ClassrooMechanics Online Training

 

ClassrooMechanics offers a variety of online, self-paced professional development workshops and courses, which are listed below.  There is a brief description of each to give you an idea of the content, and some have links to additional information. To enroll yourself or others, click on the name of the course or on the image to the left of the course to be taken to its product page.

Montessori Assistant Toolkit

This course is a targeted collection of seven of the workshops below that gives a classroom assistant new to Montessori all the needed skills to support teachers and children in early childhood and early elementary Montessori classrooms (2.5-9 years old).

Each of the seven workshops consists of a series of lessons that cover key concepts necessary to understand and work in a Montessori Classroom. They utilize innovative features, multimedia content, summary assessments, and hands-on assignments in a workbook. Participants work through the lessons at their own pace; however, we suggest they complete them and their follow-up exercises over a period of seven weeks (one per week) to maximize their understanding. This pace is also easy to fit into any schedule as it is not a significant impact on a person’s time.

In addition to the 7 workshops designed for classroom assistants, we throw in a bonus workshop for teachers titled Supporting Classroom Assistants.  It provides lead guides with tips and strategies for working more effectively with their classroom assistant. It is designed to provide the leader of a Montessori learning environment with the insights and skills needed to make the best use of their assistants and raise the performance of the whole classroom.

Though aimed at classroom assistants, this course is also ideal for any adult new to Montessori, including board members, volunteers, parents, and others needing an overview of a functioning of a Montessori classroom. For more detailed information on the contents of the course, sample content, and included bonus materials, please visit the Montessori Assistant Toolkit page or read the descriptions of the individual workshops below.

Building an Equitable Holiday Approach

 

This workshop is designed to help administrators, teachers, and guides create a plan for observing holidays in their classroom and/or school that both represents their community and appreciates the world’s many cultures.

After completing the course, participants will be able to survey their community, develop a holiday observation plan, and help their students broaden their view of holiday celebrations. For more information on this workshop, including a list of modules, bonus materials, pricing, the site license option and more, visit the Building an Equitable Holiday Approach page.

Supporting Classroom Assistants Workshop

 

This workshop instructs teachers in best practices for working more effectively with their classroom assistant. It is designed to provide the leader of a Montessori learning environment with the insights and skills needed to guide and support the work of their assistants. It covers various topics that will help facilitate communication and collaboration between classroom team members, including establishing positive relationships, defining roles and routines for daily operations, how to model interactions, and helping the assistant develop professionalism as a representative of the school. After completing the lessons, workshop participants will have a new found appreciation of the assistant’s role and be able to more effectively run the classroom with their help.

Child Development for Adults in Montessori Workshop

 

This workshop instructs the learner in the child and brain development science that underlies the Montessori method of instruction. It provides an overview of child development theories and relates them to Dr. Montessori’s educational method. Her familiarity with the theoretical material that came before her was augmented by her own insights from her observations of children. The Montessori Method incorporates this early theoretical work and anticipates some of its later findings. This attention to the science of child development is part of what makes this teaching method so effective and contributes to its on-going longevity. After completing the lessons, workshop participants will have a better understanding of the foundations of the Montessori Method and be able to contribute to the effective running of the classroom.

Optimize Interactions with Children Workshop

 

This workshop teaches the best methods of engaging with children to foster a highly effective learning environment. It instructs participants in child behavior and how to best help children learn to manage themselves through self-regulation. It provides a number of tips and strategies for guiding children in positive ways that respect the child and help normalize the classroom environment. Sections include Normalization, Root Causes of Behavior, the Role of the Adult, Child Guidance, Supporting Independence, and the Montessori Decalogue. By gaining an understanding of these, workshop participants will be able to effectively meet the challenges of the Montessori classroom.

Observation: The Keystone Skill Workshop

 

This workshop teaches that most fundamental element of the Montessori method, Observation, which is the ability to monitor a child’s interaction with the learning environment to best direct their efforts. Observing children as they interact with the classroom and other people provides the necessary information to abide by the Montessori maxim “follow the child.” Sections include an overview of the observation process as practiced in the Montessori method, the underlying causes of behavior, explanation of Montessori’s concept of teachers being scientists in the field, and them some observation practice exercises to help develop the skill. After completing the lessons on this essential skill, participants will be much more effective in their role.

Montessori Philosophy 101 Workshop

 

This workshop introduces participants to Dr. Maria Montessori and her education philosophy. It instructs the learner in the history and fundamental principles that underlie the Montessori method of instruction by giving a sweeping overview of the history of pedagogical thought that provides a context for Dr. Montessori’s method. Sections include the evolution of pedagogical systems, a brief biography of Dr. Montessori, and the underlying philosophical concepts that provide the foundation of her method. After completing the course, participants will understand the fundamental principles of the Montessori method, its origins, and the things that make it unique.

The Prepared Adult Workshop

 

This workshop provides a variety of strategies to help adults succeed in a Montessori school environment. It delivers a series of tips to coach staff members in best practices for representing and interacting with their learning community as well as planning the next steps for their career. It covers topics such as professionalism, strategies for communicating with parents, planning for professional development, and taking time for self-care. It is geared to anyone that is working in a learning environment that needs coaching in best practices for job success and would be especially beneficial to those new in their position. After completing the lessons, workshop participants will have a set of skills to help them knowledgeably and confidently engage with the whole spectrum of community members.

The Prepared Environment Workshop

 

This workshop covers the importance of the physical layout and emotional atmosphere of the classroom and best practices for arranging them for optimal learning. It examines the importance of the classroom environment to successful learning as explained by Dr. Montessori, including both physical, social, psychological and aesthetic elements. Covering topics such as the significance of arrangement, the emotional tone of the class, and aesthetic principles for order and beauty, it highlights the steps necessary to organize them to create an optimal learning environment. After completing the lessons, workshop participants will have a new found appreciation of the Montessori classroom and the attention to detail that makes it work so well.

Principles of Optimal Learning Workshop

 

This workshop familiarizes the learner with the psychological and physical principles that make for optimal learning. Participants will learn about the importance of movement to brain development, the natural appeal of control and order, the secrets of motivation, the role that curiosity and relevance play in a child’s innate drive to learn, and how student collaboration can contribute to learning outcomes. When they are all used together in the service of learning as they are in the Montessori method, it makes for a highly effective learning process. After completing the course, participants will be familiar with the ingredients they need to make sure are present in the classroom operations for optimal learning.