Monday, November 23, 2015

Music and Movement in Preschool

Montessori school has come to mean many things in the century since its development by founder Maria Montessori, but true Montessori schooling involves several concepts, which make it a distinctive expression of the original teaching methods she used, starting in 1907. These methods include an emphasis on independence within prescribed limits, freedom of expression, and respect for the development of a child, in terms of his/her natural physical, psychological, and social growth.

Montessori classroom music and movement

Incorporating these principles into a program of music and movement for preschoolers can have some wonderful benefits for youngsters. It can be especially helpful when you allow them the opportunity to express themselves through movement, in whatever direction the music might take them. There are literally endless musical themes to choose from which can provide the basis for self-expression in young people, and the combination of the two can act as powerful stimulants to their developing imagination and creativity.
A typical preschool day can be enormously enhanced by the coupling of music and movement, in several different ways. One classic Montessori exercise is 'walking the line', wherein children perfect their sense of balance and movement by walking along a line or ellipse taped to the floor, while moving to music. At a time when youngsters are working to master movements in general, this can be a priceless assist.
Learning about dance is another way that music and movement can liven up a preschool day and create a fascinating activity that children will love to come back to, day after day. The Montessori program also encourages the use of muscular gymnastics so children can improve on skills they need for daily activities, such as dressing and undressing, buttoning clothes, lacing their shoes, and carrying objects. These are movements not ordinarily cultivated in traditional gym classes, but by featuring similar movements to music, children's early skills learning can be reinforced dramatically.

Learn about Montessori

To see firsthand how music and movement can be used to enhance and aid in youthful development, visit the Montessori Children's House in Fremont, CA. Tours are offered for the express purpose of demonstrating the tremendous advantages provided by Montessori schooling, so parents can gain an understanding of how their children might benefit. You'll love what Montessori can do for your children.


Decision and Consequences Games for Preschool

Preschool and kindergarten children aren't too young to learn about decisions and consequences. Every day, they already make choices like the shoes they want to wear, the cereal they wish to eat, and the children they like to play with. These decisions may not seem to be major, but as they grow older, the things they do will have a bigger influence on their future choices. To ingrain such an important lesson in their young minds, try these games:
  • Role-playing -- Preschool children like to pretend they're princes and princesses, superheroes and villains, wizards and fairies, astronauts and doctors. Make use of their imaginative minds by creating an interactive verbal story and different directions for it depending on the decisions they make. Prepare the story lines on index cards to keep you on track. Think of it as a create-your-own-adventure tale, but instead of reading it, you're all acting it out.
  • Gift-grabbing -- Children need to learn about risks as well, and this game will help them with that. Gather lunch bags and put a small trinket in each one; make sure the number of bags is one greater than the number of children in the class. Leave an untouched bag on the table. Then distribute the rest of the lot to the children. Don't ask them to open it; instead, tell them to feel what's inside then decide if they will keep the it, trade it with another classmate, or get the extra bag. After all the trading, ask them to open their bags and see what's in them, then talk about what they think they should or should not have done to get what they wanted.
  • Outdoor team games -- Classic games for children like hide-and-seek can help preschoolers learn how to make decisions as part of a team. They'll realize that in a group, their choices count as much as others', and that compromise is important when members have differing opinions. They'll also develop strategic thinking when they come up with tactics on how to win. But more importantly, you can also use this opportunity to teach them about being humble winners and gracious losers.

At Day Star Montessori, we encourage decision-making games to help our preschoolers become smart not just in intellectually, but socially and emotionally as well. Take a tour of our reputable preschool in Milpitas, CA to see if we're the right fit for your children.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Preschool Science Activities on Germs

Science projects are a great way to teach kids about things that they can't see, such as germs. When seeking the right preschool in Fremont for your child, it’s important to consider all aspects of the educational program. Preschool children love science projects as well as anything that lets them get messy and learn.

Here are a few preschool science ideas that will help you to teach kids about germs.

Demonstrate How Germs Spread
After explaining that germs are too small for the human eye to see, you can show kids how they spread by putting glitter on your hand and shaking hands with the child next to you. They, in turn, shake hands with another child, until all the kids have shaken hands. All the kids will have some amount of glitter on their hands. Explain to the kids that this is how germs spread when they have them on their hands.

Encourage Thorough Hand Washing
Use this activity to show kids how difficult germs are to get off if you don't wash your hands thoroughly. Put a little bit of oil on the kids' hands and have them rub it all over. You can sprinkle some cinnamon on their hands to represent the germs. Ask the kids to rinse their hands in the water to demonstrate how little it does when you wash your hands without soap. Then have them wash their hands with soap, and let them see how much they have to scrub in order to get rid of the oil.

Grow Cultures from Germs
This experiment is a lot of fun for the kids, but it'll also show them proof of how many germs are around us. Make homemade petri dishes using unflavored gelatin and boiled sugar water, pouring small amounts of the mixture into aluminum muffin cups. Then have the kids collect germ samples from different surfaces with Q-tips. Rub each Q-tip on the surface of a different petri dish, and label each one. Over the next week, the kids can watch the cultures grow. This will demonstrate that there really are germs all around us, even if we can't see them, and even reveal which surface have the most germs on them.

Preschool kids usually have a natural fascination with science projects, and love programs that give them plenty of opportunities to explore their world. To see how Montessori Children’s House can encourage your child to learn and grow, call us today for a tour of our school.

Deciding Which Montessori Preschool is Right for You

Finding the right preschool program will involve not only the search for nearby school locations, but also personal interaction with teachers and a first hand glance at the classroom environment of each program. An important aspect to finding the right preschool for your child is to find a school that is accredited. Since the Montessori method is not patented, anyone can claim to have a Montessori school, even if they do not. Accreditation from the American Montessori Society (AMS) gives you the guarantee that the school you choose for your children is teaching them in the Montessori method and not some other way.

There are certain factors that set a Montessori preschool program apart from the rest. In the classroom, there will be an emphasis on choice for the students. Children that have fun learn more and learn faster. The children will have opportunities to advance at their own pace through their choices, not according to arbitrary curriculum mandates. You will find many different learning tools in a Montessori classroom and children that are allowed to move freely between them to explore and learn about the possibilities presented. The teacher will be involved with students’ explorations and able to answer any of the students’ questions or requests for assistance. However, Montessori teachers are there simply to guide and not lead. It’s this kind of learning that makes the Montessori method so successful, especially at the preschool age when children are able to absorb knowledge at an exponential rate.

We welcome any of your questions at our Bay Area schools. Please contact us today for more information and a tour of our school at any time.