Montessori Materials

IPW Montessori Teacher Training Centre

All materials are arranged invitingly on low open shelves. These are bright arrays of solid geometric forms knobbed puzzles, coloured beads, insets various specialized rods and blocks. The materials are self-correcting-if one piece does not fit or is left over, the child easily perceives the error without need for a adult "correction". The child is able to solve problems by himself, building independence, analytical thinking and the satisfaction that comes from true accomplishment.

SENSORIAL : Exploring the World

The Sensorial Materials make learning a natural result of the child's desire to explore. Through sight, touch, sound, taste, and smell the materials enable them to clarify, classify and comprehend the world-shape, size, colour etc. The concepts of long and short, for example, are perceived in the "Red Rods" of varying lengths. Likewise these lessons are repeated with the "sand paper globe" helping the child to distinguish between land (rough) and water (smooth). The Sensorial Materials also provide a basis for the development of other skills such as music, math's, or language. Tracing a sandpaper letter 'm' with his finger not only sounds out the symbol 'm' but also feels it ! Later the muscles of his hand will remember the tracing motion as he writes the letter.

MATHEMATICS : From concrete to abstract

Preschool children have natural mathematical minds. They have the capacity to reason, to calculate, and to estimate. They are intensely conscious of quantity, counting pebbles on the beach or cookies for dessert. Rods, spindles, cards beads, cubes and counters are some of the concrete tools used to symbolize mathematical abstractions. The child does not merely learn to count : she understands the concept of 'how many' because she holds the amount in her hands. Likewise she is able to perform the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using concrete materials.

LANGUAGE : From spoken to written

The joy of learning language is evident to all parents. Throughout the entire Montessori environment, the child hears and uses precise vocabulary for all the activities, learning the names of textures, geometric shapes, composers, plants, mathematical operations and so on. In addition, certain materials in the language area are particularly supportive of spoken language. 
The materials for written language first introduce the child to the marvelous 26 letters of the alphabet and their sounds, which make it possible for us to express ourselves in writing. Later, the child may begin composing words, sentences and whole stories using the 'movable alphabet'.

ART AND MUSIC : Integrated into the prepared Environment

Art and Music activities are viewed as forms of self-expressions, and as such, they complement and enhance the children's ongoing explorations, including the enrichment of vocabulary.
Various media, such as crayons, chalk, pencils, paint, clay textiles and a variety of papers are available, as are opportunities for singing, humming, dancing and playing instruments, moving to rhythms and even song writing.

EXPANDING THE BOUNDARIES OF THE CLASSROOM : working outdoors

There is little separation between the indoor and the outdoors, Sometime nature is a part of the indoor environment through plant care, flower arranging, and care of one of more classroom animals. Other times children go out to explore and discover among the plants, animals and open sky.

Outdoors, children are able to garden, collect and identify leaves, label trees ; study cloud formations even find geometric shapes in shadows. Finally keeping with the preschool child's stage of development, going outside provides occasions for new levels of responsibility and independence.

THE MONTESSORI TEACHER

The Montessori teacher believes in the powers of the individual child, who wants to do things by himself and act on his own. The teacher knows the developmental needs of the child and sets up and maintains the prepared environment with an atmosphere of calm and other, warmth, care, awareness and joy. She never unnecessarily interferes or corrects.

 


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