N is for Norms

N is for Norms Enable Learning

Norms are the unwritten rules and behaviors that govern social settings and interactions, such as raising your hand to get the teacher’s attention.  Establishing classroom norms that support learning can make an environment more effective for teaching.   Norms Are Not Normalization   Norms do not regulate behavior, they regulate conduct.  For example, the normative…

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…

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  …