The real sign of a high functioning classroom is when the students can even monitor their behavior when the teacher is working in another part of the room. In fact, Maria Montessori, the first woman to attend medical school in room and the founder of a still popular educational philosophy, said: :The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist,’”
And while there are many other classrooms that appear well orchestrated when the teacher is running the room, some of these classes are completely helpless without their conductor. Early in the year, of course, it is difficult to expect students to operate at this level of autonomy. As the weeks progress, however, it is in everyone’s best interest if the children are able to monitor their own behavior and remain productive even when the teacher is not closely monitoring every movement, action, and word spoken in the room.
Finding the Right Museum for Children Can Provide Hours Of Educational Entertainment
Not all learning takes place in a traditional classroom where the teacher is up front lecturing to a room full of students. In fact, more and more educators are using the flipped classroom to make the most of their time with students. By providing lessons and lectures online, the actual time in the classroom is reserved for student lead activities and presentations. This type of approach often requires the focus of older middle school, high school, and college students. When it works, however, it keeps students engaged.
For younger students, whether they are home schooled or in a Montessori setting or traditional classroom, a great activity is a trip to a museum for children. As more and more of these educational museums attempt to market themselves to teachers and parents alike, many of them provide introductory classroom lessons that prepare students before their visit. With engaging and interactive displays, the visit to a museum for children is especially beneficial to students who may not get to these locations outside of a school experience. Follow up extensions, of course, provide a way for the learning from the museum to continue throughout the rest of the week. Learning through play is an especially important concept in a time when too often schools are focused on testing for state and national standards.
If you are a parent looking for things to do with children then it might be especially beneficial to know that like boys, as many as 74% of middle school girls express an interest in engineering, science, and math, often referred to as STEM. For this reason, it is important to look for a museum for children or teens that caters toward these interests. Even adult museums, however, often offer an extension that is appropriate for learners of all ages. STEM occupations are growing at 17%, while other occupations are growing at only 9.8%, according to the U. S. Department of Commerce. So, it is imperative that the entire nation continue to attract students of all age toward these careers.
It is especially important in all kinds of settings that educators and parents alike try to help their students and children become independent learners. In fact, fostering independence is an early step in making sure that a student will succeed in the future.
Did you know, for instance, a recent study indicated 88% of preschoolers playing with blocks were engaged in at least one math-building activity? For this reason alone, it is important to let children not only enjoy their play, but also del with the struggles that can come with building a tower. When students complete tasks on their own without the need for external gratification they are learning to test themselves and monitor and grow their patience. When parents, or teachers for that matter, are too quick to step in and provide solutions they are doing far more damage than good.
What are you doing today that can help produce tomorrow’s leaders? If you are an educator, are you providing a learning environment where children are learning to monitor their own behavior so that you could step away and merely observe?