Search results for 'montessori madness'

Montessori Madness Video

9 Feb

Found this neat “fast draw” video about Montessori education. It seems to be written by an enthusiastic Montessori parent. It’s entertaining (the fast drawing is pretty mesmerizing!), only a few minutes long, and a nice basic intro* to Montessori education.

Enjoy!

* I say basic because you don’t get to see the amazing, innovative Montessori materials!

P.S. I’m absolutely pro-Montessori, but not necessarily anti-public schools. Montessori education (lessons, materials, philosophy) was purposefully created to inspire and cultivate children’s exploration and learning! However, there are many great teachers in the public system who are innovative, creative, and passionate about education and bring out the best in their students too. So not all children who are not in Montessori schools will have their “flame extinguished.” Just wanted to be clear on that!

Advertisements

Montessori Research

1 Apr

[EDIT: See? It’s been so crazy that I ended up posting this “March madness” post in April! Also, I am learning to let go and not be too precious about my writing on this blog. If it was for work or school, I’d be going over and over it obsessively, but these posts are just shot off bit by bit in between naps and when Freestyle is at the babysitter’s and I’m done my work (trying to keep to my resolutions!). I guess the most important thing is that I’m writing, which was one of the points of doing this blog in the first place!]

 

March madness indeed.

It’s been a busy month, but then, who does not claim to be always busy, busy, busy? Our month has been filled with generally good things, so I am not complaining. I’ve felt pretty featherbrained lately (though Biker would argue that it’s actually a chronic condition), with a lot of routine and event changes and rescheduling…it’s been a little  hectic and confusing, but I think things will settle in the next week or so.

 

IMG_2912

“I find the term ‘featherbrained’ offensive and derogatory.”

 

I have been reading and researching Casa lessons recently. I found a Montessori wiki called Montessori Album that looks fantastic! It compiles all the Montessori lessons with photos and step-by-step instructions. It even includes extensions and other resources. I haven’t had a chance to browse through it, but so far I’m diggin’ it!

 

I’m also re-reading The Advanced Montessori Method I, a collection of Dr. Montessori’s writings about her educational philosophy and methods for children ages 3-6 years (translated from the original Italian to English in 1918!). I read it at the beginning of my Elementary training during our Casa crash course, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember a lot of it!

As this book is in the public domain you can read it free at Project Gutenberg or download the free Kindle version.

 

My other side interest is public Montessori education. When I first got into this, a concern of mine was that access to Montessori education was limited to those who could afford to pay private school tuition (my trainer once said that Montessori should be considered an alternative school rather than a private school). Although there are many wonderful Montessori blogs and other online resources for families to either homeschool or do some Montessori activities at home, that can also be limiting because there are families that may not have the time and resources to research, create materials, and present lessons to their children.

I only just started looking into this but so far I found that two public schools in Toronto have optional Montessori Casa and Grade 1 programs! I’m going to give them a call to get more details. A friend of mine remembers hearing of a French Montessori program in a public school but I haven’t looked into it. I don’t know what I’ll do with this information yet, but I’m just interested in how the Ministry of Education is incorporating Montessori into the public school system and if more Montessori programs in schools is even possible. How great would that be?!

Montessori Madmen, a Montessori advocacy group started by Montessori dads, is a great resource. Here’s their list of resources. Here’s one of their fun and informative  videos, Superwoman Was Already Here:

 

 

My Montessori Elevator Speech

9 Feb
M is for Montessori!

Mmm is for Montessori!

Photo Credit

 

I first heard  of “elevator speeches” when I was involved in Rotaract (imagine a younger version of Rotary). Basically, an elevator speech is a quick 30-second to one-minute speech (the length of an elevator ride) that you could spout off at anytime when someone asks about your organization (or whatever).

I’m not the most confident person. I’m a natural introvert who makes an effort to be more extroverted when the situation calls. When the pressure is on and I have a bunch of people’s attention, I tend to talk faster, slurring my words together in excitement and nervousness! (Funnily enough, this didn’t happen in the classroom.)

 

 

I need to have a Montessori elevator speech. Whenever someone asks what I do and I tell them that I’m a Montessori teacher, they usually follow-up with, “So, what is Montessori anyway?” I usually stammer out a pathetic reply about “child-sized furniture” and “learning by using their hands” and “three year age range that promotes mentorship and learning by observing the older students” and “Maria Montessori was the first female doctor in Italy!”

Montessori is brilliant. I want to do it justice. So I began thinking of elevator speeches and how I really need to have one prepared for just this situation.

 

duotang rainbow

Taken during a summer when I was prepping the students’ folders. I like this photo because it includes two things that I really like: rainbow colours and new school supplies!

 

Just as I was posting this, I decided to google “Montessori elevator speech.” I found The Barbara Gordon Montessori School‘s newsletter about the same subject. I also found the Montessori Madmen website. (One of the founders is Trevor Eissler, the parent advocate behind the Montessori Madness videos! It’s a great site, very clean and well-written and informative…why didn’t I know about it before?!)

It’s happenstance, people! Just as I was thinking of this very topic, they are running the Montessori Madmen’s Montessori Elevator Speech Contest. They’re asking Montessorians to post their elevator speech on YouTube. Watch the contest intro video here.

I’m going to really give this some thought and post my speech when I’m done.

 

markhamsnow1-320x213

This is the weather here today. (No, this is not my car or anywhere close to where I live.) I am grateful Biker was able to work from home (not to mention that he has a job and that we have a home with working heat!). We were supposed to have our Chinese New Year dinner with his side of the family tonight but of course it had to be cancelled due to the weather. My family’s dinner is tomorrow and we’re playing it by ear. It’s supposed to stop snowing by tomorrow so hopefully the roads will be better. “Sun Leen Fai Lok” to those who celebrate! It’s the Year of the Snake!

Photo Credit