There are five areas of learning in the Montessori classroom.
Practical life:This is the foundation that prepares a child indirectly to all the other areas of learning in our Montessori classroom
All the activities are to help children learn about order, concentration, coordination and independence. Some of practical life activities that we introduce to the child are, pouring, sorting, laying the table, care of self (washing hand, blowing our nose). Dressing frames. These exercises are the building blocks for a child taking the first steps towards independence.
“ Help me to help myself” Dr. Maria Montessori
Sensorial awareness:Through exploration of the various materials of varying dimensions, colour, shape, texture taste and smell, develops children’s perception of their environment.
Activities we introduce to the children are The Pink Tower, Brown Stairs, Red Rods, Taste Jars, Smelling Bottles, Colour Tablets, Baric Tablets and Sound Bells
“The aim (of sensorial exercises) is an inner one, namely the child train themselves to observe, to make comparisons between objects to form judgments, to reason and to decide” Dr. Maria Montessori
Language:In this area of learning in our Montessori classroom we encourage development of early literacy skills. We teach children the sounds phonetically, helping them to blend the sounds together to make words. We have circle time every morning, where children are encouraged to share their news, we focus on different story books where children can predict the story. We believe that language is built upon singing and songs. We also have a special drama class, where we encourage children to participate in our plays.
Some of our activities we present to the children in pre writing are the sandpaper letters, movable alphabet, we help children to develop their fine motor skills with metal insets. When children are ready we teach them the correct formation of letters, how to hold a pencil correctly, sentence structure and composition
Mathematics:the materials for mathematics initially develop the child’s understanding of mathematical concepts such as shape, length, volume, weight and number, representing these in physical forms. This develops into written number forms and arithmetical operations. Montessori mathematics focuses on the fundamental skills to calculate.
Activities:our mathsarea of our classroom is divided into six categories, number rods, spindle boxes, golden beads, 3D Shapes, sandpaper numbers, memory work, counting using quantity and symbols.
Cultural:The cultural area of our classroom encompasses a variety of subjects that include Geography, Zoology, Botany, Science, Art, Music, Spanish and French lessons. Studying these subjects provide children an opportunity to explore using their curiosity of different concepts and ideas. In science we encourage the children to observe and work with hands on experiments that will cultivate a lifelong interest in nature and their world around them. The study of Zoology shows children animals from all around the world and to really understand their habitat, their unique eco systems, what they eat, how the grow. Lastly with music we offer the children the opportunity to explore different instruments.
“The Child’s development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behavior towards him. We have to help the child to act, will and think for himself” (The Absorbent Mind p.257)