The Basics of Montessori LessonsMaria Montessori designed lessons with these things in mind:
- Conciseness: Lessons should be short and sweet. The better a teacher can get to the lesson's core, the more helpful it is for the child. Cut out excess and unnecessary language to provide the best guidance.
- Simplicity: The lesson plan should be based on truth rather than entertainment. To avoid clouding it, lessons are stripped down to their core truths that are essentially part of the topic.
View the Lesson Through a Class Lens
Observing the workflow throughout the class can give clues to what areas are working well and what areas need more attention.
- Are there empty areas? If children avoid using a specific site or activity, perhaps it needs adjustment. How can each area of the classroom provide value to students?
- Are there busy areas? If there is an area that seems exciting to learners, how can you capitalize on that interest? Can you extend the subject matter to a different type of activity? Are there learners not yet participating that you feel are ready for the work?
- How much variety is contained within the lesson plan? Part of maintaining a balanced classroom is ensuring diversity. Are there enough opportunities for students to explore different organizational and emotional skills? Does the lesson plan include lessons that develop the child's motor skills and body awareness?
View the Lesson Through an Individual Lens
Along with observing the class rhythms, it is equally important to look at the balance of the Montessori lessons for each child individually. If a learner doesn't have a high level of engagement, you can review which areas of the lessons need more or less attention, resulting in more balanced future activities.
- Is the child only working in one or two areas? If so, consider if you're giving enough varied opportunities. Should you utilize lessons in other areas?
- Is the child avoiding a specific topic? Observe the child to see if they are stuck on a particular part of the lesson. How long have they practiced that skill before moving on to the next level? How many times have they practiced it?
Student motivation is the backbone of progress in child-led learning. Providing enough variety and care in your prepared environment can aid a balanced education.
Pay Close Attention to Prerequisites
When selecting lessons for your classroom, you can set your learners up for meaningful knowledge acquisition by paying attention to lesson prerequisites. Review previous work to see if there is a gap or something that needs to be presented again. During this process, you can ask:
- Is the child continuing to practice because of a challenge or struggle?
- What skills has the child already mastered that will help them with this lesson?
Follow the Child
When planning a Montessori lesson, allowing enough flexibility to follow the child is vital. After all, child-led learning is one of Montessori's distinctive features. To help with this, try to:
- Plan a variety of lessons and exciting concepts that are balanced throughout the topics.
- While a daily schedule is important, stay flexible to allow spontaneity for the child to follow their interests.
- Position the child at the center rather than the teacher to maximize cognitive engagement.
- Group children together to encourage cooperative group learning.
An effective schedule should include a work cycle of free-choice time to foster independent learners. Children must have a sense of control in their learning process. This is all part of the Montessori method. Every Montessori school is dedicated to fostering intrinsically motivated and self-regulated learners. As we pull from the guidance of Maria Montessori, a balanced lesson plan will help fulfill our mission of creating a supportive classroom environment.
Lesson Planning at Your Fingertips
Montessori education software such as EDNA lets you coordinate lesson planning, record keeping, and progress analysis--all from a single platform. This Montessori lesson planning software gives you that which we value highly: clarity. Our goal is to free up more energy for you to direct toward your learners as you maintain a safe and inclusive classroom. EDNA is ready to partner with you as you help build a lifetime of creative learning for your students. Contact us now to schedule your free demo!