Sequential learning activities in five major areas
Practical life is exercises in which a child can learn how to do daily activities in a purposeful way by perfecting buttoning, tying, pouring, scrubbing, and also by practicing grace and courtesy.
The purpose and aim of Practical Life is to help the child gain control in the coordination of his movement, and independence, adapt to his society and to master his environment.
Practical Life Exercises also aid the growth & development of the child’s intellect & concentration to develop an orderly way of thinking and to enhance his self-esteem by contributing to the group.
Montessori Math material is designed to allow the child to explore a concept in the concrete form. The sequence of presentation begins with simple to more complex and from concrete to abstract. Children will progress through concepts at their own developmental rate. The materials themselves contain the pattern for presentation as well as understanding.
The mathematics materials developed by Maria Montessori lead the child through sequenced activities, emphasizing concepts while preparing the child for abstractions. There are some teacher directed activities but these are followed with activities for the individual. Some work begins with small group lessons; these too will be toward independent, individual work.
The development of language in early-childhood classrooms is an umbrella for the entire Montessori curriculum. Often teachers and parents consider activities on the shelves of the Language area as the heart of actual language learning. Certainly these activities provide powerful opportunities, but language learning occurs most profoundly in the moment-to-moment life of interactions within the classroom absorbing and perfecting language depends on human contact, but language is not taught.
The Montessori approach is one of indirect preparation, and this preparation begins at birth. Words are the labels for our experiences. A child who has varied experiences and is given labels for those experiences will develop good language skills. Just as a rich vocabulary is dependent on the child’s experience, reading and writing are dependent on the enrichment of vocabulary. With a sturdy foundation the transition to written language will be effortless.
Sensorial materials assist the child in the mental organization of past experiences. Sensorial comes from the words sense or senses. As there are no new experiences for the child to take from the Sensorial work, the child is able to concentrate on the refinement of all his senses, from visual to stereognostic.
The purpose and aim of Sensorial work is for the child to acquire clear, conscious, information and to be able to then make classifications in his environment. Montessori believed that sensorial experiences began at birth. Through his senses, the child studies his environment. By isolating the qualities of each sense, the materials help young children label and internalize their impressions.
Children from birth to age six are in the “sensitive period” for exploring the world through their senses. Sensorial experiences indirectly prepare children for future exploration of language, mathematics, geometry, art and music.
This area includes art, music, dance, gymnastics, geography, and science to expand the child’s experiences of the world around him.