Friday, June 20, 2008

Revisiting Montessori terms.

These are the terms that you will find used by a trained Montessori teacher in a centre that fully employs the Montessori teaching method.

Work Cycle: The three hour work cycle. Define what is that.

Cycle of Activity: From taking the task from the shelf to returning it to the shelf.

Cycle of learning:
It follows the Montessori three-stage learning process.
1. The learning challenge is given; a stimulus is presented.
2. The challenge is received; the student and teacher work together to complete a task.
3. The challenge is returned; the student presents for assessment.

Stage 1: 3-6 years old (multi age classroom).

Absorbent Mind:
Children learn through their senses. The babies put things in their mouths to taste, touch and feel.

What are the SENSITIVE PERIODS for children aged 3-6 years old?
1) Sensitive Period for Language.
2) Sensitive Period for Order (Especially in young children).
3) Sensitive Period for Sensory Refinement
4) Sensitive Period for Development of Fine Motor Skills.
5) Sensitive Period for Small Objects
6) Sensitive Period for Social Behaviour.

Areas of learning:
1) Practical Life
2) Sensorial
3) Language
4) Mathematics
5) Cultural
6) Creative
- Name some of the common activities found for each area of learning.

Materials in Montessori learning:
1) The teaching & learning materials have 'inbuilt' control-of-error.
- The development of concentration is essential to normalization. How is concentration developed?
- Use of Three Period Lesson: in teaching of names & nouns.

Answers taken from Michael Olaf's website:
I recently observed a Montessori classroom for a day. I was very very impressed, but I have three questions.

A. I can give you three very incomplete answers to your perceptive questions:

1. There doesn't seem to be any opportunities for pretend play.
(1) When Dr. Montessori opened the first Children's House it was full of pretend play things. The children never played with them as long as they were allowed to do real things - i.e. cooking instead of pretending to cook. It is still true.

2. The materials don't seem to allow children to be creative.
(2) the materials teach specific things and then the creativity is incredible. Like learning how to handle a good violin and then playing music. It is not considered "creative" to use a violin as a hammer, or a bridge while playing with blocks. We consider it "creative" to learn how to use the violin properly and then create music. The same goes for the materials in a Montessori classroom.

3. Children don't seem to be interacting with another very much Any help you give me would be appreciated. Thank you very much.
(3) there is as much interaction as the children desire, but the tasks are so satisfying that, for these few hours a day, children want to master the challenges offered by them. Then they become happier and kinder—true socialization. Also, since concentration is protected above all, as all "work" is respected, children learn early on not to interrupt someone who is concentrating.

Have fun!

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