I don’t like the word “work”

I love the word “play.” I don’t like the word “work.” They can mean the same thing though! I am aware that “play” can be an irritating word for certain Montessori schools.
Some Montessori schools use the word “work” for playing, or just learning. Parents have told me that their preschool children are burned out “doing work” at their Montessori school! I couldn’t believe a two year old was already stressed out by “work”!

During Montessori student teaching and training we were taught to let children pick out an activity, not to call it “work.” In fact, we didn’t call it anything in particular. Statements like, “Would you like to try this?” worked very well.

I think we are such a workaholic society that we have missed something in the translation of Montessori’s idea for hands on, joyful learning. Learning, playing and working should be fun. Children seem to know that playing is a child’s work.

Is it an article or adjective?

My children and I look at adjectives a little differently. I think articles, such as-a-the-an-, are not adjectives. But it is true that some people think they are adjectives, while others think they are articles.
Oh well, the English language is always open to interpretation!

“other languages have no adjectives at all. In English the set of adjectives is fairly well understood, though some people include other parts of speech — such as articles like the — in the class of adjectives.”-wisegeek

When making Montessori grammar cards, I would make articles(-a-an-the-) highlighted in gray, not blue-
As always, your students can decide what they think is correct.

What is an adjective

An adjective tells you something about a noun.
The first adjectives I usually introduce are colors, such as red, yellow, blue, white, green, purple, black, and brown.
Write one adjective on each note card. Highlight around the card with a blue marker, ink or crayon. Make a card with “adjective” written on it-keep the card unhighlighted.
Tell your child you are going use the noun cards with something new, an adjective. Explain what an adjective does.
Use your noun cards of classroom or home items and new adjective cards to make phrases-
Here are some examples-
white chalk
red pencil
blue rug
yellow crayon
green paper

Let your child put the descriptive phrases by the objects.
Put away the noun cards back in their box with the noun card on top. Put the adjectives in their box with adjective card on the top.

Keep adding words to your Montessori grammar boxes.

What is a proper noun?

A proper noun is always written with a capital letter, not like those common nouns!
Here is a lesson for proper nouns-
Write on note cards everyone’s first name in your family or classroom. We always included the pet’s first name too!
Say something like this, “We are using a capital letter at the beginning of everyone’s name because it is a proper noun.”
Let the children take turns taking a card and giving it to the person it matches.

Make a noun card to put on top of the pile when you are finished with the lesson. Put the proper nounds in a box with the noun card on top.

Here are some other activities-
Introducing Nouns

Noun labeling lesson

The Silence Game

-Dr. Montessori believed that the silence game was like a religious experience for children. It is important not to break off the game abruptly. The end result is a calm and peaceful atmosphere. Everyone feels rested after the experience.- Read more here.

What is a noun?

When working with nouns I told my children that nouns were a person, place or thing. My daughter asked me if our dog was a person? I couldn’t answer that question! So she decided that a noun was a person, animal, place or thing.

Use your Montessori play farm or ant farm to label with noun cards.

Introducing Nouns

One way to introduce nouns is to print noun cards with words that are in your classroom or home,
words such as pen, floor, wall, door, chalk,rug, paper, crayon, pencil, table, chair-any noun in your environment. You can use black ink or marker on note cards.
Also write out the word “noun” on a different colored card.

I usually introduce 3 to 5 words.
I tell my child that these words are called nouns.
Take a word, such as a “pen”. Ask your child to point to the pen.
Take the word and put on a pile.
Do the rest of the group of words.
Let your child put label card by the objects if he or she want to.
When you are finished with this project, put the words in a box with the noun card on top of the pile of cards.
You and your child can make more noun cards together.