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Hi - we are preparing for our first M observation at an AMI accredited school.<br><br>
My concerns with M education have to do with integrating the arts and music in a meaningful way, and I don't think this particular school has an outdoor prepared environment.<br><br>
Just wanted to get any other ideas on things we should be on the lookout for....<br><br><br>
thanks!
 

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At a good Montessori school you should see the arts and music integrated in a meaningful way. There should be an active and well-stocked art shelf with materials for painting, coloring and different drawing mediums, pasting, cutting, sewing and clay, at the least. There should be work by famous artists displayed at the children's eye level for inspiration.<br>
You should observe some of the children singing while going about, sitting down together in small groups to sing or recite poetry and you should hear the playing of the "bells". The bells are a Montessori material that teaches tone and pitch. Many times you will see children with percussion instruments playing mirroring games or tapping a familiar melody. There are also dance presentations that can be given and movement games that help to develop rhythm.<br>
Though the school does not have an outdoor environment accessible, do they spend any time outdoors at all? Do they go on a walk or have playground time? Do they have a good representation of different types of indoor plants? Animals and plants can also make up a good portion of the language materials: vocabulary, reading games and books about nature. Maybe you will observe other ways that they bring the outdoors in.
 

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Ok, I just went to my first Montessori class visit at an open house... they had me and hubby both go into a class and sit on 2 adult-size chairs, not side-by-side but in in different areas of the room. The kids were doing all sorts of acitvities, the teachers were in amongst them... my question is: the kids all pretty much ignored us adult observers. My kiddo is only 2 now (so we are planning ahead), but his reaction now to someone coming in like that would be to watch them, say 'hi', try to interact. Is it a good or a bad thing that the kids went about their own business? Is it a sign that they are learning to focus and not get distracted during class? My kiddo is not so independent minded as some kids, and I wonder if he will miss adult interaction in this type of envrionment (he would love the other kids, though).
 
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