Montessori Art Teaching, Part 1

Students Artwork

For two weeks, I taught art through a summer program at a Montessori school in Atlanta.  This was only a temporary job, but I could not pass up the opportunity to gain more teaching experience.  This post is the introductory post of my experience at a Montessori school and the lessons that I taught.  An interesting note-I am now reflecting on these moments while currently teaching at a public school, a couple of hours away from Atlanta.

If you are not familiar with the Montessori Method, it is a non-traditional way of teaching.  Its student center and intended for students to learn more organically, self-paced, and at the same time as learning with students within 3 years of age with you.  At a young age, students begin to learn how to grow plants, clean, cut/cook food, pour drinks.  These are just some of the skills taught that I witnessed.  I was impressed to see how motivated the children were to learn and master the educational (manipulative) toys.

Prior to beginning the program, I met with the instructor that explained what she would be teaching throughout the two weeks.  The summer program was only for the ages 3-6 and the theme was “America the Beautiful.”  My intention was to have the majority of the lessons applicable to this theme as well as having lessons that a student can create at home with recycling materials, such as cardboard.

The atmosphere everyday that I arrived was calm and quiet.  As I set up the materials, the students were taking a nap to soothing music.  When they awoke, the students had their snack, which they made before taking their nap.  I observed how well the students were taking directions and how they cleaned up after themselves.

Here are a few pictures of the snack that the students prepared.

Students making bagel pizza

Apple pie made by the students

More observations:

  • Students called their teachers by their first names
  • Voices were never raised
  • When getting a student’s attention, you would walk over to them, approaching them gently
  • Students didn’t need help at the sink
  • Students found productive activities to do without being asked

In my next posts, I’ll be sharing the lessons taught and they will be accompanied by lots of pictures.


~ by florriebarnett on January 24, 2010.

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