March Preschool Activities

by Seemi on February 27, 2015

in Cultural

Here are some ideas for St. Patrick’s Day themed preschool activities to help you get ready for March.  These printables are available in my TpT store.  If you want to be notified when the printables are available, be sure to subscribe for updates in the form at the bottom of this post.

 

March Preschool Activities Sorting Pictures

Sorting pictures of shamrocks and people

March preschool activities Sorting by color

Sorting by color

March preschool activities Shadow matching

Shadow matching

March preschool activities number cards 0-10

0-10 Number Cards

March preschool activities 0-10 number clip cards

0-10 Number Clip Cards

March preschool activities learning positional words

Where is the leprechaun? Prepositions Game

March preschool activitiesfollowing directions

Follow 1-3 step directions

Click the images below for more ideas.

Fine Motor Activities

Montessori Fine Motor Activities for St. Patrick's Day- Trillium Montessori

Rainbow Activities

Rainbow Activities at Trillium Montessori

Phonological Awareness Activities

St Patricks Day Phonological Awareness Activities Trillium Montessori



Now Available on TpT

St Pat Cover

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Montessori Training

I often get questions from people who are interested in getting Montessori training but have no idea where to start.   Even though Montessori has been around for a long time, it is just recently coming into mainstream awareness.  You have to dig a little bit to find the information you need.

Hopefully the overview presented below will give you some direction in where to start your search.

 

Training for Professionals

If you are planning to teach in a Montessori school or start a Montessori program of your own,  you should get professional level training.  There are a variety of training options available around the world.  Expect to dedicate at least one year of full time study and practice to receive your certification.  Training programs offered through universities are typically at the Master’s level.  This should give you some idea of the advanced level of coursework that is required.  Even though most Montessori training programs are not affiliated with a university, the coursework is equivalent.

There is no ranking system for Montessori training centers and no agreed-upon training that is considered the best.  You will need to do some homework to find a program that fits your personality and lifestyle.

When searching for a program, look for ones that include the following:

A significant portion of the curriculum devoted to Montessori theory.

Opportunity to interact closely with classmates and instructors (a good distance learning program will provide this)

Affiliation with a respected Montessori accrediting organization (these vary from country to country)

A student teaching requirement (this can range from a few weeks to a full year)

Montessori101.org has a great article by Andrea Lulka with detailed suggestions on what to look for in a quality Montessori Teacher Education Program.

 

Montessori Training for Professionals

In the United States, the following organizations have the best reputation for accrediting Montessori Teacher Training:

MACTE:  Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education

According to their website, MACTE is “the international standard setting and accrediting body for Montessori teacher education.” 

MACTE is a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) and is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE).

Their mission is to improve the level of Montessori teacher education by:

Developing valid and reliable accreditation standards that contribute toward quality Montessori teacher education;
Evaluating compliance with these standards;
Recognizing institutions and programs that demonstrate compliance with the standards;
Serving as a resource to various stakeholder groups concerning quality issues in Montessori teacher education;
Serving as a unifying body in the field of Montessori teacher education

MACTE does not accredit schools, only teacher training programs.

AMI Association Montessori Internationale

The Association Montessori Internationale is an internationally respected organization and AMI diplomas are recognized at almost all Montessori schools.  Some schools may have a preference to hire or not hire AMI diploma holders, but the training will be recognized.   AMI training is known for being thorough and consistent.   As of the date of this blog post, the AMI website lists 17 training centers in the US.

AMI accredits schools in addition to teacher training programs.  AMI affiliated training centers in the US are also accredited by MACTE.

AMS American Montessori Society

The American Montessori Society is the largest Montessori organization in the US.  The majority of the Montessori training centers in the United States are affiliated with AMS, and you are likely to find one within a few hours driving distance of you.  You can search for a training center near you on the AMS site.  AMS training is recognized and respected in most schools in the US.  It will not be accepted for a lead teacher position in AMI accredited schools.  It is best to speak to the schools in your area to find out their preferences and requirements for employment.

AMS accredits schools in addition to teacher training programs.  AMS affiliated training centers in the US are also accredited by MACTE.

Other Professional Training

There are a few other respected, but smaller, organizations in the US that offer Montessori training.  The following are all accredited by MACTE and adhere to high standards.

A note about distance learning: 

Distance learning programs are becoming more popular and more affordable.  However, very few are accredited by MACTE because they do not offer an in-person component.  One of the few MACTE accredited distance learning programs for Montessori teacher education is CGMS: Center for Guided Montessori Studies.  CGMS has a good reputation for thoroughness and accessibility.  It is affiliated with the International Montessori Council.

 

Training for Homeschoolers

 Montessori training for homeschoolers

Homeschoolers may not require the vigorous coursework of professional level training.  Self study combined with shorter courses should suffice for your needs. You will need to supplement your coursework with readings on Montessori theory.  See the Recommended Books section below.  Without a solid foundation in the theory, you will not see the results you hope for, no matter how fancy the manuals you receive from your training course are.

Important Note: If you plan to operate a home-based Montessori preschool, I recommend getting professional level training.  In my opinion, it is inappropriate to call your program Montessori if you/your staff are not professionally trained.  Without professional training, you may not realize what is missing from your program to make it fully authentic.

A few places to get training for homeschoolers

KHT by Karen Tyler

Homeschool Course by NAMC

The most affordable by far is Montessori for the Earth by Lisa Nolan:

A note about buying manuals  

Many companies sell Montessori manuals, or “albums” as they’re called by Montessori teachers.  I do not recommend buying these if you have not gone through a training program.  They are not designed to teach you Montessori.  Read more about this on Montessori101.org:  What You Need to Know About Montessori Albums

 

Training for Parents

Montessori training for parents

If your child attends a Montessori school or you simply want to incorporate some Montessori principles into your home and life, then taking some time to read books about Montessori will be sufficient.  If you want to dig in further, I recommend the following online courses:

Montessori Fundamentals by CGMS

See Your Child the Montessori Way by Maren Schmidt

Maren Schmidt also has a wealth of free articles, webinars and newsletters that I highly recommend for Montessori parents.

 

Recommended Books

The following books are available on Amazon (affiliate links)

By Maria Montessori

       

      

 

Other Authors

      

        

      

      
   

 



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Get Ready for FEBRUARY

by Seemi on February 6, 2015

in Cultural

The February Seasonal Guide is ready!

You can also see pictures of many of these activities in the following posts from previous years:

Valentine Theme Activities

On the Language Shelves in February

Grace and Courtesy

The Importance of Grace and Courtesy



 



 

I’ve added it to the subscriber’s page so head over there if you’d like to download a copy for yourself.  It’s free.

If you’re not a subscriber yet, enter your name and email in the form below and check your email for instructions.  You can get more information about what it means to be a subscriber here.




Available in our TpT Store

Valentine Bundle Cover

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The Solar System

by Seemi on January 30, 2015

in Cultural

Today’s guest post is by Disha Patel of Lotus Montessori Extensions.  She has some fun pictures of the variety of ways in which they explore planets in her class.

Click the images below to see some of the activities we do here at Trillium when learning about Space in the following posts:

 


by Disha Patel

“Cosmic Education is that form of relating the child to the universe and to humanity that will enable him to realize in himself all the developmental potential that is his own particular birthright”

One of my favorite lessons to give is the “Exploration of the Planets”.  Children learn the names of the planets and explore them in a variety of hands on ways.

 solar system matchingObject – Picture Matching

 

solar system workUsing the Planet Mat to learn the order of the planets

Solar system mat

A closer look at the Planet Mat (Source: Lotus Montessori Extensions)

 

Solar system extension workColor cut and glue the planets in order, and draw the orbit lines

 

Solar system gluing A simpler version of gluing the planets in order

 

solar system model work

Make the solar system with clay

Solar system models

 

solar system sewing

Solar system sewing work

 

solar system sewing 3

 

solar system sewing 4

Solar system on a stick!

 

Books about space

Books about space

 

solar system researchPlanet Research


Additional Resources

Song to teach the names of the plants: We are the Planets and this is our Song.

Planets cut-out worksheet from Best Coloring Pages for Kids

The fabric Planet Mat is available at Lotus Montessori Extensions

Follow Seemi @ Trillium Montessori’s board Unit: Astronomy on Pinterest.

 


 

About Disha Patel

 

Disha

  Disha Patel has been teaching in a Public Montessori School for years. She holds a MACTE accredited Early Childhood Montessori Certificate from the Center of Guided Montessori Studies and is completing her Master’s degree in Montessori Education from Plymouth State University. Prior to becoming a Montessori teacher, Disha Patel was an ESE teacher for years. She has a lot of experience working with special needs children and loves to explore innovative ways to help her students. Disha is also the Founder and Writer at Lotus Montessori Extensions. Lotus Montessori Extensions offers products to complement, support, and enhance the way children learn Montessori lessons. We make beautiful Montessori mats to foster independence. These mats are proven to minimize errors for the students. For more information on the Lotus Montessori Extensions, please visit www.lotusmontessoriext.com.



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By Pauline Meert

A few months ago, I read an article on sharing that lead to a lot of discussions and thinking.  The article “Some Parenting Rules are Meant to be Broken” by Beth W. from Very Bloggy over on sunnyskyz.com discusses her experience with “sharing”.

Through examples of two experiences, one in a park where a child expects to get someone else’s toy because he wants it and one where she and her child are in a common play area and she overhears a mom complaining that she is not forcing her child to share the toy he is playing with, Beth illustrates her view that sharing should not be forced. The comments illustrate a wide range of points of view, from people agreeing, to others arguing that children must be forced to share and others screaming for a good spanking.

 

How Developmentaly Appropriate is Sharing by Pauline Meert for Trillium Montessori

 Sharing is a very interesting topic. As adults we want children to be generous, self-sacrificing, and aware of other people’s needs and desires. These are very adult virtues or concepts and take time and practice to learn. Young children are not born with the innate ability to know what others want or need or to be selfless. They are still figuring these things out for themselves!

Planes of Development

Maria Montessori found that children develop through four primary planes of development- ages 0-6, 6-12, 12-18, and 18-24. Each plane of develop has a specific point and purpose.

To learn more about the planes of development, check out these resources by Montessori Training and Merry Montessori.

 For our purpose, we will focus on the 0-6 plane of development where parents and teachers most often spend a lot of time focusing on sharing. This is the time of the absorbent mind. It is when a child learns about himself and his environment through active interactions.

 The 0-6 plane is separated into two sections, the unconscious (0-3 years of age) and the conscious (3-6 years of age) stages. The unconscious stage is solely focused on the construction of self (learning who they are in relations to their environment). Children in this stage are not yet able to take into account another person’s actions/choices/desires. They are naturally very selfish but in the right way (in a matter of constructing themselves, unlike us adults who act selfishly out of self-interest).

The concept of sharing can seem very alien to children under the age of three. Now as a child gets older, it becomes more appropriate to encourage sharing (though it should still stem from an intrinsic desire to care for others and not be forced). The 3-6 children in my classroom often surprise me and blow my mind with their ability to share with others and care for each other.

How to Teach Sharing

So what do we do about it?

Set an Example

Living your life in an atmosphere of sharing and selflessness is a great way to start. As the child absorbs from his environment, he or she is exposed to and thus absorbs these values. The values will of course not be evident but we must trust in the child and the absorbent mind! Values can also be taught and practiced. In Montessori classrooms we teach Grace and Courtesy lessons such as how to wait your turn, how to ask for a lesson, how to serve a snack to others, and many more. Through these lessons children learn to use their freedom and make choices within a community.

Build Community

When children have choices and the ability to control their actions and are taught grace and courtesy, they start to act in a more communal and loving way. This gives them a safe base. If we adults are the ones in charge of all this (deciding who gets what, when, where, for how long, when it’s time to share, etc…) children feel a loss of control and “sharing becomes an extrinsic concept. What we really want is for children to see others who are alone or without a toy and be able to share out of intrinsic love and concern. we want sharing to happen naturally and lovingly. If it is forced, extrinsic, and adult controlled, it is far less likely to happen this way.

Pitfalls

Another topic discussed in the article is that of “hoarding”. Hoarding can sometimes stem from being constantly forced to share– having an adult establish how long you can play with your things, who gets what, and taking things away at their discretion. This can make the child feel that he cannot have thing and will thus try to “hoard” them away from others. This is not good, and not balanced. When a child knows that he can work with a  material for as long as he wants, he feels safe and secure in his work and concentration. For example, I have seen children come into the classroom who would “hoard”. They would stay with a  work not out of concentration but out of selfishness and not wanting others to have it. This, I think, comes from not having the ability to be in charge of how they share or how long they spend with something. Through grace and courtesy (other children asking for their turn or asking to being notified when he is done) and more time in the classroom where they can work with something for as long as they want, their hoarding behavior starts to disappear. Donna Goertz has a great book filled with stories like this- Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful

 When re-reading a few of the comments below the article where people are adamant that “sharing” has to be forced/imposed, one can clearly see that there is a lack of understanding of the stages of development a child goes through. There is a better way. That way is to follow a child’s growth and development within freedom, independence, discipline, ground rules/boundaries, modeling through grace and courtesy lessons, and choices. What I continue to find most groundbreaking about what Maria Montessori did is that she looked to the child first. Everything she implemented (the materials, the environment, the way the teacher acts, the method) came from taking the time to observe the child and we must do the same!

 


 About Pauline Meert

Pauline

Pauline Meert is the lucky teacher to twenty wonderful children in a beautiful Montessori classroom. She enjoys making new materials and discussing Montessori with strangers. She can be found at
For Little Ones:  Pauline’s Etsy store where you can find her handmade books
Inspire Montessori: A Montessori resource for parents and teachers
Montessori Geek: Pauline’s Blog
Pauline’s Pinterest Boards

 



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Affiliate links may be used in this post at no additional cost to you.

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Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) is a wonderful marketplace where teachers post printable materials they have created.  It covers all age ranges from preschool to high school, and beyond.  You can find amazing, high quality resources made by talented teachers who have tested their materials in their classrooms.

I am celebrating two years as a seller on TpT this month, as well as two years on my blog.  It’s been a wonderful couple of years and I have learned a LOT!  I’ve connected with many of you, my dear, kind, and talented readers.  You’ve helped me stick to my blog even when I was feeling overwhelmed and wanting to quit.  You’ve supported me by purchasing my printables.. so much so that in addition to my blog and TpT anniversary, this week I am also celebrating an official TpT earnings milestone!

Trillium Montessori 2nd blogiversary blowout

In honor of all these milestones, I’m putting my entire TpT store on sale for 50% off (except bundles) until 11:59pm EST on Saturday, January 17th.

In the spirit of celebration, I’d also like to introduce you to a few other Montessori stores on TpT.


First up is Jessica Renee.  I was impressed with the professional look of Jessica’s store and I asked her to write a short post for us. She would like to give you a little introduction to the Montessori bead materials.

The Beauty of the Beads

by Jessica Renée

A new visitor to a Montessori classroom will likely notice many unusual and intriguing materials, laid out on wooden shelves, as if calling out to be touched. This is exactly what happened recently at my dual-track school where some classes follow the traditional school model, and other classes follow the Montessori model. We were blending classes to do some Christmas activities and the children from the traditional classes were visiting my Montessori room for the first time. It was interesting to see how many of them were drawn to the beads. They would wander over, touch them gently, comment to each other about how beautiful they are, and then come over to me to ask me what they were for. For this reason, I was inspired to write a brief introduction to these beautiful beads.

The Montessori Bead Stair (a.k.a. the Short Bead Stair or the Colored Bead Stair)

The Bead Stair consists of colored bead bars that concretely represent the numbers from 1-9. These bead bars with their characteristic colors are used to learn countless math concepts from basic counting, to skip counting, to addition, to multiplication, and even to the squaring and cubing of numbers.

Montessori Bead Stair Counting

The first step is to understand the quantities and the symbols for 1-9. Montessori children also learn the color that is associated with each number.

1 – red
2 – green
3 – pink
4 – yellow
5 – light blue
6 – purple
7 – white
8 – brown
9 – dark blue

In many classes, children also complete extension activities like my Bead Stair booklets.

 Montessori Bead Stair Booklet Extension by Jessica Renee

CLICK HERE FOR A FREE BEAD STAIR BOOKLET

At first, children may color the beads the wrong color. This simply means that they have not yet mastered the complicated process involved in this work. To complete this work, the child must first count the beads in the booklet, keep that number in mind, find the bead bar with the same quantity of beads, remember the color of that bead bar, choose the matching pencil, and finally color the bead bar in their booklet. They will continue to work with these booklets until they reach mastery. Later, they will move on to learning the teen numbers (i.e. 11-19), skip counting with the chains, and doing linear addition with the Snake Game.

 The Golden Beads

 Decimal Layout with the Montessori Golden Beads

The Golden Beads are a key material for teaching the decimal system. It is through the Golden Beads that Montessori children come to understand place value and what it means for a number to consist of units, tens, hundreds, and thousands. Once the children have a solid understanding of quantity and are able to name and form quantities using the beads, they will learn to associate those quantities with their numerical symbols (e.g. 3235). This is often done using the wooden numeral cards and in some cases using extension activities like those in my Golden Bead Booklets.

 montessori golden bead sample large collage

CLICK HERE FOR A FREE GOLDEN BEADS BOOKLET

 Addition with the Montessori Golden Beads

Because of their concrete nature, the Golden Beads are also used when introducing the concepts of addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division.

Jessica Renee

jessica_renee_logo

 

Jessica is a Montessori-trained teacher from Vancouver, British Columbia, where she currently teaches a combined Kindergarten and Grade 1 class, in a public school. In Vancouver, public Montessori programs are becoming increasingly popular with parents who want something different from the traditional school model. She also develops Montessori-inspired extension activities to use with her class and to share with others on Teachers Pay Teachers.


Montessori Stores on TpT

I’d also like to invite you to visit and follow the following stores on TpT that sell Montessori inspired materials.  If you click on the green star next to their name, you will get an email every time they upload something new into their stores.  Reviews also help the stores a lot, so please download their free items and leave them some positive feedback!

I’ve picked out one paid and one free product from each of these stores for you to take a look at.  If you hover over the image, you may see a “Pin it” button.  Click the button to pin the image to your pinterest boards.  Click a little BELOW the button to go to the product page where you can read more details.


 Green Tree Montessori


 Lisa Steele


Montessori Nature


 

Montessori Motivation


The Joyful Learner


 Carrots are Orange


Montessori Mac


 The Montessori Garden


 Montessori Rocks


 A Passion for Montessori


 I Believe in Montessori


Teacher Pia


 Are YOU interested in opening a TpT store?

Use this referral link to get started.



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By Cathie Perolman

Read more about Cathie’s process for practicing letter sounds here:

Are Sandpaper Letters Enough?

The Letter Race Game

Once a child has mastered some letters and is able to blend sounds into words he is ready for some “heavy duty” work with three letter short vowel words. As I visit schools and support interns and seasoned guides alike many are interested in the optimal combination of practice and variety to help children sustain their interest and achieve reading fluency. Over the course of my career I have put together the children’s favorite activities and organized them into a set of hardware drawers. Children in our class work through these activities. (In my class all short vowel work is printed onto yellow cardstock and we refer to these as the “Yellow Reading Drawers”.)
Practicing Short Vowels A Complete System

 

Each row of drawers practices phonetically regular three letter short vowel words focusing a single vowel. The bottom row practices single words with all the vowels mixed together and the last two drawers incorporate some early Puzzle Words and work on Short Sentences.
Just like with the Color Coded Sound Games Program, each of the activities exist for each vowel.
(Notice that the colors of the dots of the drawers are the same as the colors of the vowels in the Color Coded Sound Games.) Here are the activities in the drawers:

 

Building Words with the Movable Alphabet

Practicing Short Vowels Building Words

Children build pictures with the movable alphabet. Each set contains 8 pictures which seems a reasonable amount of work for children at this level. Children record their work in their recording booklet if that is the culture of your class.

Matching Objects to Words

Practicing Short Vowels Objects and Word labels

Children match labels to objects focusing on a single medial vowel.
Children record their work in their recording booklet if that is the culture of your class.

 

Matching Pictures with Words

Practicing Short Vowels Pictures and Labels

Children match labels to pictures forcing on a single medial vowel. Each set contains 8 pictures and words to match. Children record their work in their recording booklet if that is the culture of your class.

Matching 9 Words to a Big Card

Practicing Short Vowels Pictures and Words

Children match labels to a big card with 9 pictures focusing on a single medial vowel. They place the corresponding labels under the picture, Children record their work in their recording booklet if that is the culture of your
class.

 

Reading a One Word Booklet

Practicing Short Vowels  One Word Booklets

Children read a One Word Booklet focusing on a single vowel. Children record their work in their recording booklet if that is the culture of your class.

 

Reading Word Family Cards

Practicing Short Vowels Word Families

Children read Word Family cards aloud. Children record their work in their recording booklet if that is the culture of your class.

 

Moving on to Sentences

Practicing Short Vowels Reading Sentences

Once the child has been introduced to their first few Puzzle Words, they are ready to Work with Short Sentences.

Children read short sentences and match them to the corresponding picture. Children record a small portion of their work in their recording booklet if that is the culture of your class.

 

Reading Short Sentence Booklets

Practicing Short Vowels Small Books

Children read short sentences corresponding to a picture. Children record a small portion of their work in their recording booklet if that is the culture of your class.

Use of the Recording Book

Practicing Short Vowels  Recording Book

We create recording booklets for our children. They record their work in the booklets. There is a page for each activity. Some children record every word and some record fewer. It depends on the needs of the child. The front cover of the booklet looks like the drawers and the child colors in the number according to the colored dot on the front of the drawer when they have completed a drawer. This is a system that children can and love to maintain. It helps them (and us) stay organized and creates a frame of reference for parents as well.  As the work is progressing and the child is coloring in the numbers for the drawers completed, the colors create a rainbow. Children find this both encouraging and motivating.

Practicing Short Vowels  Recording book Storage


If you’d like to recreate these materials for your class or homeschool, you can get your hands on all of Cathie’s printables.  She has put them together on a CD with a detailed instruction manual.  I think they’re fantastic and will save you a ton of time… specially if you’re just starting to put your language program together!  You can get more details and some free printables on CathiePerolman.com.  Or, email her at cathie@cathieperolman.com if you have questions!

-Seemi


About Cathie Perolman

Cathie Perolman

Cathie Perolman has been involved in Montessori education for over three decades. She has a BS in Early Childhood Education and a M.Ed in Elementary Education with a concentration in Reading. She has spent time working as a reading specialist as well as teaching students preschool through college.

She began her Montessori journey as a classroom assistant, and worked as a classroom directress, 3-6 team leader, teacher trainer and college professor.

Cathie is the author of Practical Special Needs For the Montessori Method: A Handbook for 3-6 Teachers and Homeschoolers and the creator of Hands on Phonics : a phonics based system of teaching reading to young children. She is a regular contributor to Tomorrow’s Child and Tomorrow’s Leadership magazines.

Cathie currently conducts workshops for teachers and administrators, works as a teacher trainer for various training centers across the country and as a school consultant. She currently co-teaches a Primary class at Nurturing Nest Montessori School in Columbia, MD. Cathie has been married to Gary for 34 years and they have two adult children and an adorable granddaughter!

 


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Get Ready for January

by Seemi on January 4, 2015

in Cultural

The January Seasonal Guide is ready!

You can also see pictures of many of these activities in the following posts from previous years:

Fine Motor Activities for January

What’s New on the Art Shelves in January?

More Winter Activities

Animals in Winter

Animals in Winter Unit

January Printables

More Winter Printables

The Mitten



 January Guide Collage



 

I’ve added it to the subscriber’s page so head over there if you’d like to download a copy for yourself.  It’s free.

If you’re not a subscriber yet, enter your name and email in the form below and check your email for instructions.  You can get more information about what it means to be a subscriber here.




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