Read! Read! Read!

By Elizabeth S. Wisecup

“We should realize that if a child has learned to speak, he has a language and a way to express his personality. He has created from nothing, a way to let others to know him as a person. Reading and writing are no more difficult to acquire than speaking is, since they are also ways to communicate. It is the adult who makes learning to read and write difficult when he or she approaches the two as subjects to be conquered, rather than discoveries to be made.” Dr. Maria Montessori

The Montessori Language curriculum is unique because it is designed for children to DISCOVER reading. Examples of Montessori language materials and activities, used for the preparation of reading, are the sandpaper letters, movable alphabet, matching and classification lessons, word building activities, story sequence cards and much more. In every classroom is a library which books are used for daily reading circles. These language building activities provide a solid language foundation, supports vocabulary enrichment, expands imagination and knowledge, improves communication skills, develops critical thinking skills and increases memory.

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Montessori:  An Educational Choice

By Elizabeth S. Wisecup

As our world has become more unpredictable and we are faced with greater challenges, it is essential to make the best educational choices for our children. Dr. Maria Montessori said, “The education of even a small child does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.”  Academics, competition and achievement define the educational systems of today; the Montessori educational method recognizes that in addition to academic success, the responsibility of teaching our children compassion, tolerance, patience, forgiveness and respect are equally important. The totality of these qualities is essential in building the educational, emotional and social foundations for a child.

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Mindfulness 

By Dijana Bate, Glebe Montessori School Founding Director

“I come to realize that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and stars.”
– Dogen Zenji

Regardless of religious practices or beliefs, both children and adults can benefit from elements of wisdom derived from the Buddhist philosophy and way of life. Buddhism emphasizes Dhyãna, the Sanskrit word for “meditative state,” inviting one “to see, to observe, to look.” In fact, Buddhist principles lie at the very core of the mindfulness courses taught in many of today’s classrooms. For those children who are overwhelmed, suffering from toxic stress (as opposed to healthy stress), and resorting to freeze, flight or fight response modes, mindfulness training provides essential tools for coping. Mindfulness training is about building awareness, identifying and regulating emotions, managing stress and developing connectedness and interpersonal skills.

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An Observation at Glebe Montessori School  

by S. Elizabeth Wisecup, Montessori Educational Consultant

During my observation of classrooms at Glebe Montessori School, it was evident how children naturally love to learn.  Dr. Maria Montessori noted, “The child should love everything that he learns, for his mental and emotional growths are linked. Whatever is presented to him must be made beautiful and clear, striking his imagination.”

This is the philosophy that guides Montessori teachers in creating a “prepared” Montessori environment.  A Montessori classroom is beautifully arranged with child size furniture and the shelves are filled with specific subject materials organized in sequential order.  Great attention is given to the detail and beauty in the classroom, all supporting the requirements necessary to meet the physical, emotional and educational needs of each child.

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Let’s All Engage in Questionable Thinking?!

By Dijana Bate, Glebe Montessori School Founding Director

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It seemed like an ordinary moment, but a conversation between a woman and her 3 year-old grandson captured my attention. They were standing at an intersection and instead of directing the child to wait until the pedestrian signal facing us turned green before crossing the street, she asked him, “What are the cars doing when the hand signal flashes red?”… “And the people, what are they doing?” Acknowledging his response, she confirmed, “Yes, they are waiting while the cars are moving”… “And what colour is the traffic light when the cars are moving?”… “Did you see the yellow traffic light, before it turned red…what do you think the yellow light is for?” As the exchange continued, the child was fully engaged, happily assessing the impact of the changing lights and monitoring the traffic situation.

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