A Philosophy of a Montessori Classroom

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The following post is by Jessica Stellato, Lower Elementary Lead in the Galaxy Room at Montessori Academy at Sharon Springs in Cumming, Georgia. She shares a big-picture look at the philosophy behind the Montessori classroom experience.

Often parents wonder:

What is Montessori?

What is my child going to learn in a Montessori classroom?

Is there really a difference between a traditional classroom versus a

Montessori classroom?

I hope to give you a concise explanation of what an authentic ...

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Freedom Within Responsibility

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“As a child becomes familiar with the expectations in a Montessori classroom, they develop a sense of internal order helping them navigate through the multitude of decisions they make on a daily basis. Part of the core foundation of a Montessori classroom is ‘freedom with responsibility.’

“A Montessori student enjoys the freedom of choosing a variety of work, once they have learned the specific steps of using the materials and to work at the level matching their experience and abilities.

“Often, it takes ...

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You Are Truly Brilliant

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FMS Parents may be familiar with Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which made waves in the fields of education and developmental psychology after it was outlined in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. 

Gardner, a renowned developmental psychologist and Harvard professor, maintained that intelligence wasn’t so black and white as traditional school assessments and public opinion would have us believe. A child who struggled through their mathematical exercises could be a brilliant poet; a child ...

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Famous Montessori Alumni

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  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Co-founders of Google, Inc.
  • Yo-Yo Ma, United Nations Peace Ambassador and Renowned Cellist
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, Inc.
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Former First Lady
  • Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Nobel Prize Winner, Novelist
  • Anne Frank, Diarist
  • Julia Child, Chef, Author and TV personality
  • President Woodrow Wilson
  • Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia
  • Will Wright, Designer of SimCity
  • Katherine Graham,  Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Former owner of Washington Post
  • Princes Harry and William
  • Peter Drucker, Author, famed Management Consultant and recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Devi Sridhar, Youngest American Rhodes Scholar
  • Eric Cornell. PhD., Nobel ...
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Teaching Confidence

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“These words reveal the child’s inner needs; ‘Help me to do it alone’.” — Dr. Maria Montessori

Each child in a Montessori classroom is treated with respect and dignity and is often addressed by peers and teacher as “friend,” creating an environment of equality rather than of hierarchy. The open floor plan enables unrestricted and independent movement; instead of being forced to sit at a desk all day and ask for permission to get up to use the bathroom or sharpen ...

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Cultivating Peace

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From the P2 Blog: “Ms. Melissa has introduced a peace curriculum into our classroom based on Sonnie McFarland’s book Honoring the Light of the Child. It is an in-depth presentation of creating peace step-by-step, of learning how to be an active listener (of oneself and with others), and of problem-solving, all based on ‘activities to nurture peaceful living skills in young children.’

One of the first skills we practiced is learning how to make silence. It goes like this:

Silence

I cross ...

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Courtesy in the Classroom

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Let’s peek inside the doors of P2, where students are learning about the concept of courtesy in the classroom.

“Grace and courtesy are fundamental concepts taught by Dr. Maria Montessori  in her original school for young children of working class parents. It was the recognition of how the children and their ‘guide’ (teachers) interacted with each other inside the classroom that helped create a peaceful and productive learning environment.

Today, we see that when each child recognizes that their voice and their ...

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The First Great Lesson

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In Montessori education, students often start off their school year with “The First Great Lesson.” Says Ms. Vickie, teacher in E2: “The lesson is intended to make an impression on the children and spark an interest in the world around them. We do a series of experiments that demonstrate basic science to inspire and motivate them to want to learn new things.

“Maria Montessori said: ‘Knowledge can be best given when there is eagerness to learn, so this is the period ...

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How to Build a Better Brain

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Beginning in the 1940s, numerous studies have linked intelligence quotient and childhood environment. More stimulating, engaging environments have been proven to increase the number of synapses and neurons in the brain; increase dendrite complexity; increase synapse activity and increase cortex volume. The effect is especially pronounced during childhood, when the brain is still developing, but it can continue into adulthood. For example, stimulating environments have been shown to assist in the recovery of those with Alzheimer’s disease and other symptoms ...

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Superwoman Was Already Here

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Have you seen the popular documentaries Waiting for Superman and Race to Nowhere? Both films address the public school system and its perceived shortcomings — one discusses unions and bureaucracies, while the other takes aim at the high-pressure tests/grades/homework culture.

Of course, every large-scale system has its weak and strong points, and its always good to look at ways to improve. Trevor Eissler, a longtime Montessori parent and advocate, has created ...

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