Practical Life Album (EC)
The Practical Life Album is designed for teachers in primary/early childhood classrooms (ages 3 to 6+). It presents comprehensive lessons for the key areas of the Montessori everyday living/practical life program including:
- Preliminary Exercises
- Grace & Courtesy (SEL)
- Care of the Person
- Care of Environment
- Control of Movement
Click here to see a Practical Life Album Preview including the complete table of contents.
This album is grounded in the Montessori primary training (early childhood, ages 3 to 6+) but it goes well beyond that. The album is infused with the teachings of cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychology, neurobiology, and MBE (mind, brain, and education). It is based on over two decades of work with children (in private and public schools), teacher trainers, and parents.
This album on its own is no substitute for a teacher preparation program. For that reason, when you order, please list your existing credential or training program in the comments field.
Print or Digital Options
You can receive your albums printed (on high quality, 3-hole punch paper; binders and tabs not included) or as digital, view-only PDFs (no printing or downloading options are available for digital files). All printed albums include free access to our viewable PDFs.
The Maitri Learning albums were written by Julia Volkman who holds her AMI primary Montessori credential and a master's degree from Harvard University. She has been a recurrent teaching assistant and guest lecturer in Harvard's Neuroscience of Learning course since 2012. Harvard awarded Julia the Dean's prize in 2017 for her research on the Movable Alphabet.
"I am offering these albums because science can not study what is hidden. If we want the Montessori method to be validated through research, we must make the method known to those who would study it. We can look to the success of other manualized programs (like cognitive behavioral therapy) as a model to help improve our teacher education programs."
- Julia Volkman, ALM (Harvard), AMI (3 to 6+)
What are Montessori Albums?
Montessori albums are THE resource that all Montessorians look to to support their classroom practice. They contain step-by-step instructions on how, when, and why to present all of the Montessori materials.
In some training programs, teachers-in-training write their own albums. In others, teachers-in-training are given prepared albums. While it may be more advantageous for the adult learner to write their own albums, it is not always feasible for them to do so. An alternative is needed that neither sacrifices the deep learning of the student nor the needs of schools to prepare teachers in summer-based courses. The challenge here is that the training program must adapt to the culture. We must follow the needs of the adult just like Dr. Montessori taught us to follow the needs of the child.
The burden on teachers, particularly those in public schools in high poverty districts, is too great to ask them to leave their training course in the evening only to go home and spend hours writing up their albums. We must not burn our teachers out before they set foot in the classroom.
The new approach that we present gives teachers in training the text-based part of the album but asks them to add the illustrations/photos. They are not asked just to take a photo of a material on the shelf, but must take many photos/draw several illustrations of key steps in the presentation of each material: from layout to clean up.
These early childhood albums are a great support for:
- School leaders who need to create a common, school-wide approach across classrooms where teacher's have diverse trainings
- Montessori Instructor's/Teacher Trainers and their students
- Trained Montessori guides looking to increase their knowledge and understanding of the pedagogy and align their practice with the authentic teachings of Dr. Montessori
The Instructor's album includes:
- All theory
- Photos/illustrations clearly showing the key parts of every lesson
- All text-based information for each lesson
- Suggested age to offer the presentation
- Prerequisite lessons (e.g., the Sound game before the sandpaper letters)
- Purpose (also known as the aim, direct or indirect)
- Materials needed
- Step-by-step instructions for the Presentation
- Step-by-step instructions for all following exercises
- Pedagogical notes
- Accommodations (for select materials)
Guide (teacher-in-training) Album
Montessori teacher's are called Guides because they don't do a lot of direct teaching. Instead, they guide the child to use the materials/do the activities they need in an intelligent way. It is the materials/activities that teach.
The Guide's album includes:
- All text-based information for each lesson (just as in the Instructor's album)
- Placeholders indicating where theory or other album elements should be added
- Photos and theory are intentionally omitted so that the guide-in-training will add their own
You can purchase a digital or physical copy of this album. The hard copy of the albums are printed on high-quality, 3-hole punch paper. No binders or tabs are included. All print-versions come with free access to the viewable PDF of the album.
Viewable Digital Albums
If you don't need a hard copy, you can purchase just the digital album. These digital albums provide internet-based access to a viewable PDF (non-printable). You will receive an email with a link to a shared google drive. Only your email will have viewing privileges. Contact us if you need access for a group.
Made in the USA; 322 pages (instructor's album); full color
ITEM #: ALBPRACT
Remember that the lessons we offer in each area of the environment build upon and rely upon the others. For example, the way we present the red rods in Sensorial is foundational for how we present the number rods in Math. For this reason, we recommend that you purchase ALL FIVE albums. It is best not to piecemeal the albums together with your existing program. The unified approach is best.