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7 key phrases Montessori teachers use and why we should use them, too

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Photo Source: Motherly

By- Christina-Clemer

https://www.mother.ly/child/7-key-phrases-montessori-teachers-use-and-why-we-should-use-them-too-

Montessori can be hard to sum up in just a few words—it is a philosophy on education and child development that runs deep. It’s a way of seeing the world. I think one of the easiest ways to get an idea for what Montessori means is to listen to the language that Montessori teachers use.

Montessori teachers use language that respects the child and provides consistent expectations. Words are chosen carefully to encourage children to be independent, intrinsically motivated critical thinkers.

Here are seven common phrases you’d probably hear in any Montessori classroom, and how to incorporate them into your home life.

1. “I saw you working hard.”

The focus on process over product is a key tenet of Montessori. We avoid telling the children “good work” or “your work is beautiful” and instead comment on how they concentrated for a long time, or how they wrote so carefully and their work could be easily read by anyone.

Praising your child’s hard work, rather than his results, helps instill a growth mindset where he believes he can improve through his own efforts.

Instead of telling your child, “You’re a good boy,” tell him “I noticed you being kind to your little brother yesterday when you shared your truck.” This shows him you see his good behavior, without placing judgments on him. Instead of telling him, “You’re such a good artist,” try, “I noticed you kept working on your picture until you got it just how you wanted it.”

2. “What do you think about your work?”

In Montessori, the child is his own teacher. The teachers are there as guides to give him lessons and help him but he discovers things for himself through the carefully prepared environment and materials.

Self-analysis is a big part of that discovery.

When your child asks you, “Do you like my picture?” try asking her about it instead of just saying you love it. Ask her what she thinks about it, how she decided what colors to use, and what her favorite part is. Help her start to evaluate her work for herself, rather than looking for your approval.

3. “Where could you look for that?”

Independence is another key value in any Montessori classroom or home. Our goal as teachers is to help the children do things for themselves. So while it’s sometimes easier to simply answer a child’s question about where something is or how to do something, we often answer questions with another question such as, “Where could you look for that?” or “Which friend could you ask for help?”

If your son loses his shoe and you see it peeking out from under the bed, try asking leading questions, rather than just handing it to him.

“Where were you when you took your shoes off? Have you checked your room?” This may take a little more time, but it will be worth it when he starts taking more initiative and coming to you less.

4. “Which part would you like my help with?”

In a Montessori classroom, children are responsible for many things, including taking care of their environment. Children often take great pride in this responsibility, spending time arranging flowers to put on tables, watering the garden, and happily washing the windows and tables.

Sometimes though, a job is just too big and overwhelming. In these cases, we ask the child how we can help. We don’t want to swoop in and “save the day,” sending the message that the child is not capable, but we also don’t want to leave the child overwhelmed.

For example: If your child is tired, but needs to put her Legos away before bed, all of those pieces can be overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing though. Try “which color would you like me to put away” or “I’ll put away the yellow pieces and you put away the blue” to show that you’re in it together.

5. “In our class, we ….” (Or at home— “In our home, we…”)

This little phrase is used to remind the children of any number of classroom rules and desired behaviors. Phrasing reminders as objective statements about how the community works, rather than barking commands, is much more likely to elicit cooperation from a child.

“In our class, we sit while we eat” is less likely to incite a power struggle than “Sit down.”

Like all of us, children want to be a part of the community, and we simply remind them of how the community works.

If you have a rule about walking in the house, instead of “stop running,” try saying “we walk inside our house” and see if you get fewer arguments.

6. “Don’t disturb him, he’s concentrating.”

Protecting children’s concentration is a fundamental part of the Montessori philosophy. Montessori classes give children big blocks of uninterrupted work time, usually three hours. This allows children to develop deep concentration, without being disturbed because the schedule says it’s time to move on to learning something else.

It can be tempting to compliment a child who is working beautifully, but sometimes even making eye contact is enough to break their concentration.

Next time you walk by your child while he’s focused on drawing a picture or building a tower, try just walking by instead of telling him how great it is. You can make a mental note and tell him later that you noticed him concentrating so hard on his creation.

7. “Follow the Child.”

This last one is an important one. It’s something Montessori teachers say to each other and to parents—not to the child. We often remind each other to “follow the child,” to trust that each child is on his or her own internal developmental timeline, that he is doing something for a reason.

This reminds us to search for the reason behind the behavior. It reminds us that not all children will be walking by one or reading by four—they haven’t read the books and couldn’t care less about the milestones they are “supposed to” reach.

Following the child means remembering that each child is unique and has his own individual needs, passions, and gifts, and he should be taught and guided accordingly.

If you can’t get your child interested in reading, try watching what he does love—if he loves being silly, it may be that a joke book is what piques his interest, not the children’s classic you had in mind. Remembering to “follow your child” can help you see him in a different way and work with him instead of against him.

One of beautiful things about Montessori is that it is so much more than a type of education—it is a way of seeing and being with children. Even if your child does not go to Montessori school, you can easily bring the ideas into your home and watch your child’s independence and concentration grow.

References

Montessori language that respects the child and provides consistent expectations.
posted Sep 13 by Gowri Vimalan

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+1 vote

                                               

Photo Source: Brain Inspired

When we are first born our parents are all that we have in this world. We would not be who we are today without them.

Our parents are the people we look to for support and guidance. They are supposed to keep us feeling safe at all times and make sure as children that we follow their rules. However, as humans, we are all capable of making mistakes.

http://braininspired.net/never-use-phrasess-talking-children-psychologists-warnn/

As a child, we do not often think of our parents as ‘just humans’ we see them as more than that. These people we call Mom and Dad are our creators, guardians, protectors. They are Gods and Goddesses in our eyes as children, there is nothing Mommy and Daddy cannot do.

Everything that a parent does and how they do it becomes an important part of their child’s psyche. The way we speak to our children becomes their inner voice. It tells them what is right and what is wrong…

If you are often angry and cold towards your children they will carry on this into adulthood. They will do the same thing you are doing to them to themselves later on. We all make mistakes, if you are making one now why not take the time to correct it?

We want our children to have an inner voice that does not insult them. If you are friendly and motivating to your child they will take that on as their inner voice, this will prove to be much more effective than having an inner voice that makes them feel worthless.

The Phrases below are ones you should NEVER say to your children, no matter how mad you are or what they have done:

                                                    

“STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW!”

Even if there is no reason for your child to be crying in that moment do not make them feel stupid for doing so and for not being able to stop. They cannot control their emotions. They deserve to be allowed to feel what they are feeling if you say this to your child you are programming them to think that it is not okay to have emotions. They will eventually suppress everything. You should try saying something else in situations like this.

Something like “It’s okay to cry but you still need to understand what you did was wrong.”

This will get you much further.

“I AM DISAPPOINTED IN YOU!”

Parents tell their children this when they are in trouble and already feeling down about themselves and whatever they have done. When your child does something wrong help them to find the right path don’t let them think they are a disappointment.

Try saying something like “What you did was wrong, let’s talk this over okay?”

“YOU ARE NOT [SOMETHING] ENOUGH!”

By telling your child there is something lacking in them be it something on the inside or on the outside it hurts. While you are not specifically saying they are not enough you are implying it. This is something that will grow into your child feeling not good enough in life overall if you do not address it soon.

 Try saying “You are [something] enough, we can work harder at it.”

“BIG BOYS/GIRLS DON’T GET SCARED”

Yes, they do.

This is not protecting your child in any way. They are scared, you cannot stop their fear by telling them to not be afraid. Everyone gets scared sometimes, even you. Face your fears instead of running away from them, that is what you should be teaching your children.

Say something like “It is okay to be scared, everyone gets scared sometimes but I know something that will help.”

Read More

+1 vote

Twinkle Khanna has a subtle writing style that is consistently funny, real and hard hitting at the same time. Her contributions under Mrs. Funnybones on the Sunday Times are worth a read. Here she writes on one of her favourite topics - parenting. Go here for the full story: http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/mrsfunnybones/why-good-parenting-is-like-gardening/

+1 vote

Nothing delights a young child more than praise from his parents. But there can be right and wrong ways of praising toddlers, and sometimes praise can actually do more harm than good. A little praise never hurt anyone, but there are some basic guidelines that will help make the praises you sing to your little one loud and clear.

https://www.education.com/magazine/article/praising-toddler-donts/

“When praising toddlers, make it genuine and specific,” says Maureen Boylan, early childhood specialist and author of Leap into Literacy. “Rather than saying I like your picture, comment on the colors that were used or how hard your child worked on it.” These simple “Do’s” and “Don’ts” will help make your praise more meaningful for your child and more effective at getting the desired responses in the future.

DO

  • Make it Physical. Gently touch your child on the shoulder, or give him a hug, kiss or a high five when you are expressing your approval. A thumbs up or smile across the room can have the same effect. Your positive body language may mean more than the words you say to your young child.
  • Make it Genuine. Well-meaning parents can slip into a mechanical “Good job!” many times a day without even realizing it. Your child can tell if you really mean it! Be specific about what you liked and be sure the tone and inflection of your voice communicate your delight. Look your child in the eyes and smile at him to be sure he can see how pleased you are.
  • Make it Personal. Parents often make comments such as “I think that is just great” which is really all about what the parent thinks rather than the child's accomplishment. Instead, make the praise personal for your child. Try a few of these: “You are doing such a great job cleaning up”, “You are getting to be such a big boy!”, “You worked so hard on your picture!” Make it all about your child and not about your thoughts or feelings.

DON’T

  • Over Praise. Too much praise really can be a bad thing. If you praise your child for everything, he will come to expect it every time he does something. The first few times he hangs his coat up by himself, give him praise, but not every time. “Praise often, but don’t overdo it or it loses its effectiveness,” says Boylan.
  • Make it About His Character. Be sure the praise is about the behavior or the action, and not a comment on the child’s character. When you say “You are good” or “You are bad,” this is a reflection on your child’s character, and he may feel it can’t be changed. Instead say “Your behavior is good” or “Your behavior is bad” and it becomes something the child can choose to change.
  • Make it Critical. Be sure not to intermingle praise with criticism. For example, if your son dresses himself, and you say, “Good job dressing yourself, but those clothes really don’t match,” the praise is lost. Parents think they are helping to teach their children by redoing what a toddler has done incorrectly, but it really does more harm than good and sends a message that the child did not do a good enough job. Who cares if his clothes don’t match? Just walk into school, proudly exclaim to the teacher “Sammy dressed himself today, didn’t he do a great job” and give a wink. Your son will be proud and the kids won’t even notice!

Having an influence on the behaviors and actions of your child using praise can be both effective and rewarding. Aside from the outcome in changing behavior, there is simply no greater reward than watching your child’s face light up when you praise him!

+2 votes

Source: TOI

BENGALURU: After a 10-year stint in the corporate sector, Ashish Rajpal quit his job to work in education. Disillusionment with the nonprofit sector and a left-liberal upbringing inspired him to improve the quality of education in India. The idea led to the birth of XSEED in 2008, a company which is transforming the way 10 lakh children in 3,000 schools, including 296 schools in Karnataka and 100 in Bengaluru, are taught by 75,000 teachers.
The company provides a comprehensive teaching toolkit to English-medium schools. In an interview with TOI, Ashish spoke about the need to move away from rote learning and more. Excerpts:
Considering that our education system is largely based on rote learning, how disadvantaged are Indian children compared to kids elsewhere?
I once asked a professor from the University of Pennsylvania the same thing and he told me, `Indian students are great at answering questions but don't know how to ask the right ones.' We are trying to prepare children for the 21st century and make them capable of understanding, communicating and questioning. Instead of learning by rote, we want them to have a dialogue with their teachers. Children in other countries are more used to learning by doing things on their own and voicing their opinions.
You've called yourself an `elementary school in a box'. Explain We believed that the problem of access was more or less solved. We wanted to work on quality control using the existing infrastructure.We provide teacher training, textbooks, question banks for internal exams, an evaluation system as well as a curriculum. We are one of the largest school book publishers in the country and work within the structures of CBSE, ICSE and state boards. We have prepared lesson plans for teachers to tackle any topic from kindergarten to class 8. Teachers have told us how their students now ask more questions and are more confident and open-minded.
How does your company reach out to so many children?
It has been a long journey . When we went to schools in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, it was an uphill task to convince the principal that we were offering something for a reasonable one-time payment which would benefit them for years. We have 100 education coaches who have about 30 schools under them which they visit once in six weeks to give the teachers a refresher course. Our presence is most widespread in Tamil Nadu, with 2.50 lakh kids in 800 schools.
How much do you spend per student?
There is a reason why we have not expanded to higher grades. We want to focus on building a strong foundation for students. We considered there may be a clash between the learning provided in higher classes and the way students are evaluated (by boards). The programme costs us Rs750-Rs1,500 per student. In eight years, we have rebooted our model thrice to be up to date with the latest trends and teaching methods. MIT studied our company while working on social entrepreneurs.

How widespread is the initiative in other countries?

We focus on other developing countries as they face similar problems.We provide services to schools in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nepal, Bhutan and Philippines among others. The initiative has been remarkably successful in Philippines.
Have you collaborated with any state governments so far?
We tried but it is hard to engage with governments. You spend time building a rapport to get them on board but they may change their mind.Such initiatives require long-term implementation and cooperation.

+1 vote

 

Sadanand Nayak, Principal District and Sessions Judge, inaugurating an awareness jatha in Yadgir on Thursday.

Sadanand S. Nayak, Principal District and Sessions Judge, said on Thursday that it was every citizen’s duty to prevent child marriage. He asked law enforcement agencies to ensure action is taken against those responsible for child marriages.

Jatha taken out against child marriage

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/educate-children-and-make-them-pillars-of-society-says-judge/article19079124.ece

He was addressing a gathering after inaugurating an awareness jatha titled ‘Prevention of Child Marriage and Shale Kade Nanna Nade’, jointly organised by the district administration, the zilla panchayat, the District Legal Services Authority, the District Bar Association and others.

Urging parents not to marry off their minor children, Mr. Nayak said that performing a child marriage was an offence under the law. “Educate your children, make them pillars of the society,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Khushboo Goel Chowdhary and zilla panchayat CEO Avinash Menon Rajendran released booklets and pamphlets on the theme. Sharanappa Patil, deputy director of the Department of Women and Child Development, were present.

 

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