Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm a fan

By now you might have realized that I am a fan of Maria Montessori. Ok, I'm a huge fan. A Maria Montessori groupie if you will.......
Everyone learns differently, some in an auditory manner, some through touch, some learn by watching. This is what makes us unique.
In A Decalogue Maria Montessori states-"Respect the child who takes rest or watches others working or ponders over what she/he her/himself has done or will do. Neither call her/him or force her/him to other forms of activity. "
This is so true in the classroom, especially in the multi-age Montessori classroom. It always fascinated me when, for example, a three year old would wander through the classroom looking for work to do. I would often see a  young child stop and watch another child. They would sit quietly next to the working child and just watch, observing. Imagine it, a child observing another child. We are taught as Montessori teachers to observe and observe and observe again, and here the children are doing it also. They are learning through observation. This young child may be observing a lesson that they are not ready for but they are still learning. They may then come to the teacher and ask to do this same work. They are however, not ready for it. This is not the end though. Now the teacher, who is always prepared,  may say "you are not ready for this work yet but, lets work on something else first" For example, this child may have just observed another child working with the moveable alphabet. The child is not ready for this work yet because he/she doesn't know all of the sounds yet. What a perfect opportunity to bring out the sandpaper sounds and get to work. Children observing each other is a wonderful way for children to learn. Do not disturb this beautiful scene...........

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