Numbers are all around us, and from a very early age, children are exposed to them (absorbent mind).
The Montessori philosophy is no different and has many activities that help children build a positive relationship with numbers. The activities start with fixed quantities and numerals, and then progress to unfixed quantities and numerals, this helps to build the child’s understanding and confidence.
Just like every other Montessori activity, children will be shown how to do the activities, and will then be encouraged to move on when they feel competent. Children get concrete experiences with numbers, which helps them to understand the concepts faster as they are using their senses and actually touching the equipment.
“Children are unique individuals, education should be individualised for each child.”- Maria Montessori.
Rods, spindles, beads and cubes are all used to help children learn and visualise numbers and their quantities. Montessori Oamaru will have all this wonderful equipment in the classroom for the children to use and work with when they are ready to explore. This equipment is just another facet of the classroom and the Montessori philosophy, which helps create an environment so unique and exciting where children’s learning and development is at the cornerstone of everything.
Maria Montessori believed we learn through our senses.
Which is why sensorial is an important area of the Montessori classroom. The specialised equipment can be found in any Montessori throughout the world and is designed to help children learn about and refine their senses (Touch, Taste, Hearing, Sight and Smell). The sense of touch is the sense by which children learn most about their environment in the early years. Children learn the most by touching or doing rather than sitting and watching. Teachers will demonstrate how to use the equipment and will encourage the repetition and practice of the equipment. Each piece of material has been designed with a direct purpose in mind, again helping to build upon the foundations of prior learning.
The sensorial equipment is used to help introduce children to many of these concepts:
Each piece of equipment can also increase in its level of difficulty. This helps to build and develop children’s skills even further because every child is free to learn and develop at their own pace.
We will continue to discover more about the Montessori Philosophy as we count down to the Opening of Montessori Oamaru. Our next blog we will take a brief look at Mathematics.
Practical life in the Montessori Classroom.
Spoons, Cups, Plates and Jugs are all things you will find in the practical life area of Montessori Oamaru. The Practical Life area is an essential part of any Montessori Centre, it helps to lay the foundation for all other activities within the Montessori classroom. Practical life can be described as those everyday activities that you do at home such as washing dishes, sweeping, preparing food and polishing. These activities help children to gain knowledge and life skills by participating in real experiences which are set up in purposeful ways.
‘The hands are the instrument of the mind.’ – Maria Montessori (You learn by doing)
Practical life activities are broken down into 4 areas:
- Care of the Person
- Care of the Environment
- Social Relations – Courtesy and Grace
- Control of Movement
Each area is very beneficial in helping to build new skills that will lay the foundation for other Montessori tasks. Hand and eye coordination, sequencing, and completion of a work cycle are skills that are developed while participating in practical life.
The next Blog will look at Sensorial and help to continue the journey to building a picture of Montessori Oamaru and why it’s so unique.
‘The Environment is the 3rd Teacher’- Maria Montessori
Oamaru Montessori classrooms are all specially prepared and designed to display beautiful equipment in an exciting and inviting way. The environment will be warm and inviting with specific colours chosen to create a calming, soothing feeling. A selection of beautiful artworks will be placed around the centre exposing the children to a range of different art styles, helping build an appreciation for art concepts.
The daily routine will quickly become second nature as it is always predictable. This helps build a sense of security as children know what is coming next.
The Classroom will be divided into 6 areas (which we will explore)
- Practical Life
- Art and Crafts
Each area is uncluttered & has its own specific equipment that will be displayed in an orderly respectful manner.
Children will be able to work with the equipment individually or with guidance and support from their Teachers or peers.
Children will be encouraged to return the equipment back to the way they found it, leaving it for someone else to work with. If they have not quite finished with a certain material & they need a break, they are encouraged to leave their work on a mat with their name tag. Other children learn quickly that if the equipment is left unfinished on a work mat, they leave it as it is. This is a respectful gentle way of not rushing the children & this flows on into the environment where the space is unhurried and calm. We do not rush, we do not rush the children & they are free to move around the room & the ‘areas’ as they feel comfortable.
Next week we will explore the importance of Practical life.
The Montessori approach is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity & hands-on learning, where opportunities are created for children to try new things in a safe & predictable environment.
In the Montessori environment, children make creative choices every day in their learning. The Montessori equipment & ordered environment, along with the support & guidance of the teacher, come together to offer age-appropriate activities to guide the children throughout the classroom. Respect for the child is the cornerstone of all Montessori teaching.
There are many myths, incorrect information and unknown’s about Montessori. Many people perceive that ‘children don’t get to be children’ when they attend a Montessori centre. Below are some common questions that we would love to answer for you!
WHAT IS MONTESSORI?
WHY WOULD YOU SEND YOUR CHILD TO A MONTESSORI CENTRE?
MANY PARENTS ASK WHAT MAKES MONTESSORI SO SPECIAL AND WHY SHOULD I LOOK AT THAT OVER ANOTHER CENTRE?
The Montessori philosophy is an age-old philosophy that has stood the test of time & given so many children/tamariki the skills and ability for the stepping stones of life.
The Montessori method believes that active children ‘absorb’ through their senses. Children feel compelled to explore and master the environment they are in. During work time the children will be able to choose activities which have a specific skill associated with them. Practical life is the first stage and is very hands on.
Children love mastering new skills and enjoy using everyday objects that they would find around the home, developing new skills.
Montessori Oamaru will use the Montessori method to create a warm, calm, peaceful and supportive environment where children will learn, becoming confident and competent learners. Montessori isn’t just a way of teaching, it’s a sense of being, which will be seen throughout the centre. From the way the environment feels when you walk in the door, to the approach of every teacher, & how the children are visibly happy & content in the environment.
Join us on our journey as we make our way through the Montessori approach & we take a look at all the things that make Montessori unique. Look out for our next blog coming soon!