Curriculum – The Opportunity For A Bright…
The exercises of Practical Life are classified under the headings of Preliminary Exercises, Care of the Environment, Care of the Person, Grace and Courtesy and Control of Movement. There are materials for each of these areas, adapted to the children’s size interests and capabilities. Fundamentally, these exercises are the same all over the world, but distinct in the expression in different societies, since they reflect the domestic life of the particular culture with a Montessori environment is established. Independence and participation can only be achieved if the child is given the freedom to obey the inner directives would impel it to interact with its environment in the process of its self-construction.
Perhaps, of all the Montessori apparatus the Math Materials are the most glamorous. They are beautiful, showy and in their simplicity supremely intelligent. They give the children a sensorial experience of the abstraction that is mathematics. allowing them to store concepts so that when the time comes to deal exclusively in abstract terms, understanding is already there. Before the children begin to work with the math materials they are well-prepared. The exercises of Practical Life have given them the opportunity to develop logical and sequential thought patterns. The logical order of the Practical Life activities has been complemented by the mathematical order inherent in the Sensorial Materials. These materials allow the children to work with the quantities one to ten in several dimensions and with the Math Materials, they are given the numerical value. With the magical mathematical apparatus, every piece of material isolates one concept and these isolated concepts integrate to form the basis for a further step in the development of the child mathematical understanding.
The sensorial materials have been given many names: Materialized Abstractions, Keys to the Universe, Paths to Culture. These multiple denominations are perhaps indicative of the enthusiasm the materials evoke in people who know them well. They are deceptively simple in appearance and totally satisfying to the developing child. The reason for the success and popularity of these materials are that they allow the children to undertake such activities as all children undertake spontaneously. Given the opportunity, with or without specialised materials, children will sort things by size, shape, colour, touch, sound, temperature and weight. They will grade from dark to light, and from large to small. The Montessori sensorial apparatus allows them to classify sensorial impressions in an organised
order and scientific matter. Because of the clarity of the concepts abstracted the sensorial materials lay a solid foundation for Mathematics, Geometry, Geography, Botany, Art and Music.
Dr Montessori called “Science, History, Social Studies and Geography” the Cultural subjects because she believed that knowledge and the understanding of these subjects is what makes the difference between the “Literate” and the “Cultured” person. Montessori cultural studies is another prospect that makes a Montessori school so different. The cultural subjects are taught in a very specific order the children learn through sensory experience in the use of imaginative stories children in the Montessori environment. They learn about the physical world, they can touch a sphere and compare the shape to the Globe, they build landforms using Play-Doh and fill water forms with water. Montessori puzzle Maps are meant to be taken apart and put back together again as children develop an understanding of Continents and Oceans. These Montessori hands-on activities build long-term memory by physically engaging the hand.
Visitors came from all over the world to see Maria Montessori’s “Miracle Children” the children in her first Casa Dei Bambini in Rome. The miracle which attracted public attention was that children of illiterate families had begun to write and to read spontaneously after working with very simple materials: the Sandpaper Letters which gave the shape of the letters; the Movable Alphabet which allowed them to arrange these letters to form words; and the Metal Insets which made it possible for the children to control a writing instrument. When children come to the Montessori environment at around three years of age, their spoken language is developed. Their vocabulary is quite extensive and the grammatical structure of their speech are well-established. They have a boundless capacity to expand and enrich the language and, as a natural consequence, the desire to write and read.
A Day At Different Strokes Montessori
Oh! What a busy morning I’ve been playing with dough And with a little help, I’ve even learnt to sew.
I helped my friend, Miriam with Triangular Construction. Oh my, what an operation.
I popped into Cultural area to discover that that the pistal, stamen, sepals and leaves are parts of the flower.
I used Pink Tower and Broad Stair to build a spine, which really looked quite fine.
I completed three whole jigsaws and played the hundred board game. I had a turn on the slide and climbing frame.
I handed out the carrot sticks at snack time Then listened to a story and sang a nursery rhyme.
But now the mornings over and Mummies are all waiting. I hope my mother doesn’t say, “Oh! Darling where’s your painting.”
The Toddler Program
The Toddler Program, for children ages 2 to 3, is designed to assist the child in taking important first steps away from home into a nurturing, supportive and stimulating school environment. Children develop independence and respect for others, as well as acquire sensory, motor, practical life, language, pre-reading and pre-math skills.
Within the Toddler Room, the toddler-sized furniture, as well as the specially designed Montessori materials for this age group, provide an environment young children can explore with a sense of mastery. Activities are designed to promote self-care, develop gross and fine motor skills, foster increasing concentration and ability to absorb and follow multi-step directions and to develop social skills.
Young Toddler students learn to work independently in the classroom, taking materials from the shelves, completing the steps of their work and then returning the materials to the shelves. As they progress through the year, they begin to work collaboratively with friends and teachers.