Category Archives: Articles from our Teachers

Montessori education…what is it really?

Here are eight fundamental features of an authentic Montessori education: The Environment: The Montessori environment is carefully prepared to meet the developmental needs of each child. The materials are beautifully designed to attract a child’s attention. All materials used in the classroom are designed specifically for a Montessori school. Hands-on Learning: The Montessori classroom allows children the opportunity for hands on learning. Children move

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The Normalized Classroom

One day last month I had a teacher observing from another school. Near the end of the morning she said, “This is a truly normalized class.” “Normalized” is Maria Montessori’s term for a class where individual children are pursuing their interests with enthusiasm and concentration and where children are gracious and helpful to each other and solve conflicts with finesse. It was true. When

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After the Pink Tower, Before the Golden Beads…

Lisa came toward me – obviously distressed. “Steven called me a baby.” “Are you a baby?” “No” “Well, then he made a big mistake.” A few days later, Lisa came over shaking her head, smiling. “He made that big mistake again.” In the classroom, we expect (we even want) to have teasing, sharp words, pushing, grabbing. We can’t help children become socially skillful by

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Downstairs Anecdotes

No Wonder We’re So Lucky Last year when we were studying Japan, we had a small statue of Hotei, who is honored as a god of good fortune. He is always represented as disheveled and carrying a floppy sack on his back. People going past wouldn’t even notice him. But that’s the catch-in his sack Hotei carried everything people need to have a happy

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Something to Think About

lfie Kohn has been writing for years about the counterproductive effects of competition, punishment, and rewards on children- and in fact on people of any age. Research shows that competition, rather than motivating children, actually reduces and narrows productivity and interest. Similarly, punishments and rewards which are meant to have a positive impact on ethical development and responsible behavior do not help children to

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A Walk in the Woods

We make almond butter sandwiches, then pack dried apples, walnuts, apricots, three water containers, a handful of band-aids, and cutters for the bull briers—and off we go to spend the afternoon in the woods. From the swamp at the bottom of the hill as we go into the woods comes the sound of ducks croaking like frogs, or frogs quacking like ducks. The bull

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