Recently, the Eton Parent Council hosted a Learning Event entitled Development of Executive Functions: The Brain and Learning. The topic of the evening got me thinking about those skills and competencies that we hope to nurture in children that go beyond academics and the "Three R's."
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Some of the first lessons in our Pre-elementary Montessori classrooms are called Grace and Courtesy. Students learn to push in chairs, quietly open and close lockers and doors, clean up their work so it is ready for another classmate to use, and move calmly in the classroom. They are guided in expressing their feelings and listening to others. "Please" and "thank you" are used regularly. Students are also taught how to welcome visitors to the classroom.