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…

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…

G is for Generation

G is for Generation Forges Memories

The science behind memory is far more complex than most Montessori training programs can deliver; however, as a Montessori guide, you already employee the essential technique of memory generation!   How do Three-part Cards Generate Memories?   Have you ever wondered why three-part cards work?  One reason is because like flash cards, the cards work…

Feedback Title

Feedback Fixes Mindsets

Feedback is about more than self-correcting materials   Receiving feedback about one’s work is important for knowing what still needs to be learned and how to improve.   Montessori pedagogy is an exception rather than the norm in education in part because it incorporates self-assessment into the methodology.  From the beautifully and precisely designed materials…

E is for Elaboration

E is for Elaboration Expands Learning

  The theory of elaboration in learning resonates with Montessori educators with its multiple components of order, sequence, and scaffolding.  For students, elaboration is as simple as expanding on what they already know.  Current research identifies elaboration as being an essential component of an optimal learning environment.     Montessori Environments are Built upon the…

D is for Deliberate

D is for Deliberate Develops Mastery

Practicing skills and concepts is an important part of the learning process; however, just repeating a skill does not lead to improvement.  Deliberate practice is the idea that the work being done is challenging enough to stretch the student, but not so challenging as to be frustrating.   Deliberate Practice Improves Skills without Dread  …

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…

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…

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…