Montessori 101 & Normalization- TADM December 2022
The end of December and beginning of January is always a time for great reflection. As we gear up to make the move across the street I have been doing some personal reflection as a Montessori teacher and the best way to recenter is to remember that everything we do from preparing the environment to […]
The end of December and beginning of January is always a time for great reflection. As we gear up to make the move across the street I have been doing some personal reflection as a Montessori teacher and the best way to recenter is to remember that everything we do from preparing the environment to giving lessons is for the children. Before assisting a child I try to think first of how I can help them be the most successful and independent being. So here I am providing a little Montessori refresher of sorts and putting the spotlight on the term ‘normalization’ as we begin to observe it in action more this time of year.
The classroom is a prepared environment designed to support the child’s need for purposeful activity. It is a children’s house (Casa de Bambini): the furniture is easily moved, pictures are hung at a child’s eyelevel, plants are easily watered by children. There are many carefully designed materials to meet the child’s natural interest. The atmosphere is positive, supportive and noncompetitive. The toddler materials may look simple, but they are precisely designed, based on years of observation, experiment and study.
The Montessori classroom is prepared to help children accomplish their goals in their own manner. We will never fully understand their inner drive and recognize that they may not complete a task in the same way as we would but it is important to remember that the process is the goal.
Gradually the children reveal qualities for which they are not usually given credit, such as intense concentration and surprising attention span; exactness and precise movement; a sense of order; maximum effort even by very little ones; self discipline and respect for others; peacefulness and kindness; and an obvious joy in ‘work’.
What is normalization? It is defined as “the child’s ability to concentrate and work freely in the Montessori environment, using the Montessori materials to fully engage their interests, and exercising self-discipline and peace.” Montessori observed this phenomenon and described it as the children working as if the teacher does not exist.
Why is it important to the Montessori prepared environment? This is when we see children fostering their independence, concentration, coordination, sense of order, and strengthening or refining their motor skills and coordinated movements.
Home application: As much as possible refrain from interrupting your child when they are engaged in a task. Before they choose their ‘work’ have them decide on two snack choices and have it available so they can self-serve when ready. Also consider outlining the schedule of the day before they engage in a task so they know what is to come or have a picture schedule posted at their eye level.
Many thanks to Ms. Rose for sharing the Hanukkah tradition of latkes with the children. They were so engaged in making the batter and definitely enjoyed eating them together for afternoon snack.
January 10- Camp Info meeting 8:30-9
January 16- NO SCHOOL, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February 1- Re-enrollment due
February 2- TADM Coffee 8:15-9 (please email myself and Dom with topics of interests and/or questions in regards to facets of Montessori or toddler life)
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