What is the Ideal Class Size for a Montessori Classroom?

Nov 25, 2014 4:30:00 PM / by Tiffany Cavegn posted in Montessori Method, montessori myths, Parent Education, Curriculum, Student-Teacher Ratio

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One aspect of Montessori that was challenging for me to get my head around was the ideal class size. All I had ever heard was that small class size and small student-to-teacher ratios were good, while large classrooms were something to avoid. That made sense to me – the smaller the class, the easier it is for a teacher to provide individualized attention to each student. And that’s the goal, right?

Not according to Maria Montessori. Montessori classes thrive when the number of children in the class is substantial...

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Montessori Materials Series #2: Practical Life Activities

Sep 12, 2014 3:00:00 PM / by Tiffany Cavegn posted in Montessori Method, Parent Education, Curriculum, Montessori Materials

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Welcome back to the Montessori Materials Series for the Children's House Montessori Classroom.  In this edition we are going to discuss the first area of the prepared environment that the children learn in the Montessori method of education: practical life. The Children’s House is designed for children between the ages of 2 ½ and 6 years.  During this time, the children are given the chance to learn from each other while they play, to practice patience and compassion, to develop thoughtful leadership skills and team playing abilities. 

What is Practical Life?

Practical Life activities are the essential everyday tasks that we are expected to perform as adults.  Skills such as caring for yourself (personal hygiene and dressing); caring for your environment (cleaning and gardening); daily tasks (cooking and making work choices); grace and courtesy (interpersonal skills, apologies, complimenting, questioning and observing); and control of movement (appropriate body language and silence) are woven into the Montessori school day. Dr. Montessori uses these tasks to foster self-confidence, independence, concentration, self-control, and a love of learning.  They are fundamental characteristics that children use to build the person they will become from the inside-out. 

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Montessori Materials vs. Toys

Jul 22, 2014 4:30:00 PM / by Tiffany Cavegn posted in montessori myths, Curriculum, Montessori Materials

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I find it interesting listening to the children’s Christmas and birthday wish lists, hearing the latest and greatest “must haves” of the year.  My daughter’s birthday is coming up, so we are purging a lot of toys.  It amazed me how much stuff they get that doesn’t have any purpose to it – not even with a good imagination.  Every year it is something new: more buttons, more noise and more gadgets.  I can’t help but think about what a wise and clever woman Dr. Maria Montessori was: a person who developed materials that children actively manipulate with tireless joy and wonder.  I thought about what it is about the Montessori materials that cause children to work with purpose. 

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What are the Learning Outcomes of a Montessori Education?

May 6, 2014 4:30:00 PM / by Tiffany Cavegn posted in Montessori Method, Tuition, Curriculum

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People ask me all of the time – and I mean ALL. THE. TIME. Why Montessori?  How come you feel so strongly that the learning outcomes of a Montessori education is better for your child?   Truth be told, the first person who asked me that question was my husband. Our neighborhood preschool was right on his way to work and several of his co-workers sent their children there. Did I really think the academic outcomes would be that different? Especially considering the difference in cost?

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What’s So Special About Montessori: An Education for Life

Mar 24, 2014 4:00:00 PM / by Tiffany Cavegn posted in Children's House, Curriculum

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I was making dinner last week and my five-year-old came in asking how much longer until dinner. I told him that I was going to start preparing our meal and that I could use his help. I gave him a choice of three vegetables to add to our meal: broccoli, frozen peas or green beans. He chose green beans. I reminded him, “the beans need to be washed and snapped before we eat them.” He agreed and walked over to the drawer to get the vegetable scrubber. He dragged his stepping stool over to the sink and began scrubbing. 

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What is the Montessori Curriculum?

Mar 17, 2014 2:37:00 PM / by Tiffany Cavegn posted in Montessori Method, Admissions, Curriculum

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If you have spent any time looking through our website or reading our blog, then you already know that we have a unique way of doing things around here. As a certified AMI school, we faithfully put into practice the principles and practices espoused by Dr. Maria Montessori and the Association Montessori Internationale, including a traditional Montessori curriculum. But what exactly does that mean?

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