Grace and Courtesy Lessons

Origin: Unknown, Edited by Sharlet McClurkin

HOW TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE WHO IS BUSY “GAME”

Materials:  Two teachers and a child

Presentation:

  1. The demonstrator approaches the teacher and child, who are engaged in conversation or reading a book (not a lesson).
  2. The demonstrator stops at a respectful distance away from the other two people.
  3. The demonstrator waits and watches for a pause in the conversation or work.
  4. The demonstrator says, “Excuse me?”, then speaks his need with the teacher.
  5. Finally, the demonstrator thanks the teacher, and leaves.

HOW TO GET A TURN ON THE MERRY-GO-ROUND OR TIRE SWING “GAME”

Materials: A teacher, acting like a child.  Children on the merry-go-round

Presentation:

  1. Children push the merry-go-round as others sit on it.
  2. The demonstrator (teacher) approaches and says, “Excuse me! Would you please stop so that I can get on?”
  3. The demonstrator says “Thank you” when the merry-go-round stops, and gets on the merry-go-round.
  4. A child then approaches and says and does what the teacher said and did.
  5. The game goes on until all of the children are aboard.

HOW TO INTERRUPT A TEACHER “GAME”

Materials: Two Teachers and 1 child

  1. One teacher is busy, giving a lesson to a child.
  2. The other teacher places his/her hand on the teacher’s shoulder.
  3. The teacher who is giving a lesson places her hand on top of the child’s hand, nods slightly, and make eye contact with the child.
  4. The child returns to his work and waits for the teacher’s help.
  5. If there is an emergency, the child may speak to the teacher right away.

 Variation:  After a child has placed his/her hand on the teacher’s shoulder, the teacher taps the floor to her right, thus indicating that the child may sit there and wait while she finishes her lesson.

SAYING THANK-YOU “GAME” 

 Materials: Two teachers, a ball in a basket (change items at each lesson to a tissue,  mixing colors’ bowl or another item in the classroom), two small chairs

Presentation:

  1. Place two chairs next to each other at circle, with the basket and ball to the right of the first teacher’s chair.
  2. One teacher (demonstrator) invites the assistant teacher to sit next to her left on a small chair.
  3. The demonstrator takes the ball and hands it to her.
  4. The demonstrator looks into the eyes of the assistant and says, “Please hand me the ball.”
  5. The demonstrator receives the ball and looks very surprised and pleased.
  6. The demonstrator says slowly and clearly, “Thank you!”
  7. The demonstrator hands back the ball kindly and carefully to the assistant.
  8. The assistant teacher looks pleased and says “thank you”.  (When you show this game with a child, rather than an assistant, whisper, “Please say thank you.”  The child says, “Thank you.”
  9. The demonstrator gets up from the chair and walks up to each child at circle.
  10. The demonstrator hands each child the ball, looks into the child’s eyes, and waits until the child says, “Thank you.”  If the child does not say it, she whispers “Thank you” for him/her.
  11. The demonstrator puts out her hands to receive the ball back.
  12. When each child hands her back the ball, the demonstrator looks pleased and says “Thank you,” each time.

Variation at Circle:  The demonstrator looks into the eyes of the child on her left and gives the ball to him/her. That child says, “Thank you.”  That child turns to the next child on her left, looks into his/her eyes, and gives him/her the ball.  That child says “thank you.”  If any child does not say “thank you,” the teacher whispers it for the child.

Control of Error:  Not seeing the eyes of the person to whom you give the ball;  Not seeming appreciative when receiving the ball.

 Direct Aim:  Feeling confident in a social situation; gaining independence and cooperation.

Age of Introduction:  All children, ages 2 ½ to 6, at circle.

Extensions:  Presenting other social graces, such as “Excuse me,” etc.

Art Appreciation in a Montessori Classroom

I.  Classroom Environment

     A. Art of three types (portrait, still-life, landscape should be on the classroom walls.

     B. Various styles of art should also be on the wall:  (impressionists, realists, abstracts, etc.)

     C. A few small art cards should be in picture holders and should be placed around the room on the shelves.

 II. Circle Presentation of Large Art Print

     A. A  large art print should be presented bi-monthly to the children at circle, and then hung in an obvious place in the classroom until another print replaces it.

     B.  Art is Like a Puzzle!

Help unlock the meaning of a work of art by asking exploratory questions of the children, such as:

  1. “What do you see?”
  2. “What do you notice in the artwork that makes you think that?”
  3. Other possible questions, but don’t ask all of these:

                   a. What does it make you think about?

                   b.  How do you feel when you look at this art?

                   c. What do you think it meant to the artist who made it?

Sensorial Games

Below is a list of the Sensorial variations and memory games that MTP of WA is known for.  These are special games that we have created, or that Dr. Billings saw when she took the MIA course in Italy in 1960.

*    Knobbed Cylinders: 2, 3, or 4 cylinders together, with or without blindfold

*    Knobless Cylinders: The fence

*    Broad Stairs: With language and labels

*    Red Rods: With language and labels

*    Color Tablets:

  • Box 2, With labels;
  • 1 set taken to a distant table for memory game

*    Geometric Solids:

  •  Finding the same shape in the room
  • Naming the shape inside the mystery bag

*    Geometric Cabinet: 

  • Naming tray #6 with 3 period lesson
  • Grading tray #2, from small to large  (circles)
  • Memory Game with tray (insets at table, frame on rug)
    • Two;  2) Three, 3) Four, 4) Five; 5) Six
  • Matching inset to cards;
    • Two; 2) Three; 3) Four; 4) Five; 5) Six

*    Matching Fabrics: 

  • With blindfold; with labels
  • White fabrics

*    Baric Tablets:

  •  3sets together
  • With blindfold

*    Thermic Tablets: 

  • Environment Game
  • With labels

*    Olfactory:  With names of scents, with labels

*    Gustatory:  With names, with labels

*    Sound Cylinders:

  • Matching extremes in both boxes
  • Grading one box
  • Grading two boxes

*    Bells: Listening Game

  • Matching voice to bell
  • High and low game
  • Matching 6 brown bells at table with 6 white on the shelf
  • Grading 8 brown bells at at table with 8 white bells on the shelf.
  • Playing a major C song on the bells

Classroom Leadership Tips

  1. Music:
    1. Please use a variety of songs and a variety of melodies.  Don’t use the same familiar melody and just put words to it.
    2. Don’t sing, “Here we go,” or “1, 2, 3” before every song.  Just begin when you can see and hear that the children are ready.
  1. Calendar:
    1. It is good to clap the date to scale, but don’t show the calendar every day.  It gets repetitive to the children.
    2. Don’t ask them what day it is.  You can look at the calendar and ask the children to raise their hands if they can see what number comes next.  If you didn’t put in all of the previous date’s numbers, do that yourself with the children or before circle.
  1. Circle:
    1. Circle should be only 15-20 minutes, and a time to show something that is interesting and 3-D.  Don’t show card material.
    2. Don’t use a write-on board at circle.
    3. Don’t give away the surprise of what you will do or show at circle.  Just say, “I have something interesting (special, etc) to show you.”
    4. Always ask the children to raise their hands when asking a question at circle.
    5. Limit your words at circle.  If you use a new or hard word, define it.
    6. Don’t ask them to critique your song or work.  Just smile and go onto the next part of your circle.
    7. Please get out your own rug.
  1. Classroom Leadership
    1. Do not sit at a table with the children.  The small chairs are for the children unless you are giving a lesson.  Stand a short distance away to observe the children.
    2. Always give a full lesson: get out rug, then the work, show it to a child, and return it yourself.
    3. Do not interrupt children’s work, either by talking to them or getting your work in their hands.
    4. After you show a work, step back and allow the child freedom to choose it, or not.  If they do choose it, still keep back and watch off and on from a distance.
    5. Allow children space to make a mistake or to create a small variation from the work you showed him.  Only correct him if he is causing harm to the work or to himself or others, or if he is not going to be successful with the work.
    6. Do not respond to a child who interrupts you during a lesson.  Make plans with a co-teacher to come to your rescue and to help the child so that you can continue your demonstration in peace.
    7. Always use two hands to carry your work and to push in a chair.
    8. When a child touches your work during a lesson, say, “This is my work.”  If he continues to touch it, say again, “This is your turn to watch.  Please keep your hands in your lap.”  If he continues to bother your lesson, either stop and put away the work (say, “I am sorry. I will put away this work until you are ready to see it.”, or say, “I am sorry that you are not ready for this lesson.  I will finish it but you may find some other work.”  If he gets out the work again, without having seen the full lesson, go to say, “You did not see the full lesson yesterday.  When you are ready to watch it, I will show it to you.  Or you may put away that work for now.”
    9. A child who runs inside needs to have outdoor play time even more than others.  Allow him to be called first to go out, for a few times, and then watch his outside activity to see if you can learn more about him.
    10. If a child is concentrating on a work and continues his work rhythm, he may work as long as he would like, within reason. Depending upon the school’s policy, he may leave out his work with his name card except for Fridays. If he is not concentrating and making progress on his work, the teacher should ask him to put it away and begin another day.
    11.  If a child makes mistakes that ruin his/her success of the work, then make a note and tell him that you will show him that work again tomorrow.
    12. If a child wants to sit and watch a friend do his/her work, say, “You may  watch for a little while, but come choose your own work soon,” or say, “After a short while, come to me and I will show you another work.”

Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones: 26 white naugahyde (soft plastic) rectangles, 5” x 6”, with lower case red and blue letters painted on them in exact lettering as the sandpaper letters.

At Circle:

  1. Put out about 6 letters in a row from the center of the “ellipse” to the end of the ellipse, leaving a few inches between each one (for visual clarity).
  2. With 2 feet (slippers OK), jump on one and say the phonetic sound.  Jump to the next one and say the sound, etc.
  3. Let each child have a turn.  Use this as a transition activity.

During work time:

  1. Put the Stepping Stones in a nice basket on the language shelf, in the proper sequence, near the sandpaper letters.
  2. Show the children how to carry them to a rug.  They can get 2 rugs if they like.
  3. They may put out up to 5 letters, laying them horizontally on the length of the rug, or 5 more on the second rug.
  4. Then they may jump and say the sounds.  Two children can work together on this.