As Montessori guides, we understand how important it is to give children opportunities to speak and express themselves. At the same time, we have a very long list of lessons/presentations we would like to offer the children! Sometimes it is a true art form to manage our time as we offer presentations while still allowing the children to express themselves.
Here is a lovely example of how Maureen Ryan, an AMI trained Montessori guide teaching at the public Zanetti Montessori School, follows the children's lead and nurtures their curiosity. The children have gathered several items together to play an I Spy sound game. Before they start playing, they comment on what they have in front of them. Maureen does a wonderful job of guiding their dialogue while making space for each child to express themselves. And all this happens as a brief prelude to (rather than a side track from) the sound game lesson they are about to receive.
This was recorded for the Neuroscience & the Classroom course created by the Annenberg Foundation together with the Harvard Science Media Group (recorded in May of 2012). Only part of this clip made it into the course but the producer allowed me to publish it here with the hope that it might educate others. I hope you find it useful!