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Dr. Maria Montessori – “The Philosopher of Education”

Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator. She was best known for her amazing contributions to child development and education. Her innovative Montessori Method of learning is in practice today among many public and private schools. This method of teaching is highly effective, respected, and practiced worldwide.

Maria Montessori’s Early Career

Maria Montessori graduated from the University of Rome in 1896. She then began research within the psychiatric clinic of the university. From 1896-1901 Maria Montessori researched and worked with children who fell under the “phrenasthenic” category of the time. She worked with children who were mentally handicapped, sick, and/or disabled. Her observations of mentally ill and disabled children were fundamental to the future of her educational work. Through her experiences and research with children and travel she became the voice for disabled children as well as a prominent figure for women’s rights.

Casa dei Bambini

In 1906, Maria Montessori agreed to oversee a group of children with working parents in an apartment building for low-income families. Maria wanted to apply her theories and methods to mentally “normal” children. It was suggested to Montessori that she use the name Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House) and the first Casa was born. The first Casa was opened in 1907, enrolling 50-60 children from the ages of two-seven. Children began to use the materials she had developed, under supervision but with very little guidance due to the number of children and other responsibilities of running the Casa. She developed a strict routine and began to center her education on independence.

The Spread of the Montessori Method

The first Casa dei Bambini was a great success; so much so that a second school was opened that same year. Montessori children began to show advanced attentiveness, concentration, self-discipline, and the classrooms began to attract serious attention. Prominent journalists, educators, and public figures began to show interest in the Montessori Method and started to spread the word. It was at this time that Maria Montessori began to experiment with materials that are still used today in Montessori classrooms. Some of these materials include sandpaper letters and the moveable alphabet.

From 1909-1915, the Montessori style of learning began to gain international attention. Once her work was widely published, it spread rapidly. Today Montessori houses are everywhere, giving children around the world the opportunity to learn an enriched and highly effective curriculum.

April 26th, 2017

Posted In: Montessori Education

Tips for Montessori Educators – Working with Toddlers

Montessori educators working Toddlers

When working with small children, there are highs and lows – for educator and child alike. Sometimes, it can be difficult to ride the waves of emotion, progress, and change. Despite the challenges, working with toddlers is an incredible experience – one that can be just as rewarding for the educator as it is for the child. To help you make the most of your experience as a Montessori educator, read on for some practical, Montessori-inspired tips for working with toddlers.

Keep Them Engaged

Toddlers are high-energy, curious little people who are always looking for something to get into. When a young child is misbehaving, it could be that they need stimulation. You’re well aware that the Montessori classroom is a very child-centered environment with a lot to offer young minds. But, there are some things you can do for children who need a little extra engagement. One tip to try is to create “busy bags” or other activities that are not within reach, so you have something fresh to offer.

Set Simple, Consistent Rules

Toddlers need structure and simple boundaries. Keep rules easy to state and remember, repeating them as often as necessary. Don’t set too many rules, otherwise the child will be overwhelmed. Young children have difficulty with cause and effect, so explaining the details of why the rules are in place might not be the best idea at this age. Instead, use easy to understand phrases to get the idea across. Create a few simple rules, and make sure to consistently enforce them so the child knows what is expected of them.

Teach Story-Time Lessons

One of the best ways to show children how to handle difficult situations is through story. From learning how to share to developing bathroom independence, storytelling is a great way to engage children while teaching them valuable life lessons. Involving the children in the story by talking about it afterward is a great way to fortify the “moral of the story” while growing reading comprehension skills.

Use positive language

One of the greatest challenges Montessori educators face when working with Toddlers is learning to say “no” without actually saying it. Though it’s important to set boundaries, saying “no” too often can lead to an increase in defiant behavior. Instead, try phrases like, “That isn’t for (child’s name),” and “Let’s try this instead.” Redirection is a great way to avoid tantrums while teaching the child what is acceptable and what is not.

Encourage Their Need for Independence

If you’re around toddlers for long, you’re sure to hear phrases like, “I do it myself,” and “that’s mine!” This is completely normal as a child moves from being a completely dependent infant into an independent toddler. Encourage this while helping the child to express themselves in a positive and respectful way. Allow the child to help prepare snacks, clean up around the classroom, and do as much for themselves as possible. Forging independence and a “you can do it” atmosphere is an essential Montessori element, one that toddlers crave.

The Montessori method of education offers great insight into the growing of young minds. With a foundation of individual attention, child-centered learning, independence and social development – your role as a Montessori educator is very important as you learn and grow together!

January 25th, 2017

Posted In: Montessori Education, Tips, Uncategorized

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How to Evaluate the Progress in Montessori Education

Montessori Education Kid Reading

Montessori Kids Universe schools strive to deliver authentic Montessori education and develop children who are well educated, socially fulfilled; independent thinkers; full of creativity. How can you be sure your Montessori student is getting the most from their education?

Characteristics of a Great Montessori Experience

When evaluating the student, here are some key characteristics to look for. These core components are what we; at Montessori Kids Universe schools strive to develop in the children we serve.

  • Independence. MKU students will develop an “I can do it myself” attitude.
    Though all children need guidance and instruction; our children don’t rely solely on the teacher; but learn to self discover and explore independently.
  • Confidence. Children in our classrooms will learn to tackle challenging problems
    with confidence; asking for help when necessary. They are willing to try new things and learn from their mistakes.
  • Self-discipline. The child will learn to make the right choices without punishment.
    Every child seeks instruction from teachers and parents; needing less re-direction.
  • Motivation to Learn. The MKU classroom encourages children to become fully- engaged in their environment. The child will show an inner motivation to do their work without constant coercing from the teacher.
  • Social Development. MKU students show respect for their teachers, fellow students, and classroom materials. They often work together to solve problems, both academically and during play.
  • Academic Achievement. In an MKU school; each child develops independently and uniquely. The 3-year cycle includes many skills the child will master, with individual progress being noted each day.

** MKU implements a progress tracking software in each classroom. This software is designed to assess the growth and academic progress of each child. This assessment tool creates an individualized plan for each child; the teacher then guides the child to the appropriate materials for mastery of skills.

January 19th, 2017

Posted In: Montessori Education

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