Our classroom is broken up into different works based on the childs age and according to the Montessori method. Each work is designed to teach a child a specific skill and to prepare them for the next work in the series. Therefore our works build on each other and give the child confidence to try a new work.
The Practical Life Works
Although the Practical Life Exercises may seem simple ans commonplace, they are actually a very important part of the Montessori program. Each of the tasks helps a child perfect his coordination so that he will be able to work with the more intricate academic materials. No learning takes place without concentration and attention. The child prepares to learn by performing exercises that help her/him to gradually lengthen the time in which she/he can focus attention on a specific activity.
Examples of Practical Life Exercises: washing dishes, cutting bananas, folding socks
Each of the Sensorial Materials isolates one defining quality such as color, weight, shape, texture, size, sound, smell. etc. The equipment emphasizes this one particular quality by eliminating or minimizing other differences. The materials help the child distinguish, categorize, and relate to new information and what she/he already knows.
Examples of Sensorial Exercises: The Pink Tower, The Cylinder Blocks, The Geometric Cabinet
Dr. Montessori always pointed out that children have a natural sensitivity for language development which follows closely on the years when they learn to speak their native language. Children at three, four and five have a unique fascination with words, both written and spoken. This fascination enables them to begin reading and writing before traditional schools usually start teaching them.
The individual presentation of materials in our classroom allows the teacher to take advantage of each child's greatest interest. Reading instruction begins as soon as the child wants to know what a word says or shows interest in using the Sandpaper Letters.
Examples of Language: The Metal Inserts, The Movable Alphabet, The Sandpaper Letters
Children can learn basic concepts of mathematics in either of two ways. They can learn using concrete materials during the years when they enjoy manipulating equipment, or they can learn by abstract methods when they are in elementary grades. Dr. Montessori demonstrated that if children have access to mathematical equipment in their early years, he can easily and joyfully assimilate many facts and skills of arithmetic.
By combining equipment, separating it, sharing it, counting it, and comparing it, they can demonstrate to themselves the basic operations of arithmetic. These seemingly basic skills are the building blocks for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Examples of Math: The Red and Blue Rods, The Spindle Boxes and The Seguin Boards