Layers of Observation

If you have spent time in theMontessori classroom as an ob.server, you may have wondered why the teachers spend so much time just sitting or standing and appearing to NOT be doing any teaching.

Actually, observation is a large component of the Montessori teacher’s job of teaching. Part of Montessori teacher training includes learning the importance of and “art” of observing. Dr. Montessori’s directive for teachers was to “Follow the Child”. The only way to do this is to observe the child.

What are we observing? Some examples include: Is the child able to begin and finish a lesson correctly? Does the child remember to clean up his work area after a lesson? Does the child use the materials as presented or does he need a refresher lesson? Is the child ready for the next step in the progression? Is the child able to tackle an extension exercise with a lesson? Is the child holding the pencil, or other tools, correctly? Is the child able to concentrate with.out being distracted? Is a child distracting others? Are the materials being mis-handled?

Are the children safe at all times? Is the environment in good working order at all times? Is the environment spotlessly clean? Are there materials that need to be replaced or refreshed or re.furbished? Are all the components of each lesson available? Is there adequate paper or other consumables for each lesson?

Are all the other adults in the classroom “behaving” in an appropriate manner, which includes not interrupting a working child, not trying to chat or have a conversation with a working child, not doing for a child what he can do himself (such as clean up his work area)?

Yes, observation is crucial to being able to present Montessori education to children. Be very glad your child’s teacher is sitting or standing alertly on his behalf.

(P.S. Montessori classrooms do not have “teacher’s desks”—the teachers will always be “amongst” the children!)

Blindfolded Yet!

Montessori materials are designed to heighten the child’s sensory perceptions. All the sensorial lessons can be used blindfolded, once mastered. Ruby and Leroy, as pictured, loved doing the trinomial and binomial cubes by feel only!

Summer Fun for Children

Abingdon has lots to offer for families during the summers. Do consider these youth activities:

Also check out offerings at the Coomes Center and the William King Art Center.


There has been an amendment in the school year calendar. It has been decided that the last day of school will be Fri, May 25. (On the original calendar, this date was a “professional development” day, with school continuing into the next week for various events.)

Parents of elementary students will be given their final progress reports on that last day, May 25. Preschool parents who wish to have a closing conference with MissDebbie must speak to her to arrange that. There will not be closing elementary conferences.

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