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Early Childhood Education
Michelle Rosu
Owner & Certified Montessori Teacher
Phone: (740) 362-6587
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 If you plan for one year,
   plant rice.
 If you plan for ten years,
   plant a tree.
 If you plan for a lifetime,
   educate your child.
-- Chinese proverb
 

 

Montessori Materials

In the Montessori classroom, learning materials are arranged invitingly on low, open shelves. Children may choose whatever materials they would like to use and may work for as long as the material holds their interest. When they are finished with each material, they return it so that it may be used by one of their classmates.

The materials themselves invite activity. There are bright arrays of solid geometric forms, knobbed puzzle maps, colored beads, and various specialized rods and blocks.

Each material in a Montessori classroom isolates one quality. In this way, the concept that the child is to discover is isolated. For example, a classic example of a Montessori material is known as the pink tower (shown above) and is made up of ten pink cubes of varying sizes. The preschool-aged child constructs a tower with the largest cube on the bottom and the smallest on top. This material isolates the concept of size. The cubes are all the same color and texture; the only difference is their size. Other materials isolate different concepts: color tablets for color, geometry materials for form, and so on.

Moreover, the materials are self-correcting. When a piece does not fit, or is left over, the child easily perceives the error. There is no need for adult "correction." The child is able to solve problems independently, building self-confidence, analytical thinking, and the satisfaction that comes from their own accomplishment.

The Montessori Curriculum

The Montessori curriculum has 5 basic areas. Children are free to make choices on a daily basis. I also give age appropriate lessons during their work time.

Practical Life - "Practical Life" exercises include those activities that will help your child build concentration and independence. By learning to button, zip, polish a table, dust, prepare food, and care for plants, children not only learn to care for themselves and their environment, but they also build confidence, develop muscular coordination, fine motor skills, and a sense of order.

Sensorial - Dr. Montessori believed that children must learn through their senses. By exploring shape, color, size, texture, taste, aroma, weight, and pitch with the sensorial materials, children are able to classify things found in their environment. Each learning material focuses on one of these qualities, and children then relate the concepts of these qualities to the world around them.

Language - Language development is perhaps the most important aspect of the Montessori environment. Since children are especially sensitive to "spoken" language a variety of vocabulary materials are offered. Names of classroom materials, geometric shapes, composers, artists, animals, and geographic areas are used to provide a wide variety of words in order to develop your child's vocabulary. Conversations, discussions, and storytelling are also an integral part of the program.

Mathematics - Mathematics in the Montessori classroom introduces the child to the world of numbers through concrete, manipulative materials. These materials help the child actually see what numbers are and to associate quantity with symbols. As your child progresses, he or she will manipulate the materials to learn the basic operations of arithmetic.

Extensions - In addition to the four areas mentioned above, your child will have ample opportunity to explore music, art, history, geography, cooking, and many other subjects of interest.

Each of these areas form an integral part of the Montessori environment and are carefully prepared to allow structure while allowing self discovery and freedom to learn at your child's own pace.