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Child Screams and Runs Around the Classroom When Asked to Put Montessori Activities Away

Child Screams and Runs Around the Classroom When Asked to Put Montessori Activities Away

I have a child in the class who just turned three. Very smart. His parents are bilingual. Repeats words, phrases or sentences you say in third person. He can sit down and do work but when he is done he would start screaming or running around the room wall to wall. Then would have a hard time going back to work. He has a fascination on fans and makes fan out of most if the materials. Recently he has been pulling hair in random no apparent reason and no show of emotions toward the child. Are these sign of something about the child or just simply a child lacking communication skills which will come soon. Thanks.

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Photo credit: Nisha A / Foter / CC BY 
"When he is done he would start screaming or running around the room wall to wall..." I suspect he gets away with not putting his belongings away at home, too, and uses tantrums to get his way. Ask for a good time to talk with the parents over the phone (try not to talk in front of the child) and find out what their child does when he is asked to put something away (jacket, lunch box, blocks, etc.). If he can get away with it at home, then why not at school! Plus, he is in the Sensitive Period for Order! The family needs to follow the same Montessori principles at home as far as Practical Life Care of the Environment (putting your things away, and always in the same place).

So what to do at school? When we encountered this problem, we gave group lessons on how to put your work away. We'd ring the bowl, have everyone stop and look, while one of the teachers took out a material, did the activity, and then put it away (Montessori Social Grace and Courtesy). Then, the teacher picks a child to have a turn. Do this once a day for a few days.

We also did puppet shows after play time, and we did the same thing, only with puppets (and talking), then the puppets would ask the children questions about it... sort of like a Q & A.

Another method we tried was paring up the young child with an older child, they did an activity together and the older child would model the behavior (put the activity away).

Pulling hair: Give lessons on how to touch someone, on how to be gentle (Montessori Social Grace and Courtesy). Do a puppet show. Ask the parents if he does this at home, or if another sibling pulls hair. Also give lessons on how to ask someone to play with you...

Thanks Lisa. For sharing your time and knowledge to us. These are great suggestions. What do you think about his fascination about fans or anything shaped or move like it? Is it just a phase?

It's very common in preschool children! A new practical life skill is almost always repeated, given the chance! To move him forward, you can make fan matching activities, fans from Japan, fans from China, counting fans, color matching fans... Once you know a child's interest, expand on it!


After pinning this post on Pinterest, it sparked wide debate (and my responses) in the comment section of the pin! Read all the comments, and feel free to leave your own thoughtful response/s: 

AND that's not all! The author of Asperkids: An Insider's Guide to Loving, Understanding and Teaching Children and Asperger Syndrome also commented on my pin, with a link to one of her posts that she felt was relevant to the discussion, with this lovely quote at the bottom!

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