Monday, November 24, 2014

Moving in the Montessori Classroom

Montessori teachers- activating their curriculum
(Williamsburg Montessori)

When I created LeapSmart, I was inspired by the quiet focused learning and the emphasis on skill building in the Montessori classroom. However, I also always felt that that approach could be enhanced by letting the children move in a freer way, learning how to appreciate the choices of their classmates, working together and gaining the mastery over their bodies in space as they do over the tasks that the Montessori classroom presents.

Using the natural energy of children to teach through structure movement activities extends the Montessori curriculum while allowing music, props, symbolic play to reach all learners.

The Montessori  classroom is a place for children to gain practical independent skills, learn how to work with materials and navigate within a structured environment. While the boisterous child gains focus through these activities, I believe that an essential piece of kinesthetic awareness is not fully explored in the Montessori classroom. the addition of structured movement time into the curriculum complements the Montessori philosophy by-

·      Respecting the choices of the students
·      Allowing for trial and error and self correction
·      Allowing teacher to guide rather then dictate
·      Valuing process over product
·      Using repetition to gain mastery

I brought these ideas to the Williamsburg Montessori School in NY with a 2 hour workshop- Activate your Montessori Classroom and was so excited to see the teachers creating wonderful activities for all ages that involved sequencing skills, memory, self regulation, nature imagery, and even geography.

I think all Montessori programs could benefit by their teachers learning how to include structured movement games within the Montessori day.  

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