Bedtime Story Reading

‘Bedtime Story Reading’ is about stories, reading stories and reading stories at bedtime to our children. We all loved bedtime stories. What is special in stories? Why ‘Bedtime Story Reading’ is so important?

Role and Importance Of Stories

What ever has happened becomes a story. Stories can also be created. There is a message in a story. Stories have titles, characters and interesting events. Sometimes there are details about the places we have never been. Children love stories because there is a whole new world in the stories. Stories also help them to learn the language.

 

Right Story at the Right Time

Stories are the best way to convey a message. A right story at the right time can teach precious lessons. We can tell stories but if it is not the right time they will have no impact. Stories help to learn lessons and new concepts too. Teachers can use them to enhance the learning process.

 

Different Kind Of Stories

There are so many different kind of stories. Adventure stories, action stories, horror stories, mystery stories, animal stories, picture stories, and etc. Which stories do you like? What does your children like to listen?

 

Stories Can Capture Attention

If stories are good they can capture our attention for a long time. Children have very short attention span. learning becomes fun for them if we use stories to teach a concept.

 

Keeping Interest Is the Key

Are all stories good for all children? Is every single story book interesting? Why some stories catch interest easily than other stories? It is true that children like to listen to their favorite stories again and again. They love repetition.

 

Story Telling Skills

Stories can be read at different times. It is important to make a right choice. But what about the story telling skills. Can we change simple stories into extra ordinary stories if we know the story telling skills. How to use our voice when we read a story is a big example. Starting with a message, sharing your own experiences, highlighting a struggle, keeping it simple, and use motivating words to solve a conflict in the story are some powerful skills to tell any story.

 

Language Learning and Stories

 

Why Bedtime Stories

The Science of Reading and Montessori Method

The Science of reading and Montessori method means to understand the cognitive processes that are essential for reading proficiency through scientific Montessori language material. It describes the development of reading skills for both typical and atypical readers.

Most reading difficulties can be prevented in young students. In other grades, studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of intensive phonemic awareness training, intensive phonic decoding training, and opportunities for repeated practice of reading text. Intervention in these skills leads to efficient degree of success.

Teaching whole word memorization is limited, and learning phonics empowers students with an extra effect.

If a child memorizes ten words, then he can read only ten words. But, if the child can learn the sounds of ten letters, the child can read…

More than 300 three-sound words.

 

Reading development can be divided into three stages:

Letters and sounds: Letter-sound knowledge is essential for both phonic decoding and sight-word learning.

Phonic decoding: Early phonological awareness skills enable the development of letter-sound knowledge and should be targeted for direct instruction through first grade. Advanced phonological awareness skills should continue to be assessed and practiced through third grade to ensure that a solid orthographic lexicon is established.

Reading Sight Words: It allows teachers to support students who struggle to read. It is the process that occurs when unfamiliar words become automatic sight words. The research  explains how students develop this vast sight word bank for accurate and automatic word retrieval and also why students with reading problems struggle to develop this skill.

Phonics and phonemic learning and manipulation must be proficient to allow for students to build a sight word bank. To support this, students need sufficient practice and review in decoding and encoding, knowledge and application of concept skills, lots of exposure to decodable text and practice.

Comprehension is the most important goal for reading. It is driven by other initial reading skills.

Most teachers have received little knowledge about language structures that are used in reading, speaking, and writing. Montessori Language activities are based on the scientific concept of language learning.

Students with reading difficulties present on a continuum of severity and require highly skilled teachers who have the knowledge and expertise to provide intervention based on the Science of Reading and Montessori method.

Scientific Language and Literacy:  How we teach

Through Scientific language and Literacy , teachers implement methods that are appropriate for all students and particularly necessary for students with learning differences.

Instructions for the lesson in this method are assessment-driven. The diagnostic aspect requires continued progress monitoring to measure outcomes and guide differentiation. It is also called data driven instructions.

Students are provided repeated opportunities for a lot of practice of reading the text and working with the activities based on scientific rules of reading and comprehension.

Through regular dictation and scientific Montessori language material of words and sentences containing the phonetic concept, students become skilled in spelling words within and outside of the text and comprehension of the reading text.

What we teach children

The Science of reading identifies six essential components that make up the Simple View of Reading process. Structured Literacy applies all six components:

  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonics
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Spelling
  • Comprehension

 

Students who have difficulty decoding need a focus on phoneme-grapheme and blending automaticity for both phonetic and sight words. Teachers get better at differentiating instructions based on assessment results.

Phonemic awareness is emphasized as a necessary pre-reading skill and teachers recognize and target the sequence of skills to build phonological awareness from early to advanced reading skill levels.

Phonics is an important component in early, effective literacy-based instruction. Learning to spell is far more complex than just memorizing words.  Spelling learning is a developmental process that impacts fluency, writing, pronunciation, and vocabulary.

Through scientific language exercises students understand why words are spelled the way they are spelled. They learn to identify the overlapping features of words including word origin, phoneme-grapheme correspondence, position constraints, and patterns and conventions. This helps them to acquire the alphabetic principle.

Regular words are taught according to phonetic patterns and irregular words are analyzed for their irregularities. When proficient readers encounter new words, they phonemically analyze the word for the regular grapheme-phoneme patterns and are able to identify the irregular patterns easily. Teaching each reader to activate this process allows them to align the letters to the phonemes in their memory. Writing practice also helps language learning process.


Morphology is the knowledge of meaningful parts within words. Students are able to increase their vocabulary when they are directly exposed to the study of root words, prefixes, and suffixes.

The Science of Reading has proven that a Structured Literacy Learning approach is a necessary foundation for successful readers.

As teachers, we make a commitment to continue our education through professional development to support the learning of every student.

This approach allows teachers to incorporate the six components essential to an effective and total reading program into their daily lessons of phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.

The mission here is that all children must have the ability to read to fully realize their potential. We are committed to providing all teachers with the knowledge and tools to present proven literacy education to students of all ages and abilities.

Role of Parents in Learning Reading

One more important part of the science of learning and Montessori method is to involve parents. A child spends al most twice of the total time at home than he spends at school.

If they know how to support their child for learning reading scientifically, it will make the process faster.

 

Parents need some guidance from the teacher. Teachers can recommend activity books and strategies to help them.

 

 

The ‘Montessori Activities Guide’ is a collection of engaging and fun activities. In this set of activities, simplicity is common. All the activities are age appropriate. Children learn through expression of their inner urge. Interest and motivation are the key elements to learn a language. Parents can use it at home to involve their child positively.

Thank you for reading. Let me know if you have any questions.

Regards,

Shahlla Anjum

MONTESSORI LANGUAGE MATERIALS

Montessori Language Materials are the most important materials in any Montessori environment. Montessori philosophy is effective due to its whole child development approach. All learning areas in a Montessori classroom serve the purpose of developing the child emotionally, mentally, physically, socially and intellectually. What does the MONTESSORI LANGUAGE MATERIALS do? Before we answer this question, we need to know what MONTESSORI LANGUAGE MATERIALS are?

 

MONTESSORI LANGUAGE MATERIALS help to develop all four language skills…yes….listening, speaking, reading and writing. In my other post about Montessori I discussed about how Montessori method is a science of happiness and emphasizes upon using the scientific material. Like any scientific approach Montessori method is organized, measured and exact. All exercises are well-developed and thoughtfully selected. There is a logical sequence in all the lessons, a Montessori teacher prepares for the children in her classroom.

Listening skill is the most important skill in any language learning. A child starts listening when he is in her mom’s womb……Yes, long before he is born. You can find activities to develop listening skills in a Montessori classroom. There are some other exercises to develop speaking,  reading and writing skills. Each exercise or activity is connected with other language activities but at the same time its focus remains on one specific language skill. For example, story listening not just develops listening but also reading.

 

 

Montessori Environment

Montessori Language Materials serve language learning but language learning is happening in the whole Montessori environment every moment. How Montessori environment serves as a big collection of Montessori Language materials? Well, each Montessori environment has materials and objects….so you can guess how…. Yes the names of the objects and materials in the Montessori environment are the big source of Language materials we need in a Montessori environment or a class. Even the activities and the language to describe those activities also serve the purpose.

Reading Area

There are always some books in the classroom. In the Montessori classroom reading area has a very important role. Teachers can use this area to develop language and social skills. The collection of books is a huge opportunity for any teacher to keep the class interested and engaged. Children love to spend time in the reading area. Organizing our library area in such a way that serves all interests and all ages ( 3 to 6 years) performs a huge responsibility without adding extra effort. In the Montessori classroom the mixed age group works so well. All 5 years old can read to 3 years old. Children help each other in the all learning areas of the classroom. Book reading on daily basis helps to develop listening and speaking skills obviously. It also serves as the basic Language resource to learn other language skills like to read and writing. Children not just learn how to read but also initial language skills which are necessary to build a strong language learning foundation. For example:

 

  • knowing that words have meanings
  • reading starts from left to right
  • each word has sounds and so on.

 

Language Area

As we have discussed, the whole Montessori room acts as Language Materials, but the Language area in any Montessori classroom is specific for the Montessori Language Materials and language exercises.

  1. Language Exercises:
  2. Sand paper letters
  3. Movable alphabets
  4. Sound game
  5. Metal Insets
  6. Animal Farm
  7. Phonetic and Phonograms
  8. Sight Words
  9. Vocabulary Cards
  10. Classified reading cards
  11. Word Study
  12. Sentence Building

There are also recommended options to change and rotate the materials just to keep appropriate challenge for some children who learn quickly and for others who get bored easily.

The News period, Story time and Logical thinking are some other language exercises which can be done in small groups. Yes, there are a lot of one on one exercises and some small group lessons in the Montessori classrooms. Some teachers can include Show and tell if they want.

In the Montessori classroom, children have a choice so they can do reading, writing, tracing, matching in the language area. They can also work with the material as they have been taught or shown. After every presentation by the teacher, children are able to do the work independently.

That is the beauty of the Montessori classroom. It develops independence skill. It can not happen in a day or two or even some weeks. It takes a lot of practice. When we talk about practice, we can go to the next topic.

Practice

Yes, Practice, Practice and a lot of practice. Honestly, children can forget easily if they are not doing practice of their lessons every day. It is easy to provide practice time especially when the teacher is busy teaching any student. Most of the lessons are one on one so the Montessori teachers have to spare a lot of time for them. It’s great if some children are working independently.

Practice can be direct and indirect. We can also call it preparation. Long before starting working independently in language area or any area, children get prepared directly and indirectly. For example, they need to develop concentration skill before they engage in any activity for a long time. Their hands need to be prepared for holding a pencil and writing something. Some other examples of indirect preparation are learning sounds, letters and vocabulary words before to read and writing.

Integration of Different Learning Areas

The Montessori teachers can do amazing things and if you are choosing Montessori method and applying it to your wonderful class then you can do it too….. Integration of all learning areas in a Montessori classroom can do wonders…. Montessori classroom is a world…..a world like our own world. The skills and knowledge we learn in one area of our life in a real life actually helps in other areas of our life. Right?? In a Montessori world children spend their initial and basic learning years. The Montessori Primary and Montessori Assistance to Infancy/Toddlers years are the foundation years. The time and effort we can put to build a strong, healthy and happy foundation depends on our awareness. The knowing makes us powerful. Reading about developmental stages and learning skills to fulfilling needs and requirements of our children at the right time is the key to a successful and happy future.

The integration of all learning areas and taking care of all developmental needs are two most important hidden tools to empower a Montessori trained person. It can be a teacher or a parent. Language exercises can be interesting and engaging and can create independence and love of learning if children are already prepared through indirect preparation and other exercises of different learning areas.

Consistency and Organization

Last but not the least…. Yes, doing things at the right time consistently and maintaining discipline enrich the Language

learning to process. Practice and consistent work can not be compared to even highest quality of Language Material. Organization also means following the sequence in Language exercises. A child can only learn to read and writing when he knows sounds of the letters and he can read sentences when he is able to read words….and not just words but a lot of words….Yes!

In a Montessori classroom, there is enormous amount of Language material and the teacher keeps adding and rotating material to offer challenge and keep interest. Children feel excited to work or practice every day with the same and new materials. When a child graduates from the primary Montessori he is expected to know how to speak, read and write. He reads small story books, sign boards, calendars and names of different things. He writes one to 5 five or some times more extended sentences. Amazing! Right! All because of Montessori method and Montessori Language Material.

Montessori The Science of Wellness

What is Montessori and why it’s Important? We call it an art and we see it as a science. Why is ‘Montessori the Science of Wellness’ ? Montessori is a way of education and learning through experiences. According to Maria Montessori, a wider, loftier life is (human kinds’) than ever before and children have to be prepared for it, so the fundamental principle in education is correlation of all subjects and their centralization, in the cosmic plan. According to Cambridge dictionary, Science means, knowledge from the careful study of the structure and behavior of the physical world, especially by watching, measuring, and doing experiments and the development of theories to describe the results of these activities.

 

Is Montessori the Science of Wellness and Happiness

In 1906, Maria Montessori first time founded the first Casa Dei Bambini or Children’s House for children of the industrial revolution working class.

The purpose of creating this environment was to take care of those children in the best way and instructing them how to help out in everyday chores. The material she developed and used to guide these children was and is very successful. She found out that children naturally adapted and enjoyed this learning method everyday. The structure of work and constructive activity gave the children sense of self-worth that they have never experienced before.

Maria Montessori identified critical periods of early childhood development through her observation of the children at work. Montessori developed the methodology, described as ‘Cosmic Education’ when children will be given the environment and guidance to become the peace makers of the future and living in harmony with other living beings in a peaceful world.

Montessori style teaching and learning brings wellness and happiness in the child and through that child in the whole humanity. When every child gets ‘Cosmic Education’ the whole humanity gets to the science of wellness and happiness.

 

Montessori Training

To become a Montessori teacher one needs to complete intensive 1200 hours of instruction. Almost 90 hours of observation and supervised teaching practice is also part of the training. When I completed my training, I it was on site, but now it can also be done online. NAMC is one of the many Montessori Teacher Training online schools. There are almost 34 countries worldwide which are providing Montessori training in about 100 training centers.

 

The courses offered by AMI prepare adults to work and guide children at these levels:

  1. Assistance to infancy
  2. Primary /Casa dei Bambini/ Children’s House 0-6
  3. Elementary 6-12
  4. Adolescent 12 -18

Montessori is the Science of Success

The Montessori Method of Teaching aims for the fullest development of the whole child, ultimately preparing him for life’s many rich experiences. This method is designed scientifically. The material used in Montessori classrooms called learning environment are amazingly beautiful and have accuracy and proportion. All activities in every learning area have a logic behind them. What do you think success is? Is it happiness or satisfaction? is it realization or conscious choice making? is it health or wealth? Is it fulfillment of the objectives we have? It depends on your answer what success is. I think success is little bit of everything and even more. The Montessori Method aims at the whole development of a child. Montessori activities help develop mental, physical, cognitive, and spiritual skills in a child. Sensorial and math exercises develop mathematical mind. We can say that Montessori is the science of success because it prepares a child through scientific material and develops mental skills needed to achieve success.

In Primary Montessori children develop the ability to focus for extended periods of time and this skill serve them for the rest of their life. Children learn self-discipline, persistence, cooperation, leadership and communication skills. We hear about executive functions in children a lot these days. Executive functions are some qualities and skills that make people successful: Self control, flexibility, discipline, concentration, problem solving, reasoning, persistence and creativity. The Montessori environment has the ability to nurture these qualities.

 

The Montessori environment is especially prepared to develop the necessary skills not only to succeed in school but to be successful through all their life

 

Montessori Activities at Home

We all know that Covid-19 is keeping kids at home. The way schools, child care centers, and Montessori schools are responding to the situation is required by the local health departments. All the efforts are being made in slowing the spread of disease. All school based strategies, event cancellations, and other social distancing measures are being made locally with the collaboration of local health officials.

 

According to CDC if child care centers and Montessori schools are open they should:

 

  • Use general preparedness and planning
  • Parent drop off and pick up rules
  • Screen children upon arrival
  • Healthy hand hygiene behavior
  • Food preparation and meal service regulations
  • Clean and disinfect the environment
  • Apply rules for caring infants and toddlers
  • Follow social distancing strategy

 

 

Almost, all the schools including Montessori schools are closed these days. Do you think it is required to start Montessori activities at home? Yes, we do need to bring Montessori to home. It has already become clear that in order to bring similarities among school and home environments, it is really recommended to start practicing some Montessori activities at home. So, in the recent situation we need to apply Montessori method more than before to teach our children at home. But the question is how? Do we need to organize a Montessori Environment at home? A complete Montessori class? And start teaching our own kids? But if we are not trained then we can hire a Montessori trained directress.

 

There are some options to start Montessori activities at home completely. You know how… For example, taking some help from a Montessori trained teacher and creating a small Montessori classroom. Hiring a teacher just for our children or bringing two to three more children of our close friends. This way we can follow CDC rules and provide the best Montessori environment to our children. Gradually our children will learn how to follow new rules to stay healthy.

 

I know the idea might not be as simple as it sounds. But it will become easier if we are Montessori trained or we hire an efficient Montessori trained teacher. Nothing is impossible. Right?

 

                         Montessori Handwriting

Montessori Handwriting Guide Paperback – February 9, 2021

Conclusion

Montessori is the science of wellness and success. Our children are our future. We need to provide them with the best opportunities to grow into the best human beings and no method can do it better than Montessori method. I am providing some Montessori resources here and I promise to bring more in the future.

 

  • NAMC
  • AMI
  • Montessori Printshop
  • Some free classified cards at AMI
  • MISD

Please comment and ask questions.

 

Take care and stay safe.

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

Montessori At Home

The Montessori prepared environment honors and respects the child. The beauty of the Montessori environment is that children spontaneously love learning here. How can we bring Montessori At Home? What is Montessori method? How can we create Montessori At Home? I have heard this question a lot. As a Montessori directress, I met so many parents who wanted to apply the Montessori method at home. Let’s see how can we do that.

Montessori At Home

What do we want to call our home, when we bring Montessori here? A Montessori home? We have been saying Montessori School before so we can say Montessori Home now. Right?

 

A Montessori home is where we follow all the rules and apply all the methods according to the Montessori Method. There is a need to turn our home into a Montessori Home if we want to achieve objectives of the Montessori method.

Montessori Home School

In order to transform our home in to a Montessori Home School we need to apply the Montessori method and prepare at least one complete Montessori Environment at home. Home is the environment for our children where they touch and explore common objects in daily life. We adult need to step back and look at the home through the eyes of a child. Maria Montessori’s famous quote is, “Teach me to do it myself”. Children are willing to fulfill their inner desire desperately to know and be the part of their environment.

There can not be a better place for a child to grow and learn than home. Before we turn a room into a Montessori Classroom it’s better to transform the whole environment into a child friendly and supportive environment. How can we do that?

  • Using child-sized furniture or making adjustments
  • Keeping an orderly environment
  • Providing reachable and simple procedures
  • Developing good habits for example, cleaning and organizing with the children
  • Involving children in regular home activities

Montessori Home School Curriculum

  • Order,
  • Independence,
  • Self-discipline,
  • And self- motivation are the fundamental keys of the Montessori method. Children learn them by the environment. That’s why we call it the Prepared Environment. According to, Dr. Maria Montessori, we must provide him with an environment which enables him to develop freely. That’s why the Montessori teacher is called a guide. Her role is not like a traditional teacher. She uses the environment and the activities to guide children.

Learning areas:

 

  • Exercises of practical life
  • Sensorial exercises
  • Language
  • Math
  • Cultural Subjects (Art, Geography, Science, Zoology, Botany, Religion, Music)

It is also very important to simplify the environment. For example, their must be limited choices for the children. Encourage them to return materials/items. Keep extra activities in a storage. Bring new activities from the store to the shelves when children seem to grow tired or bored with the old activities on the shelves. Keeping the environment tidy, clean, orderly, and highly valued, develops sense of responsibility, motivation, and self-discipline in the children.

 

Modeling to successfully manage different tasks and providing guided practice from the young age results in smart, intelligent, self-organized, and independent individuals.

Careful observation of the children while they are working helps to select and organize the environment to make it interesting for the children.

 

Montessori children learn to take care of themselves and their environment. Children at young age are most willing to help and stay engaged in activities when they feel there is intrinsic value to their tasks. They don’t want any material gifts, rewards, stars, or praise. The Montessori method teaches to value the process instead of product.

 

Montessori Material

Montessori material can be made and bought. It is very easy to buy the material from Alison and Nienhuis. It can also be bought from Amazon.

Montessori Activities at Home

The prepared environment/Montessori environment is composed of different activities. For example, a primary class/ Casa dei Bambini ( 3 – 6 yrs), has pouring, washing, cleaning, dusting, cutting, polishing, flower arrangement, and folding exercises, in the Practical Life area. All these activities/exercises can be prepared easily.

 

The Sensorial and Math exercises are easily available at the authentic websites like Nienhuis, Montessori Services, and Alison. Language exercises can be prepared or bought. There are Printable Montessori Material websites. We can buy or print material for free their. All the cultural subjects ( Art, Science, Geography) can be bought or prepared.

 

Besides all these specific Montessori activities we can create our own activities at home. We can easily include what ever we do at home. For example, juicing, sweeping, cooking, table setting, and bed making.

 

Conclusion

At the end of this conversation I would like to appreciate your interest and passion for the Montessori Method. If you want to know more about Montessori, you can read my blog, Montessori the Science of Wellness.

 

It’s a smart decision at this time to start a small Montessori at home. It can be just you or you and your close friends to make a great team. Keeping the number of children low in the environment is required, so 3 to 5 number is good in a normal sized room.

 

I will be back with more suggestions. Keep looking for my new blogs. Please comment and ask questions if you have any. I would also love to know your suggestions.

 

Thank you.