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Sat, Jan 18


Waterdown Montessori School

The Work of the Hand - Elementary

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The Work of the Hand - Elementary
The Work of the Hand - Elementary

Time & Location

Jan 18, 2020, 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Waterdown Montessori School, 1921 Snake Rd, Burlington, ON L7P 4Y2, Canada

About the Event

Teachers need to design the class environment and offer the opportunities that acknowledge the innate human tendencies and their role in a child’s development.  Children working in synchronicity with their natural tendencies are internally motivated and fulfilled. An environment designed to foster these tendencies empowers the children with greater concentration and meaningful activity.

We will review these tendencies, which are especially well served through activities that engage the work of the hand. 

  • Exploration – explore and manipulate the raw, natural materials
  • Work, Repetition and Exactness – repeat a task over and over again as they work toward mastery and completion (the child’s own control of error is employed as they observe any imperfections, refine their technique and strive for their own level of perfection) 
  • Manipulation – need to handle objects and tools to understand them and shape their environment; also provides historical connection 
  • Communication – use art combined with an image or word to encapsulate and share a unique and personal message or feeling 
  • Abstraction and Creativity – visualize a final creation and observe its revealing through the process of the work of the hand

In our make and take workshop, we will explore some basic woodworking to incorporate into your classroom and you will prepare a small craft to take back to your class. Some of our points of interest will include:

  • A simple overview of the properties of the wood and connections back to your botany and ecology lessons
  • Use of basic hand tools including child friendly saws, brace and bit (hand drill and bits), clamps and craft wood burning equipment
  • Sequence of steps in sanding with different grades, and preserving of the project
  • Extension projects or activities based on interest of the children

Additionally, we encourage participants to bring in a favourite project that they have created for their classroom to share with others. Ideally, if you can provide a paper (or digital) copy of the lesson plan/exercise and present a sample final product to facilitate sharing of your idea.

More about our presenter:


Jamie has worked with Casa, Elementary and Middle School children in both Canada and the United States for 25 years. He has served as classroom director, summer camp instructor and administrator. Currently, he guides the Middle School class of Aurora Montessori School and is the Outdoor Education Director for children ages 6 – 14.

Extensive hands-on and environmental experience includes work on the land with adolescent programs, many years of science and summer camp, wilderness camp expeditions and teaching and training with Outdoor Education programs. The Montessori training, teaching and camp experiences provided exciting perspective on and clear confirmation of Human Tendencies and the critical need for work of the hand in our children’s development and prepared environments.

In his spare time, his hands have been busy excavating Pleistocene fossils and Ontario mineral treasures whilst his feet explore marathon miles and the Canadian wilderness from East Coast to Baffin Island and the mountains of the Yukon. 


  • CAMT Member - Elementary

    This includes a $10 material fee.

    Sale ended
  • Non-Member - Elementary

    This includes a $10 material fee.

    Sale ended



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