Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Time Outs!

I have been giving alot of thought to my approach to children in the classroom, who might be struggling in socializing with their peers. It has been my practice in the past to isolate them from the group to allow them some time to think about what they did wrong. But honestly, I don't think this helps,what are they learning? I believe that they need more practice instead in learning to socialize positively, so they can eventually become better at it.
I will be looking for extra activities for them to take part in, to foster these skills.Some ideas that I have come up with so far are: excusing each child from the circle to find their place at the table for lunch. Facilitating classroom cleanup before we begin preparing lunch.Greet the children as they come in the door to begin the day. Hopefully my list will grow.
I would like to begin introducing this new practice with a Grace and Courtesy Lesson. The children understand the concept so much better if they are SHOWN not TOLD about a new practice. We have a spot in our classroom called "The Peace Corner". The child is free to go there at any time to be by themselves. They may choose to be there for as long as they want. This is a good place to be if they are feeling sad, angry or even tired. If I see a child that appears to be frustrated, I say to them, "I can see you are getting frustrated, do you remember that there is a good place to go when you are feeling like that"? We will continue to use the Peace Corner for this purpose. But as a child needs to be reminded of proper social skills we will encourage more social interactions.

Monday, December 7, 2009


A few days before Thanksgiving I went around the circle and asked each child to share what they were most grateful for...........

Here's what they said...........

Penny: "When Ms. Carolyn reads me a story".
Gavin: "Friends, and when my mom plays trains with me".
Mikey: "My friends"
Jameson: "I like writing stories at school".
Mya: "Mommy and Daddy".
Swapna: "Friends and reading stories together".
Avery: "Pie, napping at school and snack".
Bruno: "Drawing and coloring at school".
Vivek: "Taking a nap at school"

The themes that we are covering this month are: Amphibians, Telling Time, Weather, Temperature, Clouds and the obvious: Christmas and Hanukkah.

We have a short month because of the two-week break which begins:
December 21 - January 4.

There have been some questions from parents about when their child will begin writing their names legibly on paper.
Here is the information that you need to hear on that issue:

It is my belief as a Montessori Teacher that.......when the hand, eye, brain have been prepared with other activities, the child explodes into writing, and it becomes a joyful and a natural activity.
If the child is not able to control his or her pencil yet, trying to write on a worksheet or a plain piece of paper, where all their mistakes are there for everyone to see, is much too frustrating. patient, and let them take their time getting there.