What are Montessori Materials?
It is necessary to remember that the child performs these tasks for a different purpose to that of the adult. An adult works to perfect the environment – a child works to perfect themself. For this reason it is very important that we allow the child plenty of time to do all the exercises. The activity is more important than the end result. They lay the foundation for future exercises.
History begins with activities to help clarify the child’s concept of time and develop awareness of the past. Geography aims to develop the child’s curiosity in natural and human environments. Science aims to develop in the child knowledge, respect and appreciation for our world, the diversity of living/ non living things in it and for their interdependence and interrelationship through a hands on approach.
The Montessori language programmed uses the phonetic method combined with the whole language approach to teaching language. The Montessori programme follows the natural pattern, already discussed, of developing speech, i.e. sounds, syllables, words, phrases and sentences and is constantly reinforced with language – rich experiences in the classroom.
Through the use of sensorial materials, the children refine their senses and classify the experiences that they have absorbed. The exercises require the children to compare contrast and discriminate between stimuli. The material is designed to isolate the particular quality being taught. All exercises contain a control of error which assists the children in reaching their goal.
The sensorial materials are an indirect preparation for the maths programmes as they aid the later transition to abstract thinking by providing a firm foundation upon which to build abstract thought. The child is given a sensorial impression of the decimal system from his/her early days in school: all the early sensorial materials for dimension are in sets of ten.