Would you mind sharing your extensions? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 06-01-2006, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am putting my Sensorial album together. (My first Montessori Class! )

If you feel happy to share any pictures of your Sensorial materials extensions, I would be so appreciative! I will try them myself and get them into my album, with thanks to you, of course.

PM me or see my email in my profile.

I am so loving this experience! LOVE IT!!!!

Lori
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#2 of 17 Old 06-01-2006, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is really hard to find pictures of extensions online. Just thought I would share that erggggg of a discovery!

What's up with that, huh?

Montessori Moms----come share your stuff, puleeeeze!:



Lori
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#3 of 17 Old 06-01-2006, 11:50 PM
 
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Hi! I am interested in what kind of training you are taking? I have training from AMI, and am not too sure what kind of pictures you are looking for or what the "extensions" you are asking for are. In my training, the extensions were additional activities (matching games, grading games, language and environment games) that are done with the sensorial materials.
I am interested in learning more about the differences in training, so I am not trying to argue one above the other, just discussing differences.
Thanks!

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
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#4 of 17 Old 06-02-2006, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, I see. OK. I am taking AMS training, because of the school that I felt very good about. I just got a "good feeling" while exploring their website and then noticed they also provide Montessori training....so I thought it was meant to be, really. First of all, I am head over hills fascinated with Montessori methods, Maria Montessori herself, and all of the wonderful supporters that have contributed books and insight, etc. (check the book list on the sticky.) I know that they can vary in schools-of-thoughts, but I think as long as I am willing to stay true to Maria Montessori's intentions, it won't matter which AMS or AMI credential I earn. Ya know? I LOVE this stuff so much that I want to read every single thing I can, and not fast enough. LOL I think I will keep my exposure very broad and thorough.

Oh jeeze, what was your question? LOL
The extensions are also called variations. I am referring to the authentic Montessori Materials, once learned, can be used for other activities. Example: In class, we constructed a "sky scraper" with the brown stairs and pink tower. Well, we capture as many variations as we can (the kids' ideas are wonderful, too) and print pictures for the kids to try to reconstruct. I think this concept is to keep the interests peeked and to challenge creativity in the child. This is not playing with the materials. It is serious work for them, just look at their faces!

I am putting my album together, finding great pictures of sensorial materials to use, then I look for some extensions/variations, and there isn't any online that are used w/ the materials. Plenty of extra commercial extensions, just not with the actual montessori materials. I figured there HAD to be other classes that were taking pictures of their constructed variations/ extensions.

If I could post a picture of our sky scraper, I would. I don't have a clue, and don't think it is possible here anyway. But I could pm you the picture....

Lori
http://www.fountainheadmontessori.org/index_teacher.php
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#5 of 17 Old 06-02-2006, 03:03 PM
 
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Hi! Cool - thanks for the clarification...I also love Montessori!!!!
In AMI, we don't teach the child any kinds of extensions like that, we do allow the child to discover these connections on their own. Do you present the games?? (matching, grading, language, environment?) We also do stereognostic exercises with Ptower, Bstairs, Rrods, Cylinder blocks and Bi-and Trinomial cubes (blindfolded) after lots of experience with these materials.
It is really great to hear your enthusiasm!

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
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#6 of 17 Old 06-02-2006, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you present the games?? (matching, grading, language, environment?)

Yes, we do present those. Your question makes me wonder if and what is the difference between the different certifications? I mean, what is the difference that one would learn through their training versus another? They do have all the same "curriculum" materials, right? anyone? :

And, actually, the children do the discoveries for the "variations/extensions" I was talking about, too. This particular teacher likes to get pics of them, because they are so proud of themselves and it gives the teachers an appreciation of the challenge it is to construct them. So, then, in the class we were trying for our own constructed "things" (just the teacher trainees). It did bring a connection, for me, to know that it takes skills! and concentration, etc. At this school, they begin to have some favorite "things" they like to build, and then want to use a picture for control of error. You probably get the concept!!!!

Lori
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#7 of 17 Old 06-02-2006, 10:57 PM
 
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Extension suggestion:
Using Color Box 3, get a picture that has lots of color in it (like a Monet or Seurat) and have the child pick out all the color tints that he/she sees in the picture.
I have just completed my training. If you give us a particular piece of material that you need to develop ext/varies on, it may help us to focus on one at a time, or those you need most help with.
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#8 of 17 Old 06-03-2006, 01:04 AM
 
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I am also trying to discover more about the difference in training and have discovered a few significant differences. One is the "circle time rug" I have heard mentioned. Is this part of the AMS training? We do most presentations in small groups or individually except for walking on the line and the silence game. There are group birthday celebrations and other occasional whole group gatherings for special topics, but most of the work cycle is reserved for the children's freedom of movement and communication, which is counterproductive during "group" time.
Ohthethinks, fun idea! I would consider that an environment game.
I feel that to be true to my training, I have to consider building a skyscraper with the pink tower and brown stairs a deviation from Montessori's intention. Besides, it's not even something a child could do independently. Please believe me, I am not trying to be confrontational...I am just trying to state my perspective. I am joined with a couple other Montessori teachers forums (AtoZteacherstuff and teachersnet) and have discussions with other AMS directresses. There are some pretty significant differences IMO. I am trying to figure out why Nancy Rambauch wanted to take AMI training, come back to America, sue AMI over rights to use the name because she felt the originator of the theory was "too controlling of her method" and then start her own "Montessori" organization? There are Montessori organizations in countries all over the world, many of which are affiliated with AMI. AMS is not however so there must be a reason for these differences. There are also many similarities too!!!!

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#9 of 17 Old 06-03-2006, 01:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillianna
Ohthethinks, fun idea! I would consider that an environment game.
I feel that to be true to my training, I have to consider building a skyscraper with the pink tower and brown stairs a deviation from Montessori's intention. Besides, it's not even something a child could do independently.
Why do you think a child couldn't do this independently? I'm just wondering.

From a parent's perspective, the biggest issue that I've had with AMI-trained directresses is that in a few classrooms we've been with, it's not even allowed for a child to build something using the pink tower and the brown stair. Or for the pink tower to be anything but a pink tower, no skyscrapers 'round here!

I have a friend who is an AMI teacher, and she did validate what you all have just discussed - in AMS the teachers are encouraged to show children differing/creative ways to use the materials, while in AMI, not so much. I doubt that there is some huge impact on the children, but FWIW, I do wish that some more leniency had been there in my daughter's classroom.

In her classroom (AMI teacher, again), there is circle time everyday. I think maybe it's called something else, but they always gather daily for books, singing, presentations, etc.

Right now she's being forced to do a map of Asia, and she's not very happy about it. Nor am I. Do children really learn if they're not interested in their work? It's taken her a week and a half and she's not being allowed to do any other work. : She's counting down the days until she no longer has to go to school, although she loves her teacher. This is not really what we signed up for.
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#10 of 17 Old 06-03-2006, 01:51 AM
 
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Hi FSM!
I don't think it is physically possible for children to build the skyscraper because it is too high for them to reach, so they would need to stand on something to complete it, or be assisted by the adult.
My training stressed not relying on group lessons, but allowing the children the full 3 hour work cycle. Not always done in practice and difficult to implement, so many trainees revert to "standard" group control measures (ie circle time) This is true for practicioners trained in AMI too, it's not taught in training, however.
What I was taught was that you never redirect a child unless she is harming herself/others or damaging materials. Otherwise, they are free to exercise their own imagination and creative urges and if the child has not understood the point of the presentation (is misusing/not mistreating the materials) you need to represent at another time, focusing on the point of consciousness needed for success. Not many children combine pinktower and brownstairs IMO because it is enough work for them (the cubes and prisms are heavy for small hands) just to tackle one of these materials at a time and usually of interest to the youngest. The difference in "presenting" extensions and having the children discover them are philosophical, but IMO significant.
I truely do not believe that children should ever be forced to do any activity, but we frequently try to encourage them to complete a project once undertaken. None of the lessons are mandatory. Nothing Dr. M wrote indicated an adult should coerce the child to any kind of activity, she wrote about the opposite and like you said, not much learning gets done if the child isn't interested in the work. I can't imagine forcing a child to do any one activity for a week and a half. 2 of the boys at school today finished 2 maps (N amer, S amer) and started Europe, they are making to use a decorations for our year end picnic! Their goal is to make all of them by Tues.

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
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#11 of 17 Old 06-03-2006, 02:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lillianna
Nothing Dr. M wrote indicated an adult should coerce the child to any kind of activity, she wrote about the opposite and like you said, not much learning gets done if the child isn't interested in the work. I can't imagine forcing a child to do any one activity for a week and a half. 2 of the boys at school today finished 2 maps (N amer, S amer) and started Europe, they are making to use a decorations for our year end picnic! Their goal is to make all of them by Tues.
Not to derail the thread but...it's because if she doesn't want to do something, she will take FOREVER to do it. I've seen this behavior in action. She's making her own map, labelling it, etc...but she's taking her own sweet time with it (and apparently trying to make a break for it sometimes as well)...I guess I just don't see her learning a map of Asia as the most important thing in the world right now, particularly when it has no context for her. She has no idea what "Thailand" really means, you know? Other than she likes Thai food, so now she knows where it comes from - and that's something that I pointed out to her, not the directress. We also talked about Iraq and Afghanistan in context today, now that she's seen them on the map. I wish sometimes that her directress was a little more involved in helping her make those connections or pointing out interesting things so it didn't seem so deadly dull.

She also hates puzzles in general, so it's quite the double whammy there.

I see what you mean about the skyscraper - although my six year old could definitely build a very tall building, she's an enormous kid.
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#12 of 17 Old 06-03-2006, 02:10 AM
 
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ps. and even if a child is intentionally mistreating the materials the goal is to redirect the child to a positive activity without him feeling corrected in order to preserve the spontaneous nature of his activity.
pps. Lori, sorry to "highjack" the thread, I don't have any ideas for these extensions but would love to discuss more about the training if you are interested.

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#13 of 17 Old 06-03-2006, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, please! Keep discussing! I don't have enough time to chime in just yet. Reading is so much quicker than writing. I'm being tugged..........sorry! Just wanted to say, keep talking.
Lori
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#14 of 17 Old 06-03-2006, 02:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
I see what you mean about the skyscraper - although my six year old could definitely build a very tall building, she's an enormous kid.
Maybe I misunderstood, but building a skyscraper with Ptower and Bstairs would be really high! The length of each prism is 20 cm and there are 10.

I was rereading The Discovery of the Child, there is a chapter pertinent to this discussion called "Observations on Prejudices" where she discusses letting the child make these discoveries..."Children experience a new happiness at every discovery they make. This gives them a feeling of dignity and satisfaction, encourages them to go in search of every new sensation in their environment, and automatically makes them observant." pg. 169.

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#15 of 17 Old 06-03-2006, 11:55 PM
 
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Brief comment on the "Skyscraper thought"
In our school we never called it a "skyscraper", basically it was child initiated and just another "dimension" of how the brown stairs can be utilized to illustrate dimension and scale. I think the children just automatically start "builiding" it that way as a reflection of how they use the Pink Tower.
FYI we teach both pink tower and brown stair horizontally, by the way.

Also, the children only build it as high as "they can reach", that way it is still the children's work. Yes, I have seen teachers help them put the last small brown stairs up higher, but this is discouraged !! As it is the child's work.
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#16 of 17 Old 06-04-2006, 12:02 AM
 
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Our children are also allowed to put the pink tower and brown stair together in a piece of work. As the dimensions match and the discovery of how they fit together is really cool ! Similar to the colored cylinders being used simultaneously.

FSW.......EEK on your little one being "forced" to a map ! Hopefully it was approached in a more gentle manner, like encouraging her to have it done by a certain day or something. And is this a 3-6 class, if so then it should NOT have been forced at all !! 6-9 has different requirement of course.
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#17 of 17 Old 06-04-2006, 10:36 AM
 
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The brown stairs are all the same length, so building them vertically doesn't really give any information about changes in dimension.
Ohthethinks, did you say you build the pink tower horizontally? Is this AMS?
As far as the children being allowed to build these two materials together, I believe it is much different to allow it than it is to make this a presentation (by having pictures for control of error, etc)

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