Montessori Plus School Kent WA

Montessori Teacher Preparation Kent WA

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MTP of WA Guidelines To Be Set for Montessori Classrooms

  1. Circle, “Walking on the Line”: 
  • A teacher must always be present to keep the walking time creative and controlled.  She gives verbal and bodily cues for the children as she and they walk. The children should be spaced out by putting out their hands ahead of them while they walk at the beginning of walking time.  This can be done by following the teacher’s actions.
  • Bodily control and setting a quiet atmosphere is especially important at first circle so that the class can begin quietly and peacefully.  Use the “Walking Music”, not “Marching,” for first circle. Do not use the Marching music unless you are ready to go outside.
  • Make your circle a lovely, peaceful ceremony with a community spirit.
  1. Circle Line:  A diameter of 8’ will give a circumference of 25’.  This usually fits 18-20 children, with one teacher.  The children and teacher must have space for their elbows when they put their hands on their waist and wiggle their elbows.
  1. Musical Cues:  Sing gently and softly, “Please sit down,” and “Please stand up,”  and “Please turn around just one time,” with a short pause between each word.
  1. Circle Manners:
  • Speak slowly and enunciate carefully to the children.
  • Show the children how to walk behind the circle, not “cutting” through it.  This means that you will have to leave room between your line and the shelves for them to walk.
  • Show the children how to raise their hand, not talk out without permission, by asking them a controlled question:   “Please raise your hand if you know…”
  • If you have something disciplinary to say to the children, say it from your own heart, not a child’s or another teacher’s:  “When you all talk at once, I am sad because I cannot hear.”
  1. Songs: Teach them fun songs with actions, but songs that they can also sing.
  1. Getting Work Rug:  Get your own.  It is a demonstration and calms them down when you get your own rug.
  1. Showing a work:  Since you have a “captive audience,” be polite and arrange the work on the tray so that everyone can see it.  You can decide if you should show it upside down to you, or not?
  1. Calling out to a Child Across the Circle No, get up and go to speak to the child.  It is best if there is a second teacher there who can do that for you.
  1. Children’s rules at circle:
  • They must sit up straight with their legs crossed.  Don’t say “criss-cross, applesauce.”  That makes no sense.  Don’t say, “Criss cross your body.” “Please cross your legs” is fine.
  • They may not change places once they are on the line and then sit down.
  • They may not push in to sit by their friend if that space is taken.
  • They may not lie down nor place their legs out front at circle.

9.   Show and Tell: 

  • Book:  Ask the child to stand in his place and open it to his favorite page.  Ask him to say why it is his favorite page.
  • Other items:

->  No toys, please, because the children will want to hold toys during class and this can cause an unhappy child, even if you kindly ask them to put their item into the cubbie.

->  If you have a small circle, each child can stand and show and then tell about his item.  If the item is small and the circle is large, then the teacher can ask the child to pass around the item for the other children to see.

->  The child does not take it along to show as that wastes precious time.

  1. Praising Children:
  • Find some other way to comment on something said or done at circle or during work time besides “Good job!”  “Beautiful!”
  • Notice if children come up to you frequently to ask you to comment on their work.  It may be that you are flattering them or praising them without realizing it.
  • Do not hold up one child as the model and say, “I really like the way that… is sitting at circle.”  We do not compare children in a Montessori school.
  1. Making yourself the Important Person “Show me!”  “That’s a very nice book.”“Can you get a rug for me?”  “Good idea!”
  1. Departure From Circle: Plan a song or game to allow the children to depart individually and quietly.
  1. Solving a Problem rather than Listening to the Child Child reports on another child.  Active listen, “You’re worried about her,” rather than explaining or telling him not to worry and why.
  1. Taking Over a Child’s Work:  If a child begins a work and a teacher judges thatshe is not doing it correctly, she should watch, wait and write notes.  If the work gets out of hand, unsuccessful or could be dangerous to the child or material, then you can intervene.  Do not take over the work, especially without asking permission, and begin to use it.
  1. Children misusing work: If two children are misusing work, go to the second one who did not get it out and request and take him to another work.
  1. “Put that into Your File”:  If a child shows you his work, smile and shake your head. Say, “Mmm”  or “You’re proud of your work.”  Don’t interpret or judge the work. Don’t remind them to put it into their file. That raises its importance and is an unnecessary command.
  1. Don’t Call Across the Room to a Child:  Instead, get up and go over to whisper in the child’s ear.

Montessori Language: A Quick List

Compliments of Junko Krause,

Revised by Sharlet McClurkin

  1. “Would you like to choose your work?”
  1. “May I help you choose your work?”
  1. “We work in school.”
  1. “I will put this work away, and you may have a turn.”
  1. “You may sit here.”
  1. “I will show you a new lesson!”
  1. “I have some interesting work to show you!”
  1. “Would you like to see some special work?”


  1. “Would you like for me to help you carry it?”
  1. (Cleaning up a spill): “I will help you start, and you may finish.”
  1. “Can you find the items to match?”
  1. “Let us put this away and use it another day.”
  1. “I will put this away, and you may use it later.”
  1. “Accidents happen.”


  1. “You are proud of your work!”

2.   “You are upset (left out, hurt, sad, angry, worried, lonely, etc.).”


  1. “We speak quietly in our school.”
  1. “We treat others with respect.”
  1. “We use our work carefully.”
  1. “We walk in our school.”
  1. “We choose work we have been shown.”
  1. “We roll our rug and carry it with two hands.”
  1. “We speak with grace and courtesy to others.”
  1. “You may choose your own work.”
  1. “In our school we do one work at a time.”
  1. “We dance outside; inside we do our work.”
  1. “We do not share in school.”
  1. “Please try it first, then I will help you.”

1. “I am worried when you run through the school because I want you to be safe.”

2.  “When you hit Johnny, I am very sad because I want all children to feel safe and happy.”

3.  “I am upset when you kick me.  My leg hurts and I can’t teach the children!”

Respectful Language and Actions in a Montessori School Seminar

(Seminars may be arranged by calling 253-859-2262)


A.  Joyful Learning and Respectful Speech

 Sharlet McClurkin will paint a picture of joyful learning and respectful speech in this seminar. She will show in words, songs and actions how to rise above the challenges of the Montessori classroom and keep one’s calm and vision for the children.

This seminar will demonstrate non-conventional language and methods of the Montessori teacher while working with children in a group activity or in the open classroom.

B.  Music of Respect; Roadblocks

Mrs. McClurkin will also show adults how to present transition songs and songs of respect and self-confidence to children.  She will discuss the impact of negative words and phrases, as well as ordering and question, in the young child’s life.

C.  Listening

Adults will learn how to listen to children with empathy and how to phrase a deep concern or feeling in a positive way.  They will see ways of speaking courteously and gracefully to children.

D.  Problem-solving

Mrs. McClurkin will present problem scenarios, discuss “whose problem it is” and how to respond to the children in an authentic and human, yet respectful manner.


A.  When to intervene with a child. 

1.  How much intervention do I give to children?  What is the criterion for intervening?

2.  As a director, how much intervention do I give to children and teachers?  Do I correct them as I walk through the classroom?

3.  How much intervention do I give to interns?

B.  What is the difference between “managing” and “leading” a classroom?

1.  How can I find a balance between complete freedom for the children and my guidance of them?

2.  What is the difference between managing and leading them?

3.  What happens when I “micro-manage” all of the children?

4.  What happens when I “let them go”?

5.  What does Montessori mean that we must have the “eye of faith” toward children?


A.  Why is freedom of choice essential for children in a Montessori school?

1.  How much freedom do I give 4.5 through 5 year-olds to choose their work?

2.  What is the place of practical life for 5-year-olds?

3.   What are some Montessori ways to encourage the older children to choose 5-year-old work?  What name may I call it?  (“harder,” “challenging,” etc?)

B.  What about freedom for teachers?

1.  How much freedom do I, as the director, give to teachers and interns to select their circle themes and to set up their classroom?

2.  Should there be a certain number of lessons that children and interns give each day?

3.  What happens when the teacher makes the work so that the child is only able to do part of it?


A.  What is discipline?

1.  What kind of discipline should Montessori children have?

2.  What are the three levels of obedience, according to Montessori?

B.  The “time-out”

1.  How long should time-outs be for children?

2.  What is the purpose of a time out?

3.  What steps are included in a “time-out”?

4.  Should children be required to say, “I’m sorry.”?


A.  Children: What happens when a teacher tells a child that they are not doing hard work like another child her age?

B.  Teachers/interns: What happens if you tell an intern that she is not doing as well as another intern?


A.  Setting your purpose

1.  Should the main purpose of the Montessori classroom be academic?

2.  How can I educate parents to know the purpose?

B.  The attraction of the “old” thinking

1.  What traditional philosophies and roadblocks can creep in so that the teachers, interns and children feel stress and pressure to perform?

2.  How can I have an atmosphere of joy of learning for all teachers, interns and teachers?

C.  How to have “joyful learning” every day in the classroom