I have been reading articles on the Montessori method for some time now. But just recently did I finish the book, "Montessori - The Science Behind the Genuis by Angeline Stoll Lillard. It was a great book that really helped me understand the philosphy and principals behind the Montessori way.
Here are the things I've learned so far. I will continue to update them as I read more about Montessori:
* The brain needs order and sequence to learn.
* Free choice and independence increases the desire to learn.
* While free choice is best, too many choices can be detrimental. Limited choice is preferred.
* Movement is very important to developing understanding.
* In order to prevent children from having learning gaps (failing to choose to learn in some areas), it is recommended that the child give a time and day when they want to work on an activity. In Elementary, a child may be asked to use a checklist or list their daily activities. This allows the teacher to monitor that their learning is well-rounded.
* Certain Montessori activities build on each other and should go in sequence.
* Children who have choices will spontaneously with that which they need to further their development. (In other words, if given an opportunity and an enriched enviroment, children can be internally guided to learn as they need.)