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pre-school

Three Steps to Academic Success

3-period-fruitThirty thousand. 30,000! That’s the number of words scientists say you should be speaking to your child daily to increase his chances of academic success. Most parents reach and exceed this magic number, but how do you know if your child is really benefiting from your efforts? Do you feel you might be choosing the wrong words or confusing your child by rambling?

I’m about to share with you a simple but powerful Montessori technique that will put your worries to rest. To find out what it is,...

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Extensions

One of the activities I felt was lacking in my child's previous Montessori experience was the use of extensions. No, I'm not talking about artificial hair pieces! Extensions are activities that are introduced after the initial presentation with a material, in order to encourage the child to re-visit the material and solidify the skills and/or concepts it's designed to provide.

Yesterday, my son came out of his new school with a huge smile, holding this painting:

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This is a perfect example of an...

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To Follow the Child

Now that Zachary is three years old,I'm constantly surprised by how differently Montessori happens at home and in school.

In a classroom, you plan your lessons in part around the child's interests and abilities, but also based on the sequence in your album. The children are (for the most part) happy and willing to receive the presentations. Not so at home when it's your own child. I've learned that nine times out of ten, we'll only do anything productive if Zachary initiates it. If I invite...

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The Moveable Alphabet

A trainer once asked my classmates and me the following: "If you were on a deserted island and could only take two Montessori materials with you to support a child's intellectual development, what would they be?" We pondered, debated, and finally concluded that for math it would have to be the Golden Beads that represent the decimal system and for language it would be the Moveable Alphabet.

The Moveable Alphabet was developed by Dr. Montessori when she realized that children had the mental...

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Choosing a Montessori School: Uninterrupted work period

Imagine you arrive at work at 8am, energized and ready to work on a fun but challenging project that will require several hours of your time. You know that to really get the project on solid footing and make sense of its complexity, you need several hours of uninterrupted focus. You sit down at your desk, fire up your computer, and start organizing your thoughts. Suddenly, a reminder pops up on your computer screen:

Mandatory staff meeting @ 8:45am.

Now, answer this question truthfully:...

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Montessori, Quick and Simple

Here's a great article that describes what goes on in a Montessori Children's House classroom, and offers a quick overview of the history of the method. Great reading to introduce anyone to the Montessori approach!

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How To Observe in a Montessori Classroom

The wonderful guys and gals at Montessori Madmen have shared this insightful guide to observation (originally provided by Little Things Montessori). A Montessori classroom can seem as odd and confusing as an exotic foreign country, so consider this article your travel guide!

When I was a teacher, I was often frustrated by how parents behaved when they came to observe the classroom. They would talk to each other, walk around the room, talk on their cell phones (yes, I'm not kidding), engage the...

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