What is Montessori?
Felicita Montessori School utilizes Maria Montessori’s philosophy and methods. This philosophy promotes the realization that the young preschool child intuitively has a desire to learn. This desire can be harnessed by tapping into the child’s sensitive periods for learning. The philosophy recognizes that there are developmentally targeted times to present information. Identifying those periods allows the child to absorb learning joyously.
The environment of the Montessori classroom is divided into five specific areas: Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language, and Cultural Studies
Practical Life plays an important role in a child’s development. Children learn to perform daily activities centered around elementary movements, care of the environment, care of oneself, and social relations.
These activities have a purpose that is immediate and visible, making it easy for the child to grasp it. They are simple and concrete in order to build confidence and prevent frustration. Through the carrying out of practical life activities, the child develops and strengthens muscular control and coordination.
Sensorial is a method of refining and preparing the senses, which increases the child‘s eagerness and interest in obtaining more knowledge. Through the use of the sensorial materials, we can help the child acquire precision in everything he/she does. Each piece of sensorial equipment provides a purposeful activity. Through the use of the equipment we help to prepare the child’s auditory, visual, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory senses for exploration and education in everyday practical life.
Upon introducing the child to the complex field of numbers, we must make the first step attractive, interesting, and as easy as possible. We do this through the use of the number rods. These rods are both attractive and easy for the child’s first entrance into the world of mathematics. They give the child the concept that collective numbers can be represented by a single object (i.e. The five rod is divided into five equal parts, but still remains five.) It is through the application of this principle that the child is able to succeed so easily in accomplishing the first math operations. In the Montessori classroom, we start with this totally concrete material. The child works his way through this and other materials which present different concepts of mathematics and at the same time become more and more abstract.
Montessori recognizes that there are four phases of language development—
Birth – two years: This is the period of speech development.
2–4 1/2 years: The child greatly expands his/her vocabulary during this period.
4–6 years: This is the child’s entrance into culture. He/she now uses reading and writing as well as speech.
5–7 years: This is the stage of total reading. The child is actively employed in the development of expression through reading and writing.
Through the use of matching exercises, sandpaper letters, reading boxes, and more, the Montessori classroom provides the child with a multitude of activities for language development.
The Montessori classroom includes material-based activities in the areas of history, geography, science, and the arts. Children explore the world in which they live through the use of globes, maps, landforms, and more. They learn about the world’s inhabitants through the study of plants and animals. And they are introduced to the arts through song, dance, and art based activities.
To further exploration of the world in which the child lives, the Montessori teacher creates weekly or monthly themes of study based on science or social studies topics that serve as building blocks to these various areas of knowledge. Learning comes through the use of classroom materials as well as instruction during circle time, bulletin board displays, music, story time and art projects.
Felicita Montessori School
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Lifelong Friends, Inc.
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