What is Montessori
Montessori education is a system of education developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. She used her powers of observation to study how children learn best and to create a philosophy about the true meaning of education. The classrooms have a wide range of activities
Practical Life activities help to develop motor skills and help to normalize the child. They consist of care of self, care of environment, control of movement and grace and courtesy. They include water pouring, polishing, dressing frames, bead stringing, gardening and many other activities. These exercises help to develop concentration, coordination, order and cleanliness. In addition, the children have a sense of satisfaction when they have successfully mastered an activity.
The Sensorial activities help the child to develop and refine the five senses. He learns the tactile and visual discrimination of size and shape. This enables exploration and discovery through sensorial impressions. Properly developed, these impressions can bring to the child a sense of order and oneness with his environment.
The Montessori materials for mathematics provide a fundamental understanding of number functions. The children are first introduced to the concepts of quantities and symbols, and then introduced to the functions of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
The Montessori materials teach mathematics in a hands-on (manipulative) manner. The children are exposed to such concepts as fractions, algebra and geometry in a very concrete fashion that is easy to understand. This leads to a clear understanding of the abstract concepts which they will study later in the elementary classroom.
The interest in writing develops in the child a short time before the interest in reading; however, the skills are so related that they are developed almost simultaneously. Very early in classroom experience, the children are introduced to the phonetic sounds of the lower case alphabet letters. Through a series of games and lessons, the children discover that words are merely sounds put together. Using the moveable alphabet, they learn to build words, and move on to building sentences and creating stories.During this period of reading and writing preparation, children develop their skills and interest where they burst into writing and explode into reading one right after the other.
Science in the primary classroom is an exposure to the world around them. There are collections of shells, rocks, bugs or plants available for the children to examine, touch and learn about. Simple science experiments are done in group lessons to help the children understand the workings of the universe as well as their immediate environment. The children participate in Animal Science activities by caring for and maintaining pets such as chickens that the children have hatched from eggs in the classroom. The children also care for fish & reptiles on a regular basis. In addition, the children learn Botany and gardening skills by growing fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers in the school gardens.
Dr. Montessori created a colorful set of map puzzles to teach Geography. Children learn the shapes and names of the continents of the world and are introduced to the map of the North American countries and the United States. They also learn about land forms such as the island, lake, bay & cape.