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What is Montessori ? What is Montessori ?

"Knowledge is necessary, but not sufficient. The well educated person is a well developed person who knows how to live a healthy life in every aspect of human existence - a well developed personality."

Montessori Education Method

Originating from Italian educator Dr. Maria Montessori, Montessori is a child-centered educational method based on theories around a child`s development. An advocator of children` rights, Dr. Montessori`s educational ideas stem from this belief and have been widely used in varying degrees and stages of the school system since the 1900`s worldwide.

Truly Educating a Child

1) Respect to each child. Believe in a child`s potential and essential goodness. Recognize that each child is special and of great value.

2) Observe the child to see how he/she uses each material and what is needed for him/her to learn.

3) Each child has an absorbent mind. From birth to 6 years old, especially between the ages from birth to 3 years old, young children are capable of absorbing a large amount of information about their environment through their senses.

4) Sensitive period is a time when children become absorbed by and focus their attentions and energies on a single thing or skill set. Should ample opportunities arise, these learning phases are effortlessly and joyfully.

5) Accepting that not all children grow and learn at the same pace. Each child has his/her own cycle of development and learning capacity.

6) Allowing a child the opportunity to repeat a task that interests him/her as often as he/she likes. Without interference, children can often learn with intense concentration.

7) Having materials designed with specific learning goals. Designing materials and activities where children are able to correct themselves, rather than having adults correcting them.

8) Prepare an environment that`s truly suitable a child. Everything should be carefully designed and chosen to facilitate a child`s learning atmosphere.

9) Use the practicality of life`s skill sets as the basis for developing for a child. These not only enhance a child`s motor skills but they also foster independence, self-confidence and a sense of community.

10) No traditional measurements of achievements (such as grades, tests, etc.) as those often damage the inner growth of a child`s true development. Instead, an assessment of a child`s overall level of development and evaluate how the child`s performance in the school. The assessment not only record how`s the child benefited, it is also indicate a child`s possible developmental problem. Thus, we can review the teaching method and path according to the assessment.

Importance of Materials

Montessori materials are specifically designed to conform to exact dimensions that adhere to these criteria. Every activity has its place in the classroom and is self-contained and self-correcting. And each activity is therefore designed to focus on a single skill, concept, or exercise.

All materials are based on SI units of measurement (for instance, the Pink Tower is based on the 1 cm cube), this enables the materials to work together while also complementing each other. In addition, the materials are created for multiple uses at the primary level. For example, manipulative materials that are used to allow a child to analyze sense impressions are also designed to improve the fine motor coordination of a child which is needed for writing at a later stage of development.

Ultimately, each activity leads the child directly to a new level of learning or towards a new concept. When a child actively learns, he/she acquires the solid basis for concepts to be attained in later developments. Additionally, the repetition of activities is considered to be an integral part of the learning process and children are encouraged to repeat the activities as often as they wish to.

3-period lesson

Montessori usually uses a 3-step presentational method to introduce new vocabulary to a child, this is known as the "3-period lesson."

Period 1 (Naming): introduces and names three contrasting objects, keeping a focus on one concept at a time. (Three new objects are enough variation to keep the child`s interest without confusing him.) For example: when you are demonstrating three different shapes to a child, do so one at a time with all three shapes being of the same color and size. With a red triangle, a red square, and a red circle, put one shape on the table at a time. Then point to the red triangle and say "This is a triangle.?" Continue to do the same way for the rest of shapes. This will provide the child with an understanding of the name that they are learning.

Period 2 (Recognizing): to help the child recognize different objects, ask the child to point to one of the objects. For example: you can say, "show me a square" and have the child point to the square. Repeat the process for other objects being named. After the initial stage, you can rearrange the order of the shapes and begin again by asking questions like "Point to the circle""Where is the square?""Which is the triangle?" etc.

Period 3 (Pronouncing): checks to see if the child recognizes the name of the material and is able to tell you what it is. We can randomly point to each of the shapes and ask what that shape is. If the child replies with correct answer, then the child has fully understood the task at hand.

It is perfectly okay for the child to not go through the three periods. Simply put the materials away and try again at another time. There should never be any pressure for the child to learn these things. Eventually, each child will reach that phase of development when they are good and ready to do so.
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