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ERIC Number: EJ1144503
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1522-9734
Creative Engagement: Handwork as Follow-Up Work
Lebitz, Ellen
NAMTA Journal, v42 n2 p121-137 Spr 2017
"To a great extent, we all must "do" in order to learn." Ellen Lebitz begins with this overarching truth as a lead-in to a close look at handwork in the elementary environment. She explains the benefits of handwork for the second-plane child, including it being a key to helping "even the most distracted children find focus and interest." She gives concrete examples of handwork (mostly as follow-up work) along with tips for implementation, including maintaining a clean-up routine and having materials organized and available. She addresses teamwork in handwork, issues of scale, and poses handwork as a grounding route to abstraction. Supported by invaluable tools for the teacher to use, her enthusiasm and experience with this work shines through as encouragement to be prepared and, most importantly, to trust in the child: "It would be so easy to just assume that we know what the best follow-up is, but the children need to be free to figure out themselves what they are interested in and on what they want to work. Once we make a particular project an expectation, then we are taking away the 'spontaneous' part of the spontaneous activity in education. We have to make peace with the idea that some follow-up will be not as we expect, will fizzle out, but, sometimes, will exceed our wildest expectations. All of this is part of the process; we have to let go of our 'favorite' projects and let the children be free." [This talk was presented at the NAMTA conference titled "Finding the Hook: Montessori Strategies to Support Concentration," October 6-9, 2016, in Columbia, MD.]
North American Montessori Teachers' Association. 13693 Butternut Road, Burton, OH 44021. Tel: 440-834-4011; Fax: 440-834-4016; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A