Village Montessori Blog
Oftentimes, teachers are challenged by the exceptional students in their classrooms. These exceptionalities come in many forms. One of the more common differences you may see is a child with ADD/ADHD.
These students may require extra effort on the part of the teacher to adapt to their learning style and help them thrive in the classroom. It is my experience that children with ADD/ADHD also contribute many new and exciting opportunities to the classroom.
I like to tell children with any learning difference they have a "super power" and are all gifted by God to be exactly who He needs them to be.
Sometimes those gifts are energy and creativity that can challenge the "normal" classroom. That same energy and creativity can yield something innovative in the future they might contribute to. By not always seeing things the same way their peers do, these exceptional students add a different lens and way of seeing the world.
Instilling grit and perseverance to match the energy of these gifted students is one of the best things we can do for them as educators. We should strive to help them learn who they are, highlight their unique gifts, and focus on the flavor they add to the environments around them.
As teachers, we have the duty to empower these children and the opportunity to witness them bloom into learners that can succeed and thrive in any environment.
The following article below outlines the gift of having these dynamic children in the classroom: Why I Love Teaching Kids with ADHD.
If you are exploring Learning Intervention Services or Educational Support for your child, we invite you to learn about the programs we have at Village Montessori & Preparatory School in Fort Mill, SC. We offer both individual and small group services after school between 3:00 - 6:00 pm.
We also offer specific programs for elementary school students in the areas of literacy and math: Elementary School Literacy Leaders (Tuesdays from 3:00-4:00 pm) and Elementary School Math Masters (Thursdays from 3:00-4:00 pm).
All services are provided by Mrs. Stacy Atkinson, VMPS Education Director & Learning Interventionist. Mrs. Atkinson holds an M.Ed. in Exceptional Student Education with a concentration in Educational Therapy. She is also a licensed Educational Therapist and her training is accredited by the International Dyslexia Association. Mrs. Atkinson has experience working with preschoolers up to college aged students as an academic coach, tutor and educational therapist.
- By Mrs. Stacy Atkinson - VMPS Education Director & Learning Interventionist
Our mission at Village Montessori & Preparatory School in Fort Mill, SC is to lay the foundation for developing productive, independent, and respectful lifelong learners through the combined Montessori & Balanced Literacy curriculums. Rooted in holism, our philosophy aims to foster intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social and physical development to prepare children for their educational journey and for life.
Maria Montessori’s entire approach to education was rooted in holism – focused as much on the immaterial (matters of the heart, psyche and spirit) as the material (learning by manipulating works with the five senses and developing motor skills). Just as man is not one-dimensional, but is made up of immaterial aspects and physical material.
Montessori offers a true “whole child” approach to development: cognitive, spiritual, social, emotional and physical. This method enables children of mixed age groups to explore a myriad of materials with differing levels of difficulty and learn as they are naturally inclined.
It also fosters a child’s leadership and followership skills. Older children solidify their understanding of material they have mastered as they help younger children with their work and younger children have a heightened desire to complete a work if an older child is assisting.
To create a sense of readiness for learning and respect in the classroom, we create a calm, loving, soothing classroom environment. Quiet music is played during lessons and naps. Bells are used to reset the classroom when needed. Teachers speak to students in a hushed voice, mirroring the environment in which they are creating.
In fact, we follow much of what is shared in the following blog post from the North American Montessori Center (NAMC) to enable children to reset themselves and learn a greater respect for their teachers and their peers. The goal is to not only create an environment that shows respect for learning but to also prepare children to mirror and respect these behaviors outside of the school environment.
In the Montessori Curriculum, math fundamentals are taught to children at a young age through both sensorial training and manipulative math activities.
Sensorial training provides a basis for learning in an orderly manner, which prepares children’s minds for mathematics. The sensorial materials refine the senses and develop cognitive skills such as thinking, judging, associating, and comparing. Activities include visual discrimination by size, color, shape, and pattern recognition.
In our Montessori math work, children as young as 3 years old are learning to identify numbers, sequences, and math patterns through manipulative works that help them identify visual math cues (such as with the use of blocks, cubes, beans, etc.) and numerical numbers (such as with number cards and written materials).
To learn more about our preschool in Fort Mill, SC and our approach to sensorial and math curriculum activities in the Montessori Classroom for preschoolers, TK and Kindergartners visit us at 5 Areas of the Prepared Classroom.
WEEKEND WORK IDEAS - PRACTICAL LIFE ACTIVITIES!
While you have your students home after school and on the weekends they may love to show you how they can care for a doll by giving it a bath, transfer water to and from containers, care for a plant, and scoop and sort different materials in your home.
The purpose of the Practical Life Activities in the Montessori curriculum is two-fold: The activities are to assist the child in developing social skills and personal independence. Children will learn to respect and to take care of themselves and their environment, and to respect others.
The second purpose is to develop the child’s gross and fine motor movement that will provide the foundation for every other facet of the learning environment.
All Practical Life Activities are uniquely purposeful and calming, and may appear simple and repetitive. However, if you were to observe a child as they perform such activities, you would notice a high level of concentration; a developing sense of order (putting materials back where they belong); pride in their work; taking responsibility for any necessary cleaning; and increasing sense of independence.
Practical Life Activities are designed to encourage competencies in the following categories: Preliminary Activities; Care and Respect for Self; Care and Respect for the Environment; Social Grace and Courtesy; Fine Motor Skills; and Life Skills.
To learn more about the 5 Areas of The Montessori Classroom we invite you to visit us at 5 Areas of the Prepared Classroom.
WEEKEND WORK IDEAS - LITERACY LEADERS!
There are so many fun ways to create letter recognition for children at home with construction paper, glue, scraps of paper and paint. Thank you to the Kindness class for showing us some of the recent skills they are building to enhance their letter recognition skills!
The first eight years of a child’s life are the critical years for literacy development. A Montessori language arts program combines phonics with a whole language curriculum. Phonics is defined as a method of teaching children to read, write and pronounce words by learning the phonetic value of letters, letter groups and syllables. Whole language indicates that children will learn to read and write by being immersed into a world of spoken and written words.
We utilize the Balanced Literacy Reading Program to compliment the Montessori materials, which contains both approaches. In addition to reading activities like reading aloud, our students have the opportunity to foster language arts skills through public speaking, show and share, telling a story about pictures and experiences, seeing printed labels, tracing, coloring and writing.
To learn more about our Balanced Literacy approach to language and reading development we invite you to visit us at Balanced Literacy.
AROUND THE WORLD CELEBRATION
We are excited to share more about our culture and diversity program, which includes highlighting a different country every month for Art, Veggiecation, Music, and our Montessori work cycles.
We have chosen a number of countries from the major continents of the world and look forward to exploring them with your students. In addition to learning more about each country, we will also highlight people from those countries who have shaped our world in a positive way.
The United States of America was our country theme for October.
You may have seen artwork coming home from your children celebrating American Pop Art, Fall themed projects, and American celebrations of the season. The children tried pumpkin smoothies and fall vegetables in Veggiecation and celebrated the Halloween holiday with their classmates and families at our Halloween Haunt fall festival.
Italy is our featured country for November.
We will explore Italy geographically and culturally through our Montessori work cycles and classroom activities. We will also learn more about Italian culture through enrichment in Art, Veggiecation and Music.
Just this week your children sampled different varieties of tomatoes in Veggiecation and learned about the many ways Italians use tomatoes in their world famous dishes. Next week they will explore European artists and music.