Everywhere around the world parents, children, schools, teachers have been talking about a lost year that is the 2020-21 academic year. Virtual learning- while has its perks- surely cannot beat in-class learning is the universal opinion.
But in so far as Montessori goes, surprisingly enough, virtual learning has caused children to dig deep and understand better. Montessori, by virtue of being hands-on, was not expected to adapt well to the online format. We provide scientifically designed material in smooth wood and hard metal for the children to easily manipulate and learn in a vibrant environment that is the classroom. We provide a community of learners who interact and teach others. The challenge was to translate this to a home learning environment.
The extended Montessori community worldwide rose the challenge and how? We managed to make the most crucial of materials with cardboard and paper. We made PPTs, we used ice cream sticks, we used beads, we used buttons; we used every craft available on hand to make materials as accurately as possible.
The advantage of this being, children got to make their own material- chequered board, large bead frame, fractions, grammar boxes, grammar symbols, polygons, and solids to name just a few. These on-trend DIY projects of material making, helped the children understand how the material works, and hence the concept was that much easier for them to grasp using the material.
We hope the children can come back to the environment with a more working knowledge of each material and concept than they did earlier. If not they at least did not lose touch with the work they started in the Montessori environment. Either way, it was definitely not a zero year for Montessori children.
Give your child the benefit of Montessori education while at home. Get her ready for school the Montessori way. Introducing the Montessori Home Schooling Programme for toddlers aged 1 to 3 years.
By Mridula Chunduri
Schools across the world went into lockdown rather suddenly. Some had literally an evening to move on to the online platform, and some of the luckier ones, a few months to prepare. The second category of schools had time to gear up for the eventuality of starting the new academic on the virtual platform. They did not waste a minute of this precious reprieve they got and researched all over for the best online teaching practices. Not a blog went unread, not a resource went untapped. Everyone connected with everyone to give themselves some insider information on how to pull it off. They created documents upon documents, held practice sessions after practice sessions, ensured laptops were sent to teachers, coached parents on what to expect, and were as ready as they could ever be.
And then the children came online.
Zoom Classes as planned by schools were EXPECTED to go like this.
Teacher- Good morning children. Hope you all are safe and taking care of yourselves. All of you will stay muted and will raise hand when you need to ask a doubt. Let us begin. Today we will be working on Compound words.
Zoom classes in REALITY go more like this:
Pinky – I can’t see you Ma’am.
Bunty- I can’t hear you Ma’am
Tinku – Hey look Rinku has a virtual background. Ma’am he is not supposed to have it.
Rinku: See, I can even make your picture into a virtual background.
Pinky- Hey look look I got a new pet. Let me turn my camera around.
Tinku – Who is scribbling on the screen?
Bunty- Tinku check your chat, I sent you a message.
Rinku – Ma’am mute everyone. We cannot hear anything.
Pinky- Hey why is Bunty the host?
Tinku- Ma’am got disconnected! Bunty make me host.
Rinku- I want to share screen.
Bunty- Who is this TransformerT-Rex2020?
Tinku- Hey that is me! How do you like my new screen name?
Pinky- I can also change my name…See I am UnicornQueen!
Teacher- Sorry children got disconnected. I should disable the waiting room. You guys took forever to let me in. Shall we start?
All children- Yes Ma’am. Spotlight me first, I want to show you something.