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…

Self-Regulation: Who Needs It?

Is Self-Regulation Another Neuromyth?   “Famed impulse control ‘Marshmallow Test’ fails in new research” reads the headline.  On June 1, 2018, a number of media sources broadcast the story that the famed Marshmallow Test was flawed, and went on to report that:   “The results, according to the researchers who carried out the new study,…

number

Something Comes Before the Number Rods?

If you spend any time whatsoever on social media, and you happen to be in the online world of Montessori, you might be faced with the kinds of questions like I field from parents, newly trained guides, and homeschoolers.   “I’ve introduced all the number rods and numerals, why isn’t my student remembering them?” “If…

math hack

An Effective Montessori Math Hack

Part of being a Montessori guide is a commitment to reflecting and adapting our practices to best serve our students.  In today’s parlance this could be considered a “hack”.  As my students these days are adult learners, I tend to focus my reflections on how to better help them transfer Montessori pedagogy into their spirit…

dice

A Case for Rolling the Dice: The Mathematical Mind

Montessori preschool environments are renowned for introducing big abstract ideas, such as the decimal system, to young learners through precise, beautiful, instructional materials.   In particular, the Montessori math materials, produce more “aha” moments in learners of all ages than any other curricular area.  For example, just this last summer, I was witness to a…