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Category Archives: Books

Resources Series: Teacher’s Manuals

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Here is Part One of the Resources Series. Hopefully you find something you need. I would also like to encourage you to post your favorite source for teacher’s manuals if you do not see it on the list.

Updated 2/1/2015: I recently read a really great blog post from a Montessori teacher on her blog Montessori 101 where she discusses what teacher albums are supposed to be and why we probably shouldn’t buy them. I agree with her mostly, although as a someone who wants some idea of what I’m doing the idea of the albums is appealing. I’ve said it before, but I have yet to find a Montessori book that breaks down the activities, their sequence, what they are, and what they are teaching. There are tons of blogs out there that have “Montessori” activities, but most of them are themed variations of the same four or five “Montessori” activities, like three-part cards and counters with cards. This is why the teacher’s manuals are so appealing to me, in theory, they should help you grasp the method as a whole and give you a sense of the entire curriculum. However, Aubrey makes some excellent points. I suggest reading her post and her subsequent posts about making your own that I will link to here and using that in your decision about whether or not to purchase one.  Make Your Own Albums 1

Teacher’s Manuals

Montessori Primary Guide is a free online resource that walks you through various aspects of the Montessori curriculum. It gives you foundational knowledge for each area (practical life, math, etc.) and then gives you activities with detailed instructions on how to do them in each section. They also have videos.

Shu Chen Jenny Yen’s Online Montessori Guides is similar to the Montessori Primary Guide. She has pedagogy and activities. These are really nice and are free!

Montessori Print Shop has teachers manual’s for practical lifesensoriallanguage arts, and math. You can buy them separately or as a bundle. The manuals are based on AMI principles and concepts. One nice thing about these is that they are essentially eBook versions. Instant Montessori gratification. 🙂 They are not free, but the cost seems reasonable. These are only for primary ages (2.5-6).

Montessori Research and Development also publishes teacher’s manuals. There are some sample pages available for viewing before buying. Again, they aren’t free, but the price seems reasonable. For me, the most important thing here is that there is a manual for the 0-2.5 set. While I feel ill prepared to follow the Montessori Method in the primary years I feel even less confident that I am “doing it right” currently. These manuals were developed and written by several certified Montessori teachers and child development experts, another plus in my book.

Montessori at Home! is an awesome eBook with the Montessori Method adapted to the home environment. It’s easy to follow and there are lots of activities. Plus it has some pedagogy and history. It’s not free, but again it isn’t unreasonably priced. And if you buy it through Montessori Print Shop you have the option of purchasing it bundled with the printable materials you will need for the activities.

 

For Your Bookshelf: The Perfect Thanksgiving

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Perfect ThanksgivingThe other day when we were grocery shopping I happened to stop at the table of books Whole Foods has set up (books at the grocery store?). Normally this kind of thing bothers me. Those tables of doodads are there to get you to spend more money on stuff you don’t need from the grocery. I also imagine they tempt many a child and fuel many a grocery store meltdown. However, I happened to see this book sitting there and, for whatever reason, actually picked it up. I’m so glad I did. It’s a sweet little story told by one little girl who compares her family’s Thanksgiving with Abigail Archer’s Thanksgiving. Abigail’s family is perfect in every way. They have a Martha Stewart Thanksgiving. The narrator (you never learn her name) has a Thanksgiving that is more in line with what I imagine everyone else’s Thanksgivings are like – the turkey isn’t perfect, someone sings at the table, the relatives are crammed into the house, pies come from the store. But in the end she points out that her Thanksgiving and Abigail’s are the same in the most important way. They both have loving families.

This resonated with me. Yes, it’s a sweet message that I want Cam to internalize. But, we have a family that resembles Modern Family more than it resembles the “traditional” model. It is no less loving than the “perfect” family, though, and I want Cam to know that and be proud of that.