Do you have favorite (reality) books for the Montessori classroom? Fiction or non-fiction...UMA would love to create a list to share. Please write in and let us know. Or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a formulated approach to your parent information and education of Montessori education? If you do, UMA would like to know more about it- what have you found helpful? what needs work? ongoing..., etc? If you don't, perhaps we can keep this disccussion going and assist you.
Let us know by starting in with comments ( see below)
You've heard the hype about CFL bulbs, both the good and the bad. Here's an article that may help you and parents make a responsible and knowledgeable choice on what bulb to use? http://www.ewg.org/node/27220
Always be thinking of ways to be more Green!
At UMA, food is important! So much so that we feel that we all need reminders as to what is good for the body. Montessorians are always making the connection between the mind and the body.
Here's an article from the NY Times on health and the food we eat. Something to share with your staff and parents:
Here is something to consider regardless of one's faith or belief. It is something we can do as part of the human race. As staff, schools and parents, can we not consider taking a stand, a vow of non-violence in thought, speech and action. Go to itakethevow.com. UMA would like to know your thoughts.
Here are some more helpful ideas to keep your distance learning meaningful and important!
*** Keep within the limits or outline of your work. If there are specific number of pages for each assignment, stick to that number. Going over or under may result in your assignment being placed on "the back burner". It says to the evaluator " I don't care for the parameters or rules of the program.
*** Keep the context by making sure the thread of your conversation or lesson is in the body of your email or document. This is very important! Here at UMA, we have, at times, had to return assignments to students not evaluated since they forgot to keep all the back and forth's in the lesson body. Without it, neither the student or the teacher can understand the flow of what was said or needs to be worked on.
*** Stay away from forwarding on messages. It is great to be part of a team in learning. But sometimes we may think our prof or evaluator would like to know what else is going on in our lives. Sometimes it is funny material, jokes, etc. As much as we may want to be chummy, it is not appropriate within an online classroom. Bottomline, it simply takes everyone involved away from the focus of learning. Keep those forwarded emails for close friends or family.
I hope these tips and ideas are helpful for your journey in Distance Learning!
All of us have experienced the ravages of email such as spam and junk mail that often we can become a bit calloused in our approach to sitting behind this machine when we would rather be out experiencing the riches of life ( Whatever that may be? You fill in the blank_______).
So here are some helpful thoughts that will make it a more rewarding and productive experience:
1) Use proper etiquette such as a personal greeting and/or salutation when addressing your instructor or someone involved in the course.
2) Don't appear too casual in your language or thought. Remember, you are being evaluated upon what you know and how you are interpreting the material.
3) Stay away from what some call "virtual heated arguments". That is, using inflammatory language or highly emotional messages that only incite negative responses. For Montessorians and here at UMA, this is very important since our first step into the Montessori world has to do with Grace and Courtesy.
4) Keep your comments short and on topic. Especially in the body of emails. Your course material may ask for more but when it comes to the actual email message, short is sweet!
5) Add your name to your messages. Some email programs will automatically add your signature but some will not. Stay personable by using your name instead of your email address. Especially if it is: "honeybear@..." or "bigkahuna@...". You get the point.
Next post we will continue with more practical do's and don'ts.
I aplogize to our online readers how I have dropped the ball on this one. Back in October ( see archives), I started this series and never finished it. So let's pick up where we left off. Today, I want to relate some key aspects to your online distance learning.
First, Look over your work.This is key for keeping your staying power online.
Second, ALWAYS check your work for grammatical and spelling errors. Most word processing programs can do both.
Third, follow whatever document formats and specs the instructor gives you. Which word processing program, font and font-size,etc. Make sure you check these out with your instructor. Usually they are posted and given to you in the introduction or some other place online. UMA spells them out in the welcome and introductions to the course work.
Fourth, have the right equipment. Know the minimum software and hardware requirements for your computer. Are there any specific programs you must have? Any online programs that are a part of the course work or in order for you and the instructor to stay in touch. Have one of the better anti-virus programs so that you are receiving or sending malicious viruses back and forth in your work. This can happen when uploading or downloading programs as well. PC's are more susceptible than are Apple/Mac computers but both can become infected.
Last but not least, check the speed of your internet connection. Some online courses only run properly with fast internet connections. If you need more details on your connection, check with your ISP (Internet Service Provider).
And if ever in doubt, your online course instructor or school should be able to help you out with any of these.
Here's the link to the article: