Saturday, November 21, 2009

Testing for Entrance into Kindergarten

In the recent New York Times article, Tips for the Admissions Test ... to Kindergarten , Sharon Otterman highlights aspects of a disturbing new trend that focuses on prepping children to take Kindergarten admission tests.

For example...

Kayla Rosenblum sat upright and poised as she breezed through the shapes and numbers, a leopard-patterned finger puppet resting next to her for moral support.

But then came something she had never seen before: a visual analogy showing a picture of a whole cake next to a slice of cake. What picture went with a loaf of bread in the same way?

Kayla, who will be 4 in December, held her tiny pointer finger still as she inspected the four choices. “Too hard,” she peeped.

Test preparation for basic skills leads to a number of problems including 1) a reluctance of children to experiment and learn by trial and error, and 2) the creation of a fear of making a mistake, which will inhibit normal development processes.

For those of you not using our Montessori teaching albums, here are a few pages of age-appropriate material for children in the PreK to Kindergarten years!

One of Maria Montessori's original books, The Montessori Method, has also been made available online for free, many thanks to The Celebration of Women Writers project.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holiday Gifts of Clay or Cookies

Here are two popular ideas from the Montessori classroom:

1. Using modeling clay, mold a lump of clay into a small plate. Your child can place his or her palm print into the clay. Fire or dry the clay, let your child sign it (or scribble with paints), and you have one great gift for a loving family member. You can use a baby's footprint, too, for great results and no clay on the fingers.

2. The same concept as above, but use cookie dough on a circular baking sheet. The hand impression goes onto the cookie dough and you bake the cookie. Frosting and sprinkles optional. If you use a small disposable cookie sheet, you can just place the whole sheet into a box and wrap the box.

Looking for the ultimate Montessori gift this year? Try our Montessori teaching albums for infants and toddlers!

If you are looking for a quick, efficient, and great place to buy gifts online, check out the Cool Mom Picks Holiday Gift Guide. We're advertising in it for the first time!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Montessori for Infants: Who has a child under 18 months?

Has everyone with a child under 18 months received our infant supplement? If not, please email us (or check our new customer support links on Monday).

The supplements will help everyone work around the expensive material for infants that include brain-body exercises and materials such as the Object Permanence sets, Imbucare, and others. We introduce DIY ideas and substitutions that are quite useful for maintaining a good classroom setup at home on a budget.

Montessori House: New Customer Service Announcement

We are pleased to announce that on Monday November 9th, you will see a brand-new Montessori House customer service section on our website with contact information for teaching material support, general questions, and other issues.