to utilize the materials through the use of a good set of albums that guides, but does not dictate the scope and sequence of the child's exploration. Albums contain the keys. If albums were useless, teachers in training would not have to create them ;)  Teachers in training receive presentations from the trainer, then practice with the materials, then write-up the descriptions of how to use those materials, with pre-requisite suggestions, main purpose (direct aim), follow-up purposes (indirect aims), follow-up activities, and SO MUCH MORE. These albums are then read through by others at least 3 times before the teacher graduates.

Some people are pushing the idea that albums are not only not needed, they are downright anti-Montessori and are a very bad idea. That you can have the materials on the shelves and just explore with them. JUST explore. With no guidance from the adult who is called a "guide"; with no guidance from Maria Montessori beyond the bit she describes the materials in her writings (she provided training and her trainees were the ones to write things down); with no idea what each material does going in. So what is the role of the adult? Set up the materials and walk away? NO! Maria Montessori never said that! The child needs to receive a presentation from a knowledgeable adult (Maria instructed others how to use the materials, said "do it this way with the children, observe, and report back to me the results", then responded accordingly).

Here is the kicker: the albums contain MUCH more than 'how to use the materials' - they are full of key experiences that do NOT utilize a single piece of special material - and many do not use a material at all.


Not everyone needs an album to focus on key real-life experiences that set the child up for exploration and personal discovery with a properly prepared adult who is ready to guide.
And that is great!

Most people DO need a guide-book to guide them in their own journey.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Organizing Elementary Montessori Presentations

Elementary Suggested Scope and Sequence

This is a starting point – to help the adult feel a structure in which to follow the child. Follow your child’s needs and interests – interest trumps age and prerequisites every time!

Some tips:
  • ·         First mention of a topic/thread: that area CAN be introduced in the year listed.
  • ·         Final mention of the topic/thread: the topic is ideally being reviewed, recapped and any final mastery happening.

Points for Emphasis: 

1) Follow the child's needs and interests. I can't tell you each day or even which year what your child will be interested in. I can only provide you with the guidelines given by Maria Montessori based on universal development. There is universal development, then there is individual need. 

2) This is a PLANNING GUIDE - not set in stone, or even hardly in play-dough ;) It should serve as a starting guide for what is likely to happen first - then build from there. You can see areas that typically don't come until later. Your child might want those sooner, but when you realize that, you'll have already prepared and laid a foundation for the current year, so you'll be able to be more flexible. 

3) As a planning guide, use it to focus in on certain areas to prep. Consider in each area listed "what does my child need in this area right now?" and prep for that. 


Art: Provide for art skills as needed for your child. Provide key art experiences very early on, with personal work including continued art exploration and application.


Year 1

Math: Numeration

Math: Operations

Math: Squares and Cubes

Math: Fractions

Math: Associated Word Problems

Biology: Botany
Plant Parts
Biology: Zoology
Discussions and Story Material
Biology: Ecology

Language: History

Language: Word Study

Language: Parts of Speech (Grammar)

Language: Logical Analysis
Begin with similar to primary
Language: Written

Language: Spoken

Language: Literature

Language: Style

History

Geometry: Congruency, Similarity, Equivalency I

Geometry: Polygons

Geometry: Angles I

Geometry: Lines

Geometry: Angles II

Geometry: Circle I
When interested
Music

Geography: Universe
Story, follow-ups, Composition
Geography: Nature of Elements

Geography: Sun and Earth
2 options:
1)      Introductory work in each chapter
2)      Children select one based on interest each year
Geography: Work of Air
Geography: Work of Water
Geography: Human Geography Cards




Year 2

Math: Numeration
Review and fill in
Math: Operations

Math: Squares and Cubes

Math: Fractions

Math: Decimal Fractions

Math: Squaring & Cubing

Math: Associated Word Problems

Biology: Botany
Plant Parts, continue
Biology: Zoology
Dissection and Body Function
Biology: Ecology

Language: History

Language: Word Study

Language: Parts of Speech (Grammar)

Language: Logical Analysis

Language: Written

Language: Spoken

Language: Literature

Language: Style

History

Geometry: Angles II
Review and fill in
Geometry: Equivalency II
(only time this is listed)
Geometry: Polygons II
(only time this is listed)
Geometry: Equivalency III

Geometry: Circle I
When interested
Music

Geography: Universe
Review, go deeper per interest
Geography: Nature of Elements

Geography: Sun and Earth
2 options:
1)      Some work in each chapter
2)      Children select one based on interest each year
Geography: Work of Air
Geography: Work of Water
Geography: Human Geography Cards




Year 3

Math: Operations
Review and fill in
Math: Decimal Fractions

Math: Fractions
Review and fill in
Math: Squares and Cubes
Review and fill in
Math: Squaring & Cubing

Math: Signed Numbers

Math: Associated Word Problems

Math: Word Problems

Biology: Botany
Plant Parts, continue
Biology: Zoology
Dissection and Body Function
Biology: Ecology
Review and fill in
Language: History

Language: Word Study

Language: Parts of Speech (Grammar)

Language: Logical Analysis

Language: Written

Language: Spoken

Language: Literature

Language: Style

History

Geometry: Equivalency III

Geometry: Area

Geometry: Circle I
Review and fill in
Geometry: Circle II

Geometry: Solid

Music

Geography: Universe
Further details, Formation of Mountains
Geography: Nature of Elements

Geography: Sun and Earth
2 options:
1)      Some work in each chapter
2)      Children select one based on interest each year
Geography: Work of Air
Geography: Work of Water
Geography: Human Geography – Taxes/Government




Year 4

Math: Decimal Fractions

Math: Squaring & Cubing

Math: Signed Numbers

Math: Powers

Math: Word Problems

Math: Number Bases

Math: Algebra

Math: Ratio & Proportion

Geography: Human Geography other areas

Biology: Botany
Fill in nomenclature
Biology: Zoology
Dissection and Body Function
Biology: Classification

Language: History

Language: Word Study
Last bits; Review and fill in
Language: Parts of Speech (Grammar)
Finish verb; Review and fill in
Language: Logical Analysis

Language: Written

Language: Spoken

Language: Literature

Language: Style

History

Geometry: Equivalency III
Review and fill in
Geometry: Area
Review and fill in
Geometry: Circle II

Geometry: Solid

Music

Geography: Universe
Further details, Formation of Mountains, additional Creation stories
Geography: Nature of Elements
Finish up initial work – invite lots of follow-up ideas
Geography: Sun and Earth
Finish up follow-up presentations; continue personal work
Geography: Work of Air
Currents; Wind as Sculptor
Geography: Work of Water

Geography: Human Geography – Taxes/Government




Year 5

Math: Decimal Fractions
Review and fill in
Math: Squaring & Cubing

Math: Signed Numbers

Math: Powers

Math: Word Problems

Math: Number Bases

Math: Algebra

Math: Ratio & Proportion

Biology: Botany
Personal experiments
Biology: Zoology
Dissections and Body Function
Biology: Classification

Language: History

Language: Logical Analysis

Language: Written

Language: Spoken

Language: Literature

Language: Style

History

Geometry: Circle II
Review and fill in
Geometry: Solid

Music

Geography: Universe
Further details, Formation of Mountains, additional Creation stories
Geography: Work of Air
Currents; Wind as Sculptor; Personal work
Geography: Work of Water

Geography: Human Geography other areas




Year 6

Math: Squaring & Cubing
Review and fill in
Math: Signed Numbers
Review and fill in
Math: Powers
Review and fill in
Math: Number Bases
Review and fill in
Math: Algebra
Review and fill in
Math: Ratio & Proportion
Review and fill in
Biology: Botany
Finalize nomenclature
Continue experiments
Biology: Zoology
Dissections and Body Function
Biology: Classification
Review and fill in
Language: History
Review and fill in
Language: Logical Analysis
Review and fill in
Language: Written
Review and fill in
Language: Spoken
Review and fill in
Language: Literature
Review and fill in
Language: Style
Review and fill in
History
Review and fill in
Geometry: Solid
Review and fill in
Music
Review and fill in
Geography: Universe
Further details, Formation of Mountains, additional Creation stories
Geography: Work of Water
Review and fill in
Geography: Human Geography
Review and fill in – other areas in this topic