C is for Contrasts Cement

C is for Contrasts Cement Connections

Have you ever noticed that when you’re quizzed by someone, formally or even within a conversation, that when you’re asked to recall something specific, it’s far easier if you’re prompted with options to choose from?  It may be easier because of the phenomenon of contrasting cases.     “Contrasting cases” is a term that defines…

The ABCs of Learning

Introducing The ABCs of Learning: Montessori Edition

  Rock your New Year Resolutions to improve your Montessori practice by going back to the ABCs! The ABCs of Learning, that is!   The newest evidence regarding research based learning strategies demonstrate what many in the Montessori community already know: the Montessori Method is a highly effective way to teach children.  What is overwhelming,…

A is for Analogy

A is for Analogy-Assisted “Aha”

Aha!   Now this makes sense!   Research into the use of analogy, metaphor, and allegorical stories and their effect on the brain reveal the same agency at work during learning: when learners activate their prior knowledge through the mechanism of analogies, they extract knowledge like a past experience, enabling them to solve current or…

B is for Belonging Bonds

B is for Belonging Bonds Learning

  New evidence indicates a sense of belonging is an essential part of optimal learning environments.  Children need to feel that they are part of their classroom and the school community.  If they are distracted by feelings of inadequacy or alienation, it interferes with their learning.  Quoting the authors of the book The ABCs of…

M is for Making

M is for Making Meets Montessori

Making involves producing something.  Whether you write a poem, create a garden, or assemble an electronic kit, “making” is the idea is that you are engaged in an activity that requires creating something and learning takes place as one investigates how to do it, encounters roadblocks, and need to solve problems.     Making Meets…

L is for Listening

L is for Listening and Learning Surge Synergy

Listening is a Key Practice in Collaborative Learning Environments   When students use the learning strategies of listening and sharing with others, their collaboration leads to problem solving and completed tasks.  Better yet, effective collaborative learning environments can alleviate a student’s frustration and “allow group learning to surpass what would be possible by a single…

K is for Knowledge

K is for Knowledge Knocks Out Problems

This week’s installment of The ABCs of Learning: Montessori Edition varies from the rest of my articles on learning strategies, as knowledge is more of an outcome than a neurostrategy.  I’m including it in this series as I believe that when educators deepen their understanding of educational outcomes it can lead them to more mindful…

J is for Just-in-time

J is for Just-in-time Telling Jumpstarts Insight

Just-in-time Telling is a strategy of experiencing a problem before learning of a solution or explanation.  When students experience the nuances of the problem first, they are better able to address specific parts of the solution when learning it afterwards.   Just-in-time Telling Primes Learning   As an intern teacher of 9-12 year olds, my…

Imaginative Play

I is for Imaginative Play Ignites Self-Control

Imaginative Play is at Work in Montessori Environments   Most people would agree that children naturally love to pretend play and use their imagination to create alternate worlds.  Most people would agree that this imaginative play is a natural part of human development.  What most people don’t agree upon though, is whether pretend play should…

Hands On

H is for Hands On Holds Attention

Hands On Learning is a Hallmark of Montessori Methodology   The focus on specific hands on elements in learning environments scaffolds the learning to be acquired.  Hands on materials allow for lessons to build upon one another and extend a student’s abilities in a stepped fashion that proceeds from concrete to abstract.  Through her observations…