• Ibis Fernando

Exploring, engaging and taking active part in their learning process...

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

Practical Life exercises are the first activities introduced as they help support children's need for independence. The practical life activities involve reality-based, every day activities using real, child sized materials that the students use to care for their own needs, help care for others and help care for their learning environment. Just to give you a few examples of our PL activities:

  • Grace and courtesy: Using quiet voices, opening/closing a door, politely asking for help, accepting/declining food

  • Fundamental skills: Transferring using spoons, scoops, tongs, pouring water, using sponges

  • Care of person- putting on a jacket or gloves, buttoning/zipping/snapping/tying, blowing nose and washing hands

  • Care of the environment: sweeping, dusting, folding napkins/towels, watering plants, arranging flowers

The Binomial cube, as all Montessori materials provides direct and indirect purpose/points of interest for the children. In a primary setting, the binomial cube is presented as a sensorial experience (3-D puzzle). The experience provides opportunities for challenge and critical thinking, fine motor coordination, sequence and visual discrimination. When assembled correctly, the pieces will fit perfectly in the designated wooden box. Indirectly, the Binomial cube prepares young children for advanced math. The Binomial cube provides children with a concrete experience for the algebraic binomial equation (a+b)3 (cubed).

Metal insets are part of our Language Curriculum.

The direct purpose: it provides opportunities for children to learn about shapes (square, triangle, rectangle, pentagon, trapezoid, circle, ovoid, ellipse, curvilinear triangle and quatrefoil). The students trace and design fun shapes and patterns using the metal frames and insets.

The indirect purpose: The metal insets help with the development of fine motor control and refined hand movements as children prepare the hand for writing. The shapes correspond to the curves and angles found in the letters of the alphabet. There are 7 presentations for this material that increase in difficulty. They serve as a concrete foundation for geometry and help in the development of concentration.

The knobbed-Cylinders are part of our sensorial curriculum (touch and sight). Providing 4 different variations that allows for visual discrimination of dimensions. Indirectly preparing for writing (pencil grip), future foundation for language as children expand their vocabulary learning words such as "height" and "diameter".

The children learn skills including discerning size, height, weight, width/depth, matching skills and gradation. The knobbed cylinders promotes concentration and independent learning as the materials are self-correcting (if a piece doesn't fit that means it doesn't belong there, the child must continue to search for the correct piece, relying on his/her experience and observation as maintain responsibility for his/her own knowledge and achievement instead of relying on an adult for assistance). Each block is presented one at a time, and will be represented as variations.

The number rods are part of our math curriculum. The rods represent concrete experiences of quantity (1-10) , adding numeral cards to introduce symbols. The number rods are presented at different levels of abstraction for added challenge as children continue to learn and expand their understanding. Exercises with number rods include making groups of ten, and static addition and subtraction operations when children are ready.

Sorting activities are incorporated throughout the Montessori Curriculum. The activities promote language development and provide opportunities for children to make connections between familiar pictures of things in the environment that go together providing opportunities for critical thinking, visual discrimination, memorization, and concentration.

It is important to remember:

  • In a Montessori learning environment, children are presented with the same materials using different levels of abstraction and variations to ensure developmental appropriateness.

  • Children learn at their own pace

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