Thursday, 9 November 2017

The beauty of the Montessori method

Montessori materials are the most visible sign of  Dr. Maria Montessori's unique approach to education. Early in her observations and studies of children, she realised that the hand of the child represented a direct pathway to his/her development of the intelligence. She expressed these concepts by saying "never to give the mind, what you have not given to the hand". This, she referred to as the hands-on learning approach.
The Montessori materials respond to the natural state of the child's development, interests and sensitivities from birth to 6 years of age.

Let us understand the purpose of the Montessori materials and look at how they prepare our children conceptually for further school success.

1. THE BINOMIAL SQUARE- Directly, this activity prepares the child to visually place the 2D shapes to build a square. However, indirectly it is a preparation for Math, to understand the concept of square roots. This material acts as a bridge between concrete and abstract thinking.This exercise is an indirect preparation for the geometrical algebra (a+b)2. The binomial square would facilitate a complete understanding of this geometric algebra at the elementary level.
Geometrical algebra

2. THE PINK TOWER-The purpose of this beautiful material is to prepare children to visually discriminate the different dimensions. Indirectly this activity prepares children to refine their voluntary movement by placing the cubes one on top of the other, with one single movement of the hand. While doing so, the child is also refining visual-motor coordination and is called upon to concentrate. This material prepares children for mathematics. It also enhances the child's language of the degrees of comparison (e.g. small, smaller, smallest)

3. OBJECT TO PICTURE MATCHING- Object to picture matching has some very important benefits. One, it helps with vocabulary, providing order. It also helps the children explore concepts in abstraction. This activity enables children to make the connection that what they hold in their hand is the same as what they see in the picture. This sort of abstract thinking is essential in the later reading stages.

4. WASHING ACTIVITIES- These are considered as exercises of practical life. These activities directly help the children to become more independent in the caring of their environment. Such activities instil a sense of order, enabling the children to follow instructions in a sequence (essential in formal schooling). Indirectly these kind of activities would build the child's voluntary movements.

5. PUZZLES- Puzzles are an important educational learning tool for young children, as they provide many skills and learning benefits. Puzzles help in increasing children's visual spacial awareness and develop a deeper understanding of the themes and topics. Puzzles are a great way to refine children's fine motor skills. Working with puzzles, indirectly help children increase their problem solving ability by developing solutions which they can later transfer into their personal life.

6. CYLINDER BLOCKS- The Montessori cylinder blocks are 4 blocks, each containing 10 cylinders with knobs that fit into its respective sockets. Each cylinder block is different from the other, increasing in the level of complexity. The cylinder blocks directly prepare the child for visual discrimination of dimensions. Indirectly, it is a preparation for writing; coordination of the fingers to hold the pencil. Refines the voluntary movement as the child has to fit the cylinders with one precise movement. Preparation for Math.

7. HAND AND EYE COORDINATION- Hand and eye coordinated activities are extremely essential for many significant reasons. Montessori method provides children with a range of hand-eye coordination experiences. These activities help children to concentrate, practice to aim for a target and enhance their fine motor skills. These activities indirectly prepare children for writing, in sports and help in general day to day activities.

8. READING- The human brain is wired for language. As Maria Montessori said, "The only language anyone can ever speak perfectly is the one they learned in their childhood, when no one can teach them anything". Reading is different, as it must be actively taught and consciously learned. One of the best ways of inculcate good reading practice is to model it.

In Montessori, we use books and flashcards that have REAL pictures so that the child is able to correlate and connect it to his/her actual environment. Every word is clearly pronounced with voice modulation and expressions to engage our young readers. Reading is a daily practice at school.

To receive more details about the Montessori system of learning, we welcome you to attend our 'Open house exhibition' on 25th November, 2017. Through this exhibition you will be able to understand the underlying principles of Montessori education. We will present the materials, to give you an in-dept understanding of how and what your child learns at school.

Thank you,
Team Casa Vista.

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