Montessori Plus School Kent WA

Montessori Teacher Preparation Kent WA

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Art Appreciation in a Montessori Classroom

I.  Classroom Environment

     A. Art of three types (portrait, still-life, landscape should be on the classroom walls.

     B. Various styles of art should also be on the wall:  (impressionists, realists, abstracts, etc.)

     C. A few small art cards should be in picture holders and should be placed around the room on the shelves.

 II. Circle Presentation of Large Art Print

     A. A  large art print should be presented bi-monthly to the children at circle, and then hung in an obvious place in the classroom until another print replaces it.

     B.  Art is Like a Puzzle!

Help unlock the meaning of a work of art by asking exploratory questions of the children, such as:

  1. “What do you see?”
  2. “What do you notice in the artwork that makes you think that?”
  3. Other possible questions, but don’t ask all of these:

                   a. What does it make you think about?

                   b.  How do you feel when you look at this art?

                   c. What do you think it meant to the artist who made it?

Sensorial Games

Below is a list of the Sensorial variations and memory games that MTP of WA is known for.  These are special games that we have created, or that Dr. Billings saw when she took the MIA course in Italy in 1960.

*    Knobbed Cylinders: 2, 3, or 4 cylinders together, with or without blindfold

*    Knobless Cylinders: The fence

*    Broad Stairs: With language and labels

*    Red Rods: With language and labels

*    Color Tablets:

  • Box 2, With labels;
  • 1 set taken to a distant table for memory game

*    Geometric Solids:

  •  Finding the same shape in the room
  • Naming the shape inside the mystery bag

*    Geometric Cabinet: 

  • Naming tray #6 with 3 period lesson
  • Grading tray #2, from small to large  (circles)
  • Memory Game with tray (insets at table, frame on rug)
    • Two;  2) Three, 3) Four, 4) Five; 5) Six
  • Matching inset to cards;
    • Two; 2) Three; 3) Four; 4) Five; 5) Six

*    Matching Fabrics: 

  • With blindfold; with labels
  • White fabrics

*    Baric Tablets:

  •  3sets together
  • With blindfold

*    Thermic Tablets: 

  • Environment Game
  • With labels

*    Olfactory:  With names of scents, with labels

*    Gustatory:  With names, with labels

*    Sound Cylinders:

  • Matching extremes in both boxes
  • Grading one box
  • Grading two boxes

*    Bells: Listening Game

  • Matching voice to bell
  • High and low game
  • Matching 6 brown bells at table with 6 white on the shelf
  • Grading 8 brown bells at at table with 8 white bells on the shelf.
  • Playing a major C song on the bells

Classroom Leadership Tips

  1. Music:
    1. Please use a variety of songs and a variety of melodies.  Don’t use the same familiar melody and just put words to it.
    2. Don’t sing, “Here we go,” or “1, 2, 3” before every song.  Just begin when you can see and hear that the children are ready.
  1. Calendar:
    1. It is good to clap the date to scale, but don’t show the calendar every day.  It gets repetitive to the children.
    2. Don’t ask them what day it is.  You can look at the calendar and ask the children to raise their hands if they can see what number comes next.  If you didn’t put in all of the previous date’s numbers, do that yourself with the children or before circle.
  1. Circle:
    1. Circle should be only 15-20 minutes, and a time to show something that is interesting and 3-D.  Don’t show card material.
    2. Don’t use a write-on board at circle.
    3. Don’t give away the surprise of what you will do or show at circle.  Just say, “I have something interesting (special, etc) to show you.”
    4. Always ask the children to raise their hands when asking a question at circle.
    5. Limit your words at circle.  If you use a new or hard word, define it.
    6. Don’t ask them to critique your song or work.  Just smile and go onto the next part of your circle.
    7. Please get out your own rug.
  1. Classroom Leadership
    1. Do not sit at a table with the children.  The small chairs are for the children unless you are giving a lesson.  Stand a short distance away to observe the children.
    2. Always give a full lesson: get out rug, then the work, show it to a child, and return it yourself.
    3. Do not interrupt children’s work, either by talking to them or getting your work in their hands.
    4. After you show a work, step back and allow the child freedom to choose it, or not.  If they do choose it, still keep back and watch off and on from a distance.
    5. Allow children space to make a mistake or to create a small variation from the work you showed him.  Only correct him if he is causing harm to the work or to himself or others, or if he is not going to be successful with the work.
    6. Do not respond to a child who interrupts you during a lesson.  Make plans with a co-teacher to come to your rescue and to help the child so that you can continue your demonstration in peace.
    7. Always use two hands to carry your work and to push in a chair.
    8. When a child touches your work during a lesson, say, “This is my work.”  If he continues to touch it, say again, “This is your turn to watch.  Please keep your hands in your lap.”  If he continues to bother your lesson, either stop and put away the work (say, “I am sorry. I will put away this work until you are ready to see it.”, or say, “I am sorry that you are not ready for this lesson.  I will finish it but you may find some other work.”  If he gets out the work again, without having seen the full lesson, go to say, “You did not see the full lesson yesterday.  When you are ready to watch it, I will show it to you.  Or you may put away that work for now.”
    9. A child who runs inside needs to have outdoor play time even more than others.  Allow him to be called first to go out, for a few times, and then watch his outside activity to see if you can learn more about him.
    10. If a child is concentrating on a work and continues his work rhythm, he may work as long as he would like, within reason. Depending upon the school’s policy, he may leave out his work with his name card except for Fridays. If he is not concentrating and making progress on his work, the teacher should ask him to put it away and begin another day.
    11.  If a child makes mistakes that ruin his/her success of the work, then make a note and tell him that you will show him that work again tomorrow.
    12. If a child wants to sit and watch a friend do his/her work, say, “You may  watch for a little while, but come choose your own work soon,” or say, “After a short while, come to me and I will show you another work.”