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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Observation by the Child

Observation is one of the cornerstones of Montessori.  The teacher is trained to objectively observe each and every child, without passing judgment.  These observations lead us to seeing learning patterns or sensitivities in the child which help us to direct the child to the materials that will best satisfy their natural development.  Taking the time regularly to simply sit and observe is so very important to meeting the needs of each of the children in our care!

Observation by the Child

Not only is it important for the adult to observe children but equally so for the child!  BUT observing is a skill that we should directly teach the child.  All children love to watch each other, but observation is different in the grace and courtesy we use.  When young children “watch” they are rarely quiet and most insist on joining-in with what they are seeing.  To observe is to watch, but silently, so as not to disturb the other child.  To observe is to also watch without touching a working child’s table or work.

What would that look like?  A child should be invited for a lesson on observing.  They should be shown by your modeling how to stand by the table of the working child with their hands at their sides or behind them.  Then you explain in a whisper, “We are going to observe this work.  We are not going to talk or touch because that might disturb her work.  Let’s try.  Show me how we can observe.”

Also, the children need to know what to do if another disturbs their work.  This is a great group-time lesson! “Children what would you do if you are busy and another child touches your work?  Or talks to you and disturbs your work?”  See what the children say and then add, “You can very nicely say “Please walk away, you are disturbing my work.”

Reinforcing the procedure for the children to observe and how a child can direct another away will help a great deal in creating peace in your classroom!

1 comment:

  1. Observation skills are very important. Though some parents don't think so. But in reality Children kust can't not observe without interrupting and we need to teach them silently watch. You had some important points