Here is my story:
Maybe it's yours as well (or something similar)
I connected with the Montessori philosophy and I was excited to get started. I was armed with my "albums" (the term used to describe the curriculum covered with the students within a three year learning cycle). I had the privilege of experiencing my first primary classroom. Unfortunately, the former Montessori Teacher (also known as the "Guide" or "Directress") before left no records tracking the progress of the children I had in my charge. I started to panic, wondering where I would even begin. Can you believe this has happened to me? Twice!
How incredible it would have been if the lesson plans I have created had been in place! I would have just taken out the September lesson plan I have created and taught with confidence, knowing the educational terrain the children had covered. I would have been more than ready to welcome the new students to the classroom with leaders intact.
Maybe your class is mostly 3 year olds.
Perfect! You can take the lesson plans, look through the daily lesson plans and decide upfront which lesson should be set as circle time or group lessons and which ones you can save for your non-nappers.
Maybe it's been awhile since you have been in the classroom.
If you have your albums, you can take my lesson plans, look at the reference codes listed next to each lesson and cross reference it with your albums, read through the instructions and prepare your room day by day, weekly or monthly!
Maybe you just want a fresh approach to structuring your classroom.
I promise that these lesson plans will cause you to FALL BACK IN LOVE with your classroom environment, leaving you more time to focus on the most important part of this job: bonding with your students!
You are in the right place.
Q #1- Are your Montessori Lesson Plans an entire year’s curriculum?
A- I am working on creating Montessori education as an entire year’s curriculum. This educational service has been taught at three different schools. I am basically gathering my notes and tweaking what I found worked best and compiling the information into lesson plans. The full year makes one complete cycle through what is traditionally called the Primary Albums. I have completed my AMS Training and am in the process of finishing my AMI Certification. These lesson plans can be taught to ages 3-6 years old. The curriculum is more like a spiral in that each year it is used the child continues to learn at his or her own level and pace. In the classroom or small group situation the older child will be a model for the younger children and become the “expert’ as they themselves continue to learn on new levels, branching out into related areas of interest.
Q #2- Do I need Montessori Training to Teach these lesson plans?
A- It is ideal to have gone through a Montessori training. The lesson plans DO NOT offer the detailed step by step lessons found in the Montessori Albums. These lesson plans assist the Montessori teacher to ensure that he/she is following a reasonable scope and sequence throughout the year, honoring each area of the Montessori classroom in the process.
Q #3- How do I get started? Can I begin the curriculum in the middle of the year?
A- It is ideal to begin with the September guide. The Montessori materials are introduced sequentially beginning in the September guide.
Q #4- How is the Peace Curriculum introduced?
A- Peace is presented throughout the entire curriculum through books, projects, conversations and service projects.
The peace curriculum also includes the Grace & Courtesy lessons.
Q #5- Are the songs, poems, and fingerplays in the guides?
A- Most of the songs are in the guides or links are listed for your reference. Other songs have the words given and a note to put to a familiar melody.
Q #6- How do you get a 3 hour work time?
A- The ideal is a 2 ½ to 3 hour work period, but this will vary according to age, interests, attention span, etc. Early in the year a 3 hour work period is usually not practical as the children have not yet “normalized” and may become restless after two hours or less. As the year progresses they will have received more lessons and developed self discipline and the ability to work on their own and for a longer length of time. In fact, they are often reluctant to put work away when it is time to stop, so give a gentle warning about five minutes before the work period is over. This can be done by softly singing “Time to put your work away, time to your work away, time to put your work away and come to the line (or whatever is next).” Just use a simple melody if you aren’t familiar with this song.
Q #7- Do you give group lessons?
A- This is left entirely up to the person using the guides. Schools where I have been use some initial group lessons in combination with individual lessons. In my experience, children observe better in a group. Whether group or individual, a lesson is given in such a way to entice the child into the process of the work, using words only if they are a part of the lesson with slight exaggeration of movements. A gentle and positive manner of the teacher makes a huge difference in the receptiveness of the children, whether it is a group lesson or an individual one. It also depends on the lesson being given as some are for use in small groups.
Q #8- How can I use the guides without feeling that I need to do almost everything?
A- There is enough material in the guides for about three years, so don’t try to do everything the first year. The curriculum will grow with the child each year it is used. Many schools use a two or three year period to complete the curriculum cycle.