Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Montessori's Three Period Lesson

Many of you are already familiar with the basics of the well-known Montessori three period lesson: Present, ask what was presented using the name, then point to what was presented and ask your child to recall what it is. For example, you might name a dog, cat, and bird, and then ask your child to show you the bird, cat, and then dog. Then you would point to each and ask what it is.

This simple layout of a presentation makes sense. It minimizes distracting conversation and lengthy explanations that make matters confusing. The person giving the presentation has a clear set of guidelines.

If you find yourself talking more than our quick sample above indicated, you might be adding needless confusion.

Here's a quick test:
1. Do you find that your child/student is frequently unable to successfully complete period 2 of the lesson?
2. What about period 3?

Problems in the presentation will show up above. We highly suggest video taping yourself giving a presentation to your child. Then review the presentation. Find practice partners among other parents or teachers. If you have older children, solicit their merciless feedback. Tell them what your goal is and ask them how you do.

How is it going? The video practice sessions are great for teacher training as are the family and other adult practice sessions. In training courses, we practice with each other, and then practice in a session reviewed by our own teachers. And then we practice as teacher interns.

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