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Montessori classrooms provide a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work. The prepared environment offers the essential elements for optimal development. The key components comprise the children, teacher and physical surroundings including the specifically designed Montessori educational material. There are prepared environments for children at each successive developmental plane.These environments allow children to take responsibility for their own education, giving them the opportunity to become human beings able to function independently and hence interdependently. Main characteristics of the prepared environment | Beauty, order, sequence, reality, simplicity, accessibility and a range of activities that emphasize sensory. | | | | Children must be given freedom to work and move around within suitable guidelines that enable them to act as part of a social group. | | | Children should be provided with specifically designed materials which help them to explore their world and enable them to develop essential cognitive skills. | | | |Mixed age groups (3-6) encourage all children to develop their personalities socially and intellectually at their own pace. Essentially this prepared environment becomes like a family atmosphere where a child feels safe and comfortable. Montessori environment is designed to be peaceful and to encourage peaceful existence among the children…peace education it is a positive impact on our children and society. This environment also builds a sense of family and community, creating opportunities for the younger child to learn from their older classmates while it builds confidence and self-esteem in the older children as they share their knowledge with their younger classmates, the little ones learn from the older children and the older ones learn by teaching the younger, every child can work at his own pace and rhythm, there is the matter of order and discipline easily maintained with the children help once they start to being normalized.In a Montessori environment there is a structure of balance between liberty and discipline prevalent in Montessori classrooms, established at the very inception of a class. Children, who have acquired the fine art of working freely in a structured environment, joyfully assume responsibility for upholding this structure, contributing to the cohesion of their social unit. The layout of the classroom encourages exploration, communication and the development of relationships on all levels. Everything reflects a dedication to quality, beauty and to the children’s abilities to do things for themselves.Montessori saw that careful preparation of the environment is an essential ingredient for the successful development of children. She realized that the child relies completely on the environment for the sensorial impressions through which he gains a sense of the world in which he lives. She therefore paid a great deal of attention to the way in which Montessori schoolrooms were laid out. She wanted the classroom to be a happy, friendly place where children felt at home, where they knew where everything was and where they didn’t always have to rely on adults to help them.Directress/teachers has to set up the environment to show respect for the materials as well as the other children in the environment, practicing walking quietly in the classroom and hallways so as not to disturb other friends that are working. The children learn quickly to respect each other’s work space, not disturbing another friend’s work or the material she is using. Many Montessori classrooms include a peace corner or area of the classroom children can visit. This space often has some peaceful items The children go to this area of the classroom when they are in need of quiet and calm.The children learn “The Silence Game” where they are given an opportunity to sit quietly; a time to reflect and calm. The Silence Game is one way Montessori Directresses help the children learn self-control and self-calming techniques. Yoga is another technique used by many to help the children learn self-control and peace. Creating a peaceful and comfortable Montessori environment is largely connected to the noise levels of the classroom. Here are some helpful tips on creating a wonderful, calm and quiet environment for your students.It is important to remember that in a Montessori classroom, quiet and calm do not come from threats or promises of rewards. A peaceful classroom is the result of children engaged in their work. The Montessori teacher is the best model. If you want a quiet classroom, you must model being quiet yourself. Areas of the Montessori Classroom:      Along with the prepared environment are the distinct areas of the classroom. Each of the areas deal with certain skills which as the children explore them all relate back to each other.There are five main areas in a Montessori Classroom:  Sensorial, Language, Mathematics Practical Life and Geography/Culture. Following the systematics of Montessori, each area is connected to each other; each work gets to have a connection with another. Each area helps advance another. A specific topic/unit related can be found in each area, leading the child to a deeper and broader knowledge of the universe in general. | | The practical life area prepares the child indirectly for all other areas of the curriculum with order, concentration, coordination and independence.Practical life exercises include pouring, sorting, food preparation, care of self (hand washing, grooming), care of the environment (table washing, sweeping, dusting, polishing), and lessons in grace and courtesy. Sensorial area is focused on developing a child’s five senses, and in turn cultivating intelligence and independence. The materials explore varying dimensions, colors, shapes, textures, smells, and tastes. The sensorial area also includes geometry and algebra, introducing those subjects to the child through their senses. Mathematics area builds on concepts introduced in the practical life and sensorial areas.Materials include manipulative (like the cubing chain shown above) that allow children to feel and measure different quantities, then grow into addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, as well as telling time and working with fractions. Language area leads children through a natural progression of learning letter sounds, then forming words and learning to read and write. The materials use a multi-sensory approach, including tracing sandpaper letters, blending sounds, spelling words with the movable alphabet (shown above) and writing reports. ultural area helps the child explore and make connections with the outside world. Cultural subjects include geography, art, botany, zoology, history, cooking, music and physical movement. ADULT ROLE The most important function and should characterizer an adult in a Montessori education is, to prepare, keep in order and clean, organize, beautify and caring learning environment for the child. That adult figure does not have to show signs of authority or imposition … be humble, gentle, and communicate with the child with the respect and love they deserve, they need.The adult in the child’s life is here to protect, provide and guide. Children will pick up behaviors and qualities that an adult models for them. In the beginning and during the young life of the child, he will mimic the adult’s behaviors, gestures, words and reactions. It is up to the adult to model the behavior and morals he would like the child to emulate. The adult sets the foundation for the living environment, or social environment and it must be met with a balance and respect for the child’s well-being.The child should be followed by constant observations to understand the skills, obstacles, circumstances of the child and the interest, which is what leads to the child be successes, using his interest to be taught, and knowing that not all children are equal and have the same capabilities. The role of a Montessori teacher is to guide the child (directress), in a way that it is almost invisible, they has to be another working tool for the child, this balance will help to create a sense of trust and confidence within the child.They {adult/teacher} need to remember to never interrupt a child that is engaged in his/ her work. They will play a different role and provide different support for the child, not only during the stages of a child’s life, but also during different circumstances that the child is going on in life On the other hand, the role of the adult in Montessori is to be present in the child’s life, physically, mentally, and emotionally to aid in their development.The adult whether she is a parent, family member, teacher or other, must be fully prepared and educated in the needs of the child and their development. “Directress” must practice to become passive when the child is at a moment of discovery, and active in a moment of true need. They must be able to tell the difference as well. As directress should be ready and understand the specific needs of the child. It won’t matter if the classroom is shine in clean, if we do not understand the child, the directress is seen as an educator every time she is with the child.Must be a model, in which the child can positively imitate, must help guide the child through their life, but leaving the child free to develop their own will, independence and ability to make their own choices and decisions. The directress must always be a consistent, stable entity in the child’s life; this will provide the child with a sense of security, routine and love. Maria Montessori says “In the midst of continual progress in favor of the adults children have remained isolated without means of communication that would allow society to become aware of their condition.They are victims without society being aware. ” . For this the Directress must be in certain preparation… physical preparation, including care for the body and health, how you move, how we dress and present ourselves, intellectual preparation: she must continue to research and read to prepare herself, understand that we are all interconnected, and to better understand the world we live in, we must observe and be prepared, professional preparation.As a Montessori teacher, there is a deep understanding and knowledge of the absorbent mind, natural tendencies, Sensitive periods and planes of development. As adults in the child’s lives, we must remember we cannot give what we don’t have: if we have not a passive attitude, the classroom will never be passive, if by nature we are not clean, the classroom instead of being a harmonious and beautiful … it will ending up being a pigsty, it will never depend on the children; it will always depend on the teacher…A typical and universal example in a Montessori classroom: There should never be a reason to call across the classroom. Children should be close enough to the adult who is speaking to them to be able to speak in a soft voice. When the teacher needs to speak to a child or another teacher, she has to make sure to walk across the room to address them. If she hears a child calling out to me or shouting across the room, she will walk quietly over to that child and explain to her that I would like her to come to me instead of calling out to me.But if the next time the child calls out to me, she will ignore that until the child remembers to come seek for her and then she gives a descriptive praise…“I like the way you came to me when you had a question” ,to reinforce the positive behavior. Children are great imitators of the adults in their lives. If teachers are calm and using a quiet voice, the children will learn to do so also. The attitude of the teacher cannot be emphasized enough. Verbally chastising a child for being noisy is ineffective.Often children are noisy or call out because they have learned this is an effective way to gain attention. It is best to quietly approach the child and gently remind them that they are to use quiet, inside voices. Doing this is respectful and engages the child in the process. In order to continue and mastered this process, the environment must first be established. This generally means a change in behavior, it is important that all adults in the Montessori classroom agree to react the same way and that once a change is made; it isn’t changed again for quite some time.

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