Friday, October 3, 2008

new p.l. lessons

dry pouring

Is it obvious how much I love practical life? I promise I'll post about the other avenues of the Montessori classroom someday because I love them, too! Practical life lessons are just so much fun to set-up... it's the one area of the classroom that requires the Montessori teacher to use her own imagination and creativity.

lock and key

Here's the lesson routine at our school:

A child must have a lesson from a teacher before he can use a material. He may request a particular lesson, or the teacher may invite him or her to do a certain lesson. Here's a song we sing at circle time to remind children of this:

(to the tune of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" - sort of!)

when I look upon the shelf,

there's a work I'd like to do.
I've haven't had a lesson,
so this is what I'll do.
I'll ask.
I'll watch.
I'll wait my turn.
now, I've had a lesson
I know just what to do!


The teacher introduces the child to the lesson by saying its name and then asking the child to repeat it. This is tonging. Please say tonging. (When the child's in the routine, he'll naturally repeat the name of the lesson.) Thank you. First, it will be my turn. Then, it will be your turn. (We emphasize this language over and over to the children.)


It's important that the teacher models the lesson first because this gives the child an opportunity to observe the task performed with mastery. For example, when it's his turn to spoon, we really want the child to hold the spoon pinched between his thumb, pointer, and middle finger, so his fine motor muscles will be strengthened and prepared for writing.


During the child's turn, the teacher's job is only to observe. The child should know that she is there, enjoying the experience with him, but his main connection should be with the material. The teacher's motto is teach teaching, not correcting. She lets the child explore the material in his own way and pace without interrupting him. If during his turn, the teacher feels that he's totally missed the purpose of the lesson, she'll make a note to present the lesson to him again at another time.

sponge squeezing

After both the teacher and the child have taken their turns, the teacher tells the child that he can now do the lesson again whenever he wants. Children will repeat lessons at their own will, but many of them will tire of spooning the same popcorn kernels and pouring with the same pitchers. Sometimes, all it takes is a new tray to get a child to repeat a lesson!

1 comment:

  1. hello from starry sky ranch! I'm a SaHM, and I try to do some Montessori things with my 4y.o son. Looking forward to learning from you.


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