Dr. Maria Montessori believed that no human being is educated by another person. He or she must do it by him or herself or it will never be done. A truly educated individual continues learning long after the hours and years he or she spends in the classroom because that person is motivated from within by a natural curiosity and love for knowledge. Dr. Montessori felt, therefore, that the goal of early childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts from a pre-selected course of studies, but rather to cultivate the child’s own natural desire to learn.
In the Montessori classroom, this objective is approached in two ways: first, by allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by his or her own choice rather than by being forced; and second, by helping the child perfect his or her natural tools for learning, so that the child’s abilities will be maximized for future learning situations. The Montessori materials have this dual, long-range purpose in addition to their immediate purpose of giving specific information to the child.
|Practical Life Exercises
Science & Nature
|Practical Life Exercises – For young children, there is something special about tasks which an adult considers ordinary – - washing dishes, paring vegetables, polishing shoes, etc. They are exciting to children because they allow them to imitate adults. Imitation is one of the strongest urges during children’s early years. In this area of the classroom, children perfect their coordination and become absorbed in activity. They gradually lengthen their span of concentration. They also learn to pay attention to details as they follow a regular sequence of actions. Finally, they learn good working habits as they finish each task and put away all the materials before beginning another activity. Back to Top|
|Sensorial Exercises – The Sensorial Materials are unique to. These materials are designed to educate the senses. In addition, a perhaps more importantly, they assist the child’s concentration, ability to perceive and make judgements, reason. Sensorial Materials help children to distinguish, to categorize, and to relate new information to what they already know. Some of these materials form the basis for mathematics.Back to Top|
|Mathematics – Dr. Montessori demonstrated that if children have access to mathematical equipment in their early years, they can easily and joyfully assimilate many facts and skills of arithmetic. On the other hand, these same facts and skills may require long hours of drudgery and drill if they are introduced to them later in the abstract (pencil and paper) form. Dr. Montessori designed concrete materials to represent all types of quantities, after she observed that children who became interested in counting like to touch or move the items as they enumerate them. By combining this equipment, separating it, sharing it, counting it, comparing it, they can demonstrate to themselves the basic operations of mathematics. Children in a Montessori class never sit down to memorize addition and subtraction facts; they never simply memorize multiplication tables. Rather, they learn these facts by actually performing the operations with concrete materials. When the children want to do arithmetic, they are given a sheet of paper containing simple problems. They work the problems with appropriate materials and they record their results. Similar operations can be performed with a variety of materials. This variety maintains children’s interest while giving them many opportunities for the necessary repetition. As they commit the addition facts and the multiplication tables to memory, they gain a real understanding of what each operation means. In a Montessori classroom, there are many materials that can be used for the mathematical operations of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. Back to Top|
|Language- In a Montessori classroom, children learn the phonetic sounds of the letters before they can learn the alphabetical names in a sequence. The phonetic sounds are given first because these are the sounds they hear in words that they need to be able to read. The children first become aware of these phonetic sounds when the teacher introduces the consonants with the Sandpaper Letters. The individual presentation of language materials in a Montessori classroom allows the teacher to take advantage of each child’s greatest periods of interest. Reading instruction begins on the day when the children want to know what a word says or when they show interest in using the Sandpaper Letters. Writing – - or the construction of words with the movable alphabet letters – - nearly always precedes reading in a Montessori environment. Gradually the children learn the irregular words, and words with two and three syllables, by doing many reading exercises that offer variety rather than monotonous repetition. Also available in the Montessori classroom are many attractive books using a large number of phonetic words. Proceeding at their own pace, children are encouraged to read about things which interest them. Their skills in phonetics gives them the means of attacking almost any new word, so that they are not limited to a specific number of words which they have been trained to recognize by sight. The children’s interest in reading is never stifled by monotony. Rather, it is cultivated as their most important key to future learning. They are encouraged to explore books for answers to their questions, whether they are about frogs, rockets, stars or fire engines. In a Montessori class, the children are introduced to grammar by games that show them that nouns are the names of things, adjectives describe nouns, and verbs are action words. The activity becomes most enjoyable. Back to Top|
|Physical Geography – The large wood puzzle maps are among the most popular activities in the classroom. At first, the children use the maps simply as puzzles. Gradually, they learn the names of many of the countries as well as information about climate and products. The maps illustrate many geographical facts concretely. Children also learn the common land formations such as islands and peninsulas by making them. Back to Top|
|Writing- Montessori offers children a natural opportunity to prepare their hands for holding a pencil and aids the child in the progression into writing. Practical Life and Sensorial materials at the earliest stages provide small motor and sensory experiences to strengthen and promote successful hand-eye coordination. Materials such as push pinning, tracing, and metal insets are just a few of the exercises that lead the child into writing. Sandpaper letters and the moveable alphabet are the foundation of phonetic exercises which will light the flame and ignite the fire into joy of writing! Back to Top|
|Cultural Awareness – The children gain an awareness of the world around them by exploring other countries, their customs, food, music, climate, language and animals. This helps to raise their consciousness about other people, to gain an understanding and tolerance and, therefore, compassion for all the people in the world. Cooking and Nutrition: The children study the four basic food groups and learn what their bodies need in order to be healthy. They cook nutritious foods that revolve around their studies of other countries. Arts and Crafts: Art in the primary environment strives to maintain the great joy the child finds in creating something of his or her own. The children have the freedom to explore their imaginations in a variety of mediums used for expression. The importance of the process is stressed at this time, not the end product. Back to Top|
|Music – Music is fundamental in the classroom. All types of music are integrated. Music appreciation is cultivated, and music used by the civilizations throughout history is unfolded before the child. Music will find its way in all aspects of the classroom – - as a subtle background during work time, to signal clean-up time, as an integral part of the cultural curriculum, as a form of celebration and fun. It’s beautiful to watch a child identify and request Mozart or John Philip Sousa as he or she walks on the line! Twice a week we have our wonderful music teacher, Mrs. T, visit the classrooms and give formal music education lessons which include music history, theory, rhythm and always wonderfully fun songs!Back to Top|
|Science and Nature - Discovery projects and experiments help foster children’s natural curiosity. The plant and animal kingdoms are studied in an orderly fashion to foster a love and appreciation for all living things. Children enjoy nature walks, mobile petting farms, and guest speakers who share their expertise and bring animals for the children to learn and understand. As part of our amazing Culture Class with Miss Pat, children learn about their bodies ~ stretching, learning balance and coordination through weekly yoga classes.Back to Top|
|Extracurricular Activities – Adobe Montessori offers computer and dance & gymnastics as extracurricular classes during the lunchtime on specific days. Computers To U and Dance & Gymnastics for Children are owned and operated separately from the school. Fees, information, and registration for these classes are available in the school office. Back to Top|