What is Montessori?
Montessori Monkeys implement the Montessori Method of teaching, but what is the whole Montessori thing about?
Find out what Montessori is below, and contact us with any questions.
Montessori is about learning to balance responsibility with freedom of choice, it offers children the oportunity to realise their potential, in a non-competitive environment and seeks to promote in them -
Self-confidence and self-esteem
A sense of achievement and self-worth
A sense of responsibility for themselves and their actions
Independence and adaptability
Co-operation with others
A sense of respect for others
Concentration and persistence in completing a task
Initiative and self-motivation
The Montessori Method is a child centred method of education. A child centred method allows for the changing needs and interests at each successive stage of development. The Montessori Method meets the needs of each child at each stage of their development.
The curriculam for the Montessori classroom is divided into different areas of learning. These are -
Language and Literacy
Creative Subjects (Music and Movement, Arts and Crafts)
Below I will briefly explain each of these areas.
The Practical Life exercises lay an important foundation to the whole Montessori Method of education.
Practical Life exercises are everyday tasks designed to teach your child life skills to aid inner construction and also help children to master their environment.
There are four sub-areas -
1. Elementary Movement
- Carrying different objects
2. Care of the Person
- Dressing Frames
- Washing Hands
3. Care of the Environment
- Watering Plants
4. Social Skills, Grace and Courtesy
- Please and Thank You
- Shaking Hands
Aims of the Practical Life exersises are, but not limited to -
Physically learn to do tasks he/she can use in daily life.
Develop Motor skills and Co-ordination.
Sensorial materials are used to train and sharpen the senses which a person possesses. They are a solid foundation for intellectual development. The sensorial materials are made up of a series of objects, which are grouped together because of some physical quality they have, for example, shape, colour, texture and size.
Sensorial materials are divided up into the following -
1. Visual Sense
- These materials help the child perceive size, shape and composition.
2. Chromatic Sense
- These help the child to perceive colour.
3. Olfactory Sense
- This will help the child perceive sents and odours.
4. Gustatory Sense
- This will help the child perceive taste.
5. Auditory Sense
- These will help the child perceive loudness.
6. Tactile Sense
- These materials will help the child perceive texture.
7. Baric Sense
- These will help the child to perceive weight.
8. Thermic Sense
- This will help the child perceive temperature.
9. Sterognostic Sense (Muscular Memory)
- This perceives form through tactile and muscular impression combined with movement.
Language and Literacy
The child meets the alphabetical symbols by using the Sandpaper Letters. In a Montessori classroom the child learns the phonetic sounds of the letters.
Each letter of the alphabet is outlined in sandpaper on an individual card, the vowels blue and the consonants red. The teacher shows the child how to trace the letter with two fingers following the same direction in which the symbol is normally written.
Use of this material gives the child a three-fold impression -
The child sees the shape
The child feels the shape
The child hears the sound of the letter, which the teacher repeats when introducing it
This is an important step in learning to write. The repetition of this exercise fixes the path of the letters in the child's muscular memory.
The Montessori Language section goes much further than just Sandpaper Letters. Helping the child to write by using "insets for design". For the children who are interested, there are materials to help the child to begin to blend sounds together, letting them begin to spell out words.
In the Montessori Classroom, story time and learning songs/poems is also very important for language development.
You will find that in the prepared environment of the Montessori classroom there is a great deal of material for teaching the child mathematics.The child is introduced in the sensorial materials to the numbers 1-10 with the use of the Pink Tower, Broad Stairs, Long Rods etc., so from these he gains a sensorial basis for counting up to ten. To turn this abstract format into concrete, the child is presented with the number rods which are identical to the long rods except that they are coloured red and blue alternately in one decimetre sections.
The names of the numbers are taught next and the Sandpaper Numbers, which introduces the symbols of numbers to the child. When taught in connection with the rods the child will see how quantity and symbols are a similar concept.
The next simple counting exercise introduced is the Spindle Box, which also introduces the child to the concept of zero. This is followed on by the counter and cards, which like the spindles show the child loose quantity, but the cards with the loose counters also present to the child for the first time odd and even numbers.
All this work perfects the concept of numbers up to ten for the child, starting with fixed units from which the child can absord a clear concrete impression of quantity into his unconscious before moving to the abstract concept of loose quantity and symbols.
For the child who is very interested in Mathematics and numbers, the Montessori classroom provides materials in which the child can learn numbers beyond ten.
Cultural Studies are divided into Geography, Nature, History and Science material.
In Geography the child is introduced to the Coloured Globe which helps the child become aware of the relative sizes, shapes and position of the land masses and oceans. All of the materials work together to give the child a clear sense of where we are in the world, as well as learning about the different continents around the world.
In Nature the children learn about plants and animals, about the different Seasons and the life cycles of some plants and animals. They will also discover and learn all about the solar system.
In History the children learn about the concept of time. They start by learning about the "Timeline of their Day", and then go on to learn about how their birthday comes once a year. The children will also learn about dinosaurs.
In Science the children will learn and conduct basic science experiments. An example is - Making flowers different colours by feeding them coloured water. The children learn that plants drink and need water to survive.
Throughout the school year, the children will have many "Music and Movement" classes where they will be able to dance and use the many musical instruments provided.
The children are encouraged to be creative throughout the school day. They have access to an art table which has all the crafts a child could ever want to use, from paint to feathers to gluing and scissors.
There is also play-doh available for the children to use.