Montessori World

An educational blog for children and adults

Child Observation 2

We know that Observation is a great tool to evaluate children’s needs and to expand their experiences as well as to facilitate their learning process.

Before we look into the common methods of observation, please remember several important points:

1. Don’t make hasty judgements. Be objective. Conclusion should not be made in a single observation period.

2. If something alerts you, follow it up by making another two more observations. After that discuss with other teachers, principals or staff, before highlighting to the parents.

3.Children may change their behavior or response when they sense somebody is doing an observation. Throughout my years in a Montessori classroom, children will gradually get use to the idea of somebody sitting and writing in their book.

4.If you are recording with a voice or video recorder, please get the consent of the parents. And please always abide by the Child Protection ethical codes!

5.Time period of observation can be crucial to the operation of the 3-hour work cycle. Do remind your team members of the observation period.

Observation is a skill. Practice will make you a better observer🤓🧐

October 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Child Observation 1.

What is OBSERVATION? It is a scientific practice of watching, listening and recording children’s behaviour and responses with all our senses.

Why do OBSERVATION? We do this because it helps us to discover children’s unique qualities. We learn about general child development theories (PILES) and by observing we can evaluate what we learned and the general patterns demonstrated by the children. Observation is a good tool to assess very young children below the age of 6.

REMEMBER: 1) don’t be obtrusive, as we don’t want to disrupt or alter behaviour; 2) observe in multiple settings, to see the likelihood of a certain behaviour happening under certain conditions.

Happy Observing! ⭐️

October 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sight Words

I have been actively teaching Mandarin to young children online for more than a year upon a request by a friend. However, my passion is still in Montessori Education and teaching young children to speak, read and write English has always been my interest.

As I embark on a journey to obtain a teaching certificate (teaching English) in the middle of this month, I would like to extend my service to teaching children or adults in speaking, reading and writing English. Please contact me if you require somebody as patient as me to teach you English online.

Regarding the title of this post — SIGHT WORDS–, it is important to learn sight words as not all English words can be phonetically read. Many essential English words are not sounded phonetically but they are important for a student to read English fluently.

Sight Words are also known as Look & Say/Read Words, High Frequency Words or Dolch Words. Why is it called Dolch Words? That is because a man named Edward William Dolch, created a list of words (circa 1948) that he believed to be essential for all students to learn first before they start reading. These words mostly cannot be sounded out, so teachers/parents need to teach by encouraging students to recognise these Dolch Words by sight, so that students stand a better chance at becoming fluent readers in the long term.

One of the ways to introduce / revise Sight Words is to choose a word, one every day, and put it on a chart/table/board. Students are encouraged to write a sentence with the word, on a Post-It-Note and add on to the chart before, during or after lesson.

You can also print out the Dolch List of Words, put it at the Language area, assign a child monitor to write one word on the board, from the list, and remind his/her classmates to fill up the board. This independent activity is appropriate for children 4 years and above. It works magically in a mixed-age group.

October 2, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mandarin For Very Young Children

I am compiling a set of videos for my parents who are using Sasbadi Funtastic book for children who are turning 4 or 5 years old. I hope this is useful for non-Chinese speaking parents.

Please watch and comment. Thank you!

*My brain is fried from the recording and video processing as I still need to develop more skills in this area. Please help 🤣

September 22, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quotation.

Observe children, they will tell you what they would like to know, then we turn this into a lesson plan, and share with them what we know and find. Henceforth, children can start their learning and discovering process.
In my opinion, that is education (in accustom with Montessori Education principles).

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September 22, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Image

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(Taken from TeacherGoals LinkedIn post)

September 22, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

General Guidelines For Parents by AMI Montessori

Considering the various emotional challenges parents are experiencing since last year as a result of a pandemic, it is important for schools to re-check with parents about their well-being in supporting them as they cope with the stress or trauma which could have manifested in the families or classrooms.

One of the ways to show our support as teachers/school, is to send parents positive messages via images. Thus, I have collected guidelines from AMI’s web page and converted them into mini messages which could be shared with parents. I hope this could also be one of the tiny steps schools/teachers can do to preserve or create a healthy and cheery relationship with parents, especially parents whose children are attending online sessions.

There are three parts to the infographic. It’s best to send one image per week or every fortnight (along with other messages). You can also crop the images to obtain 18 short messages to maintain communication with parents.

Hope you will find this useful, teachers and parents!

September 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Brief Revisit On Aisha’s Book: WHY MONTESSORI?

Let’s take a look at this small gem of publication again.

Regarding the point on the Montessori principles which are based on the child’s natural development, Aisha writes about several important guiding principles for the benefit of teachers and parents:

1)The progression/gradation of simple to complex in the preparation of learning activities

2)Fostering independent learning

3)Clarity and flexibility in the lesson plans

4)Real experience before abstract learning

5)Nature’s way in child development and alert to the sensitive period of the child

Regarding the difference between conventional/traditional and Montessori preschool, Aisha elaborates these points as a matter of fact:

1)Conventional preschools look and work like primary schools in fulfilling parents’ demands on preparing children for academic/formal learning in primary schools. This type of premature introduction may hamper future learning.

2)Boredom routine – sit, listen, answer, do-as-I-told, do homework—>is BORING!

3)Lack of activity may cause children to lose interest in others and become socially withdrawn. I have to say some children may become selfish or reluctant to help their friends and share their knowledge, in accordance with the teacher’s instruction as to not help each other especially when there is a test at the end of a semester. I, myself have participated in this ‘cruel and unfair preparation for standard one’ regime and still don’t agree with standardised tests in kindergartens. (Please leave in the comment box if you know that this ‘ritual’ is still practiced, especially at 6 years old.)

4)Due to lack of creative activities, the child may channel creative energy to antisocial/destructive behaviour resulting in scolding and punishment from teachers. This may cause the child to be less confident, less expressive, dislikes school and learning, or worse still, have social problems in the future such as in bullying which is still prominent until today.

5)Individual personalities and potentials are ignored in conventional preschools due to the scholastic environment and premature introduction to writing and holding pencils. Do we still hold their hands and help them to trace the letters even when they show clear signs of reluctance, weak muscles and poor coordination?

6)Spoonfeeding children at very young age inhibit their innate ability and desire to explore and discover. Lack of stimulation and the space/time to experiment diminish their interest in learning and many students only want answers in their homework and nothing else when they are at primary school.

7)Many preschools may have good educational philosophies as resembled in their missions and visions but not in their practice, especially when threatened by parental and business-profit pressures. Although there are more holistic centres flourishing nowadays, the numbers are still minute compared to the amount of children and I’ve witnessed many centres still bow to the demand of parents in contrast to educating them about child development.

Find out more about Montessori in Aisha’s book: WHY MONTESSORI? which I believe is still on the bookshelves of major bookstores. If not, leave a comment so that I can help you with this.

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stories and Pantomime.

A good friend of mine asked me, not too long ago, whether there are any other Youtube Videos which have stories for her 4-year-old son to watch. I told her there are many, as in the usual case, but I couldn’t really tell the names. There are the well-know and common ones like Sesame Street, Bob The Builder, Peppa Pigs and many more, but her son has watched almost all the famous ones on the Youtube. Mind you his time on electronic media is limited by my friend of course. Most of the series are not of his interests and some are deemed inapt by the mum. Well, it’s true, isn’t it.

Today I happened to come across two types of edutainment for children from the age group of early years to adolescents.

Firstly, early childhood series: SMILE & LEARN ENGLISH. This channel focuses on reading as a skill to develop a child’s reading proficiency using moral stories which are universal and well-known to many. Rather than preaching about moral values using a book and worksheet, this is a good way to use electronic media even during Circle Time (variant of what to do or what to talk about can be a head spin for many teachers, isn’t it).

One of the stories, The Story of Seeds, convey the values of diligence and friendship. As usual, there will be three animals who are the three main characters of this short and simple story. The great thing is that for children who are reading, every picture is accompanied by sentences which are displayed in a karaoke-like manner, so that children can read along, although I think that the words appear rather fast, considering early readers in mind. But I guess that is the power of the pause button, children can pause if they need a moment to segment the word in the sentences.

Another way of presenting stories in a more old-fashioned way is PANTOMIME. This is an entertaining theatrical production to convey messages to the audience without using any words, but only music and body expressions from the actors, with the narrator usually opening and closing the performance. I stumbled across a pantomime performed by adults to present a simple message about The Mind and Us, which is an ancient teaching from the Bhagavad Gita. In about 8 mins, the whole production with very few props and the actors cladded in black clothes with white printed words, the message about making the right choice in life was broadcasted to the general audience. It was so simple requiring very minimal preparation and no speech at all. It is pure drama – human expression, minimal makeup and costumes, and a few basic props. I find it so inspiring and elementary and secondary students who like acting can definitely put this up as a stage performance in a jiffy, as soon as they have the story line and appropriate script for performance guideline.

A lover of stories and theatre myself, I hope the resources mentioned in this article, will inspire you as you design an educational experience with your children at home or school.

Ideas on Pantomimes for Drama Class | Drama class, Drama education,  Teaching drama
Bed Time Stories with Your Favorite Animals - Educational Stories for  Children - YouTube

May 24, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Krsna, the simple cowherd boy.

🎼I am the music man (You are the music man). I come from far away (You come from far away). What can I play (What can you play)? I can play the flute(You can play the flute) .

🎼Twee twee twee twee twee twee twee, twee twee twee, twee twee twee. Twee twee twee twee twee twee twee, twee twee twee twee twee.

Krsna is a simple cowherd boy who originally appears as a king’s son. He spends his childhood times in a village filled with prosperity, love and devotion. Hardly anybody suffers there. Even the cows, peacocks and birds belt out melodious rhythms that satisfy every living tree and flower in the groves. The earth and the dust rolls with laughter whenever Krsna ambles with his gopas, gopis and cows. Every food item is prepared with love from firewood, cow’s milk, water and sweat.

Where Krsna resides the place resembles Garden of Eden. Simple living and high thinking along with scientific method of education, is a way of life long learning promoted by Srila Prabhupada and Maria Montessori in the 20th century.

May 13, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment