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Old 01-07-2015, 06:07 PM
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mamamanda mamamanda is offline
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Default How to Incorporate Montessori (Sorry so long!)

Does anyone have experience in teaching in a Montessori environment? I've always been turned off to the idea of Montessori because it was presented to me as completely child driven to the point of letting the child make all of their own decisions during the day. I absolutely agree with child led learning, but I need the kids to lay down at naptime whether they feel like napping that day or not. lol It's vital to my sanity. We all sit down at the table to eat together whether they're hungry or not, etc. The only families I know personally who use Montessori are very permissive and their children are extremely unruly so I believe I had a skewed view of what Montessori is. Now that I've come across some Montessori activities online I am really intrigued. I love the emphasis on independence and the idea of children using materials that allow them to teach themselves, but I guess I'm confused about the How of teaching that way. I've had some children in my care that are very babied and don't want to do anything for themselves. How do you actually go about teaching them to take some responsibility for themselves without pressuring them if they're not ready?
Also, I usually make "preschool" a part of our morning, but then leave the afternoon open for mostly free play. I'm thinking of incorporating more Montessori style toys/activities into our preschool time each morning (I obviously am just beginning my research on all of this), but am I understanding correctly that a big part of the Montessori method is having all of the toys/activities at eye level and allowing the children to choose whichever one they want as long as they choose one at a time?
So, my questions:
1. How do you teach independence in a Montessori setting?
2. Do the children choose their own activities at will throughout the day?
3. How long is an appropriate amount of time to expect the children to explore the toys/activities on their own?
4. How do you as the teacher interact with the children during this time without interrupting their work?
Thanks so much for any experience you're willing to share with me!
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