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MONTESSORI MONDAY XXVI 2016-17

Added Apr 3, 2017

Why do Montessori children spend so much time walking in circles? Are they preparing to audition for Hamilton? What a curious thing to see! Children slowly, carefully pacing along a simple strip of tape on the floor, their bodies in balance and their minds alert and focused. How could such a simple act inspire such concentration?

Walking on the line is one of the traditional Montessori favorites. Part acrobatics, part mindfulness, the activity gives each child the opportunity to master the movement of his or her own body. Challenged to walk more carefully, to balance on one foot or tip-toe along the length, the children can be absorbed in walking.

In the classroom, you'll see individual children choose to walk or small groups walking together or, as seen here, children carrying objects for balancing.

Children may choose to carry small objects, from vases of flowers to goblets filled with water, to test their own muscle control. While their bodies are carefully practicing the gross motor control required to walk the line, the children's minds are attentive and controlled, too. Like any mindful movement, walking the line helps children to develop a sense of calm, a directedness and an ability to concentrate that they can transfer to other activities. Learning to walk carefully is clearly a practical skill, but walking the line satisfies more than the child's practical needs. It's a deeply satisfying engagement of mind and body.

Walking the line is both social and singular, and attractive to children across the age spectrum and throughout the year.

Try it yourself sometime- it's not as easy as it looks!

Catherine McTamaney, Ed.D.

Christopher Academy Alumna

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