Montessori World

An educational blog for children and adults

Video of Maria Montessori’s Life.

If you are looking for a brief version of Maria Montessori’s biography and is not too keen on reading a 500-page book, this video is just what you need to know Dr. Montessori closer. This almost 50 minutes video is also especially appropriate to show to students of Montessori’s courses. Her life and legacy is reflected poignantly in this video.

It will be really good if this clip is able to be downloaded for viewing without internet connection.

http://bbcbentomatics.lunchbox.pbs.org/extraordinary-women/

October 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Malaysia Budget 2015 and Education

Last Friday, Malaysia’s Prime Minister announced the nation’s 2015 budget. He strategised a few improvements and revisions with the hope to elevate the quality of education amidst the rising cost of things and living conditions. Here are a few facts which I have gathered from the budget in regard to early childhood and young children’s education.

  1. Longer child care maternity leave up to one-year-old for mothers in the civil service, including stepchildren, adopted and foster children and children with disabilities. – What a huge relief for mothers working in governmental bodies, but no chance for mothers elsewhere.
  2. RM56 billion is allocated to Education Ministry for teaching and learning programmes. - I wonder what type of programmes are these?
  3. RM100 schooling assistance for primary and secondary students. - similar to BRIM and RM250 voucher.
  4. RM250 million for School Improvement Specialist Coaches and School Improvement Partners programmes – I again wonder what programmes are these?
  5. RM20 million for 20 new Trust Schools in certain states. - What are Trust Schools?
  6. RM800 million allocated for schools to have a safe and conducive learning environment – I wonder whether the amount is enough for all schools in Malaysia to repair and refurbish their buildings.
  7. RM711 million allocated for early childhood education to Education Ministry, Tabika Kemas, Permata and Tabika Perpaduan. – Once again, schools in the private and international sectors must forge out money from their brains and pockets.

October 12, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Two projects.

Two wonderful projects that I have made and am going to present to my students. The first project was prepared for a very young child of 3 years old, whilst the second project will be demonstrated to twenty 6-year-olds and work with them in a couple of weeks time.

Project 1:

This is a very simple activity to enhance eye-hand coordination and one-to-one correspondent for mathematical understanding. We started to put one bead at a time inside each compartment of the egg tray, then two by two, three by three and so forth. The interesting thing was this child preferred to lay out the beads on the plastic lid in a circular arrangement when she saw the beads for the first time. A very good opportunity for her to observe and explore the shapes of the beads. I brought different types of beads for the following three days. After that I let her chose what beads and how many beads she would like to put in each compartment.  At this point, she is learning how to rote count 1-10 in the correct order.

Point to note: I’m glad I reuse the egg tray and wooden beads (without proper holes that make threading impossible). For the next presentation, I must remember to paint and varnish the egg tray with paint and white glue so that it looks more attractive and shiny.

imageimage_1

Project 2:

I made 20 booklets from paper the size of drawing block for children to collect information and write their opinion on the topic of ‘Celebration’. I’m also hoping that they would be interested in making their own booklets from used A4 papers which they can bring from home. This would be a  really good practical life exercise for them. You can also learn to make the booklet from Susan Gaylord’s website.

Point to note: Experiment with different sizes and quality of papers.

 
 
image_2

August 2, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New IKEA Mattresses.

This post is especially for Klang Valley (residing in Malaysia) readers who are looking for mattresses at a slightly cheaper price:

5 unused set of IKEA mattresses suitable for infants and children (still nicely wrapped up), going for RM 20 each.
Length: 120 cm
Width: 60 cm
Thickness: 5 cm
http://www.ikea.com/my/en/catalog/products/00195248/
Collect from Old Klang Road or Mont Kiara area.

Email enbarani@gmail.com or leave a comment if you or anyone else you know is interested.

                        

August 1, 2014 Posted by | Board games | Leave a comment

Montessori and Dementia Conference.

mont dementia

Christine Harrison, the president of Montessori Australia Foundation, was the keynote speaker at this year’s Montessori Association of Malaysia’s forum, and in her speech, she mentioned briefly about a Montessori conference in Australia on discussing about the application of Montessori’s method or philosophy for old patients with dementia. That attracted my attention right away, and I decided to book a place to attend the conference in November.

This is the first time I’m hearing about Montessori’s knowledge being utilized to expand to other areas of human growth. I mean how amazing is this! Her philosophy started with research on children with special needs, progressively developed to benefiting very young children, infants and teenagers up to the university years, and now has leaped another generation to help the elderly with weak executive function. Simply fantastically amazing!

I am also equally interested and excited of this event due to my mum’s weakening state of mental health. My mum was diagnosed as having depression and that, doctors believed, has caused her to experience very slow mental-physical reaction time, weak eye-hand coordination and less motivation in all activities and work. Her long term memory is superb but her short term memory, or perhaps working memory, is deteriorating. She has lost a big degree of independence ever since. I hope that by attending this conference will inspire and motivate me to gain more knowledge and insight in this area, and see how Montessori’s knowledge is translated in another area of the final phase of human’s growth, as well as helping my mum to gain more confidence and independence.

In order to attend this event, I have spent a huge sum of money on the registration fee (and will be looking for a place to stay in Sydney, as well as booking a flight soon). So now I’m looking for sponsors or a part time job that will help me to pay at least half of the expenditure (registration, accommodation and flight tickets). If any readers of this blog can point me to any directions that will help me to lighten this financial burden, please email me or comment briefly here so that I can return your reply.

For readers who are interested to know more about the conference, simply go to http://wired.ivvy.com/event/MASS14 or Montessori Australia Foundation.

July 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Garbage Fruit Enzyme – A Success Story

P1030382

Three cheers for me: HIP HIP HOORAY!

I started making my very first garbage fruit enzyme on 7 Mar 2014. Inspired by the Green Educator course in Bali, I gathered information and tips from websites and friends to start on this experiment. I was introduced to fruit enzyme by my neighbour some time last year. She gave me a sample of the enzyme in a 500ml mineral water plastic bottle and urged me to try out the product as a hair conditioner and cleaning dishes and toilets in the house. In addition to that, aunty also gave me a booklet on how to make my own enzyme and the benefits of making enzyme to the environment and humankind.

P1030383

P1030387 P1030385

P1030386P1030384

 

 

Before embarking on this project which was really easy to make and took three months to process the garbage, I gathered more information from BMS Organic’s website on the uses and benefits of garbage enzymes. Here is some of the very useful knowledge that I have garnered.

“How we dispose our garbage is important because garbage is categorized as hazardous waste that poses risks to the ecosystem and environment and improper disposal of garbage greatly affects our environment.

How can we protect our environment? One method is through reusing your fruits or vegetable scraps. An enzyme made from these can be seen as a way to help recover the ozone layer and fight against global warming as the process itself helps to reduce temperature. Fruit and veggie scraps enzyme is easy to make at home and has many uses and benefits.

Uses and Benefits of Garbage Enzymes
• All-purpose 100% natural household cleaner with anti-bacterial properties.
• Can prevent blockage for drainpipe by releasing sludge accumulated in drainage pipes.
• Save money as you make your own natural household cleaning liquid.
• Environmentally friendly: Reduces pollution, acts as a natural pesticide and purifies the air and underground water.”

Following the success of my experiment, I intend to share the enzyme that I made with a friend on Saturday and I’ve started to collect fruit skins from everywhere and everybody. I hope to fulfill my pledge to mother Earth! You should start doing the same too.

June 25, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mindfulness Awareness and Relaxed Kids

Last year, I was fortunate to see an advertisement by Marneta Viegas in a yoga magazine. Marneta is the founder of Relax Kids and has designed The Relax Kids 21 Day Plan for children. I downloaded and printed the Calmer Classroom Ebook and saved a couple of scripts in my laptop. That was that. I never used the materials.

This year, I went to Green School’s Educator course and was inspired by the mindfulness and yoga session. I promised to myself that when I return to my classroom I will practice this type of awareness with the children in my classroom. I dug out Marneta’s ebook and laminated her cards. Today, I am practising The Relax Kids 21 Day Plan towards a calmer classroom with children aged 4-5. We are now on Day 16.

When I first started using The Relax Kids plan, I did not put high hope on it. Every morning we spent about ten minutes doing the mindfulness exercise and affirmation. Sometimes there are props, sometimes there are only my words and voice. Some children close their eyes and sit still, others prefer to open their eyes or lie down on their backs or tummies. They can choose to position their bodies in any way as long as they do not interrupt and disturb others’ spaces. On certain days the children respond really well with poise and calmness, and attentiveness level was at the highest.

I urge teachers in any types of classroom to spend three to five minutes in the morning after taking attendance to practice mindfulness with their children. It is a good start to the day, like a good and early jog for an alert mind and body to function the rest of the day.

 

P1030260  P1030261

P1030263

P1030264

June 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

International Montessori Forum 2014 by MAM

IMFII

Make a plan to attend International Montessori Forum this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) at UCSI, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur campus. Keynote Speakers include international educators, Christine Harrison from Montessori Australia Foundation and Mary Evelyn Tucker from Yale University, US, who will give her talk via Skype. There are also 5 concurrent talk sessions by various international and local educationists.

The fee is RM299 for both days, inclusive of food, goodie bag and certificate.

May 25, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Green School – Part 6

P1020987

Is that an armadillo behind me?

During my stay in Green School, other participants and I were tucked in comfortably at night at this Green Camp’s lodge. Ladies were given the upper deck while the gents spent their time at the lower deck. I remembered having a very hard time to sleep on the first night, but after that I slept like a newborn baby amidst the symphony of crickets, lizards and raindrops. Waking to the alarm of my phone next dawn, I freshened up briskly and walked with other participants to the Yoga Studio across the bridge. Yoga and Mindfulness is a key subject in Green School, like a backbone of the curriculum. Set next to part of River Ayung, the open air studio reminded me of  ‘rumah orang Melayu’ where one had to take off shoes and climb their way up to the arena. The yoga mat is not the commercialized, colourful ones that we are mostly familiar with. It is recycled from rubber material, similar to tyre, black and placed on the bamboo post of the upper floor, like a towel hanging from the verandah. There is no rule that states yoga mats must be colourful, zen like, rolled like a sausage between two breads. The best part was the 45 mins yoga session was conducted in a circle unlike ordinary yoga class sessions and ended with a mindfulness session, something like yoga nidra.

This yogic session actually inspired me to hold very short, about 5 mins mindfulness/meditative session with my class children every day. I use a 25-day school’s Relax Pack from www.relaxpack.com. I am now at Day 11, in which I will use bubble for this session to encourage children on self-empowering and instilling their confidence. I hope to make bubbles with the children too. An extra bonus about this programme is that there are affirmation cards which can be laminated and used by children so that they remember how to be confident or joyful when things don’t seem to work out for them.

 

 

 

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Green School – Part 5

P1020950

P1020952

P1020951

P1020953

P1020949This majestic structure of a layered three-floor pagoda known as the HOS, Heart of The School. The high school’s classes are located right here.

P1020955A string instrument that is played like a harp is planted in the middle of the bamboo structure.

P1020954A shoe rack that resembles a beehive. Just love it!

P1020981

P1020983

P1020982  P1020980

The preschool or nursery’s yard is adorned with a small mud pond, swings and a big area for movement purpose. Notice the dustbin and recycle bin in the second picture, so little resource is used to make them.

P1020979

P1020978

P1020976

Begawan Foundation a haven for birds and all.

P1020973

A natural crystal that deemed to bring good energy to Green School.

P1020972

P1020971

Future kitchen.

P1020970

P1020969

P1020968

 

Simply clicking away and clicking around.

P1020967

P1020966

A fishing pond that is used by the children to do what else, but fish.

P1020965 Good way of using bamboo for decorative purpose in the garden.

P1020963The main mud area that is used for mud play and Mud Day.

P1020964

 

P1020962

P1020961

The finance, accounts and other administration functional offices are located in these little huts.

P1020960

P1020959

Major field and playground area for sports events.

P1020958

P1020957 Stalls that are managed by local Balinese parents to generate income for themselves.

May 11, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 178 other followers