Recognition of 50 Years of Montessori Work

Susan Mayclin Stephenson first began explaining Montessori in 1971, through a school newsletter that helped families of her students understand the essence of Montessori. She has continued to write and speak, based on personal experience, since that time.

Here is a quote from the upcoming book on observation and record keeping for the primary and elementary class, Please Help Me Do It Myself:

Rather than focusing first of all on the academic work in class, when I had a meeting with parents, I showed the parents the concentration graphs for their child. This kept the focus on the value of their child learning to independently choose work, to experience deeper and longer periods of concentration, and the positive results of this experience.

I found that this was an excellent way for parents not only to begin to understand Montessori, but to look for, and hesitate to interrupt, their child’s concentration at home.  

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Concentration, Where the Magic Happens

Circle Time—Collective Lessons?

During my first year of teaching, an older and more experienced teacher at our Montessori school in San Francisco, California, told us that we should have a 30-40 minute “group” lesson at the end of each morning, with all of the children sitting in a circle as we sang songs, had news time, and sometimes gave a lesson that usually would be for one child at a time. I had not heard of such a thing in my AMI 3-6 course in London but I respected this teacher so I followed her advice.

A few years later, Margot Waltuch, who had worked with Maria Montessori for many years, was the consultant for my own school in Michigan (and later the consultant for my 6-12 classes in California). Continue reading