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Isil Simsek
Loves words,nature,chocolate and coffee.
Loves words,nature,chocolate and coffee.

Isil's posts

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It is to be done for your #kid. Image: quoteicons #chotoonz  

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Lovely activity ideas!

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Worried about messy play? +Jamie Reimer shares the tips that works for her.

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I love how +Kiki Jewell explains the beauty of #Montessori math.
(I posted this on our school's FB page:)

I suddenly realized something about Montessori Math -- the key to why it's so good.  Hint: it's not just because you manipulate real objects before working on paper.  No, it's much deeper than that.

As I peruse my lessons in my Math album, I notice that many of them are cute, little lessons that have pretty patterns.  They're a lot of fun, but I worry that they're not "academic" enough.  Like the Trinomial Cube or the Decanomial Layout.  What are they for?

Here's that video I posted last.  Go watch it if you haven't:  Even just the first couple seconds.  She basically says at the start, "we've exchanged the squares on the diagonal, and I ask the students if we can make more squares."  She then swaps out all the bead bars to squares, then stacks them to make cubes.  "At this point," she says, "the students will probably see that they can exchange the stacks for fixed cubes."

'Now, that's kinda interesting!' I said to myself.  'Why is it that this layout makes exactly the right number of squares to make exactly the right number for a cube?  What's the mathematical law here?'  It's a very interesting puzzle, and I had to figure it out!

Patterns.  There are lots of patterns in math -- in Nature, if you will.  Seeing a pattern is an intuitive way of seeing a mathematical rule.  Discovering patterns for yourself, and working out the rule for yourself, is the essence of math research -- of science research as a whole when it uses math.

Montessori doesn't just teach how to do math.  It encourages students to look for patterns, and think through what the rule is.  These rules are not memorized, they are discovered.

Every lesson is like that -- a discovery.  As a teacher, you are not "pushing in" the knowledge, you are "drawing it out."

And I sure love that moment when a student in the lesson gets it.  I always brighten, look them in the eye, and say, "ahhhh!!!  You see it!"  (And I'm very careful to look at each of the other students and say, "you see it too, don't you!" so they don't feel like the dumb one. :) )

This is the essence of the math booklets I made, called, "easy," then "something fishy," and so forth.  It encourages the student to look for the pattern, and make up the rule.  The problems get harder and harder, gently, so the students gain confidence that they can work through difficulties on their own.

Traditional schooling gives you the punch line, then tests to see if you can tell the joke -- what if you didn't get it?

This is not how a mathematician does math.  Math is a discovery, and part of the process is making mistakes, recognizing when you're wrong, and correcting your mistakes.  Confidence and joy are required to do math well -- confidence is required to recover from mistakes; joy gives you perseverance.  Discovery creates both confidence and joy.

Most (if not all) Montessori lessons are lessons in discovery, where at some point, the teacher sits back and lets a student work through things.  Take, even, the lesson on Adjectives:  "Chris, would you fetch me a pencil? … Oh, I'm sorry, I meant a blue pencil.  Now would you fetch me a book?  I meant a large book.  As you see, I needed descriptive words to be specific -- blue pencil, large book.  The name for descriptive words is 'adjective'."

Montessori doesn't teach how to do math, but how to discover math.

Those who can do math (like taught in traditional school -- you can even use manipulatives for that) are good at math, but those who discover math are mathematicians.

(PS Feel free to share!)

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Are you a social media manager? Here are 10 tools you should be using:

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I get asked this question all the time. "How do younger children cope when there are older children around?" Maria Montessori wanted create a family like environment in the classroom where older children role model and younger children learn from older children. I love this post from +Marnie Craycroft that explains what is behind this. #Montessori #earlyyears #ece 
Are there advantages to multiage classrooms?

The top question I hear from parents and friends is about multiage classrooms. This concern is real and ripe out there in the parenting world. Multiage classrooms have always made sense to me. Teaching and learning isn’t about a specific age, it is about a pace and a stage of development. So, there are overlaps and discrepancies across a variety of learning areas over a range of ages. Since I do hear this question a lot, I thought I’d write up a few ideas for you to ponder either on your quest as a parent or on your quest to educate parents. #montessori  #kindergarten #parenting #kbnmoms #kbn

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New post on the blog: Exploring nature with science tools

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South America - Free Educational Printables. Resources for the Montessori Classroom (KLP LINK UP)
South America is a fascinating topic of study for children. South American culture and traditions are so rich and offer great opportunities for exploring and investigating. It's a gorgeous region of the Earth and has incredible treasures to discover. I know...
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