5 Areas of Montessori
At Light Farms Montessori, our objective is to instill a love of learning from an early age. Our classrooms are “prepared environments” that allow children to explore their natural urge to learn through real life work, thus creating and developing the whole child. The Montessori method of education for preschool is broken into 5 main areas of the classroom: practical life, sensorial, language, math, and cultural sensitivity.
The purpose of practical life activities is to help children become independent and adapt to their society by gaining control of their focus and coordination. Children learn to care for their environment by picking up after they have finished with their lessons, keeping the classrooms clean, watering plants, etc. The idea of caring for themselves is reinforced when they are asked to put away their own backpacks and lunchbox, take off and put on shoes independently, and wash their hands. Food preparation is explored through pouring and spooning activities. These tasks help a child concentrate, expand his/her attention span, and improve hand-eye coordination.
Sensorial activities help children acquire clear, conscious information, refine their senses, and heighten their awareness of their environment. To Montessori, the child is a “sensorial explorer”. Sensorial activities help the child explore the world through their five senses. Activities include bead stringing, matching color tablets, and cards, matching pictures, working on puzzles, and comparing objects of different textures and sizes. They help to develop the child’s visual, auditory, and tactile senses.
When the child arrives in a Montessori classroom, he has fully absorbed his culture’s language. When we begin teaching the letters of the alphabet we use purely phonics; this method execrates reading in comprehension. Materials in this curriculum include objects and pictures that need to be named, matched, labeled, and classified in order to aid in the building of the child’s vocabulary. Lots of singing, finger plays, stories, and “show and tell” makes language-learning fun.
From the beginning, children are introduced to mathematical concepts in concrete form. Lessons are designed to teach the basics; quantity, symbols, shapes. Lessons include activities such as spindle boxes that better defines zero and bead bars that teach concepts ranging from units, tens, hundreds, and thousands to addition and subtraction. Other concepts such as measurement, time, and money are also taught. This approach to math is logical, clear, and extremely effective. It allows the student to internalize math skills by using concrete materials and progressing at their own pace toward abstract concepts.
Dr. Montessori believed that all children have an inherent curiosity about the world around them. In the Montessori classroom, cultural studies generally encompass the following areas:
- Geography-An introduction to our place in the world, land, air, and water; land and water forms, globes and maps, the seven continents, flags, layers of Earth, our solar system, and an overall respect for different cultures and people.
- Science-Science activities in the primary classrooms are nature based and simple exploration of botany and zoology.
- Art and Music-Through a variety of arts and crafts children bring to life what they are learning and experiencing. With a healthy inventory of paints, crayons, pencils, play-doh, glue and other materials that will spark the imagination. Students consistently deliver masterful works of art. Like art, music is a universal language that children can explore and appreciate through listening and movement activities.
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