Jun 13, 2007

Sensorial and Math Record Keeping

Diego's Rattlesnake with Red Tongue and Pink Rattle by Diego Alvarez

We often squeeze only a few drops out of the gargantuan, juicy orange that is the Montessori Material, especially when it comes to sensorial and math. For example, we often forget that arranging the 3rd Color Box as spokes around an object does not need to be the pinnacle of this box's illustrious career - Diego reminded me of this last week. Love the graded snake!

In the past two years of teaching, I've often been frustrated by my lack of memory regarding follow-up exercises and games. My record keeping system was also responsible for many a wrinkled brow. The problem was two-fold: First, I couldn't remember every possible exercise and game, and fishing through my anvil-weight albums during every lesson planning session was the pits. Second, my records for each child only allowed me to record the main presentation - there was no space to write down exercises and games. And what superhero can remember every little presentation given to each child in his or her classroom?

I think I've landed on a solution. My new system for record keeping has been downloaded at the Yahoo group, under "Files, Other, Record Keeping." For the moment, I've only uploaded the Sensorial and Math portions, but I'm currently working on the rest. That said, Sensorial and Math are probably the most universal Montessori areas, as they cross borders linguistically and tend to be very similar from school to school. (Whereas Practical Life might vary quite a bit, depending on your cultural context and the kind of materials the teacher has prepared.)

Please keep in mind that these files are based on my training as an AMI guide. Interspersed are tips given at the AMI mathematics refresher course that I took in February 2007, ideas from Maria Montessori herself as read in "Discovery of the Child," and a few ideas that are old AMI (1970's ish,) because that is when the women with whom I work in Mexico took their course. I say this because those of you who aren't AMI trained might open up the files and say to yourselves "Huh? What in the world does she mean by this?" For all I know, my fellow AMIers might have similar questions, because the lists are my "shorthand." The idea is to pass on the gist of it, and you can modify and fiddle with it to fit your own needs. In fact, this is the best way to go about it - sit down with your own albums, make a list of presentations, exercises, and games, and think about each sequence as you go about it. Then, fill out the individual child's record (Word Document) to correspond with your own list.

The record keeping is pretty self explanatory. Simply put a check next to the presentation given. These records will stay with the child throughout his years in the Children's House.

So, what are you waiting for? Why don't you mosey on over to the Yahoo group and see for yourself?


P.S. See the new banner in the side bar? It's something my husband has been working on at his organization, Just Foreign Policy. Reforming food aid is something that everyone can agree upon, regardless of political leanings. Click on it and check it out!


BlueHeartTeacher said...

OK. What Yahoo group? I'm curious. I've just skimmed a thesis on record keeping. I've got my own system, but I want to know what's out there!

And you were one of the first on a google search. Imagine that.

Anonymous said...

yeah, what yahoo group. i am just starting to do montessori at home. i need help with record keeping. i did a google search

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