All areas of the Montessori curriculum are presented to the child through concrete learning materials that provide the basis for intellectual development.
In our classroom the creative options support the development of creativity not only by providing materials for the child to use in creative endeavours, but by creating the conditions to help him/her develop the character to be a creative individual. Music, movement, painting, drawing, drama and story telling are all important to allow children to become self expressive through creativity and promoting confidence.
Cultural materials help the child to develop their personality, to adapt to their own culture, help the child become independent and a useful member of his/her society. Children develop growing culture awareness and begin to make sense of the world as they are provided with the important skills, knowledge and understanding, that are the foundation for later work in history, geography, science and technology.
Montessori environments are full of concrete materials and activities needed to help make associations of language to object and actions. Our language materials provide experiences to develop reading and writing. For writing skill development, the metal insets provide essential exercises to guide the child’s hand in following different outline shapes while using a pencil. For reading, a set of individual letters called sandpaper letters provide the basic means for associating the individual letter symbols with their corresponding phonetic sounds.
In our rich environment there is a great deal of Montessori material for learning arithmetic so that the children may acquire a real familiarity with number concepts and skills. In a Montessori classroom children are exposed to numbers and their meaning in a variety of concrete ways. Children learn mathematical concepts through the manipulation of materials such as rods, beads, spindles, cubes, cards, and counters. It is through the use of these concrete materials that abstract mathematical concepts and operations are attained.
Establishing positive attitudes towards a child’s healthy and active way of life, children are encouraged to move confidently and imaginatively. Outdoor free play forms part of each session and the children learn to use a range of small and large equipments which develops their physical control, mobility awareness of space and manipulative skills. All these in turn help children to care for their wellbeing and become healthy individuals.
Practical life exercises are a vital part of the Montessori curriculum and aid the complete development of a child’s physical, mental and moral development. Exercises form part of the child’s daily programme of activity. The main objectives are to encourage a child’s self independence, self esteem, power of concentration, social awareness, intellectual development, to develop co-ordination and also to promote a child’s personal and social development.
Montessori sensorial materials are designed to help the child refine tactile, visual, auditory, olfactory, and gustatory senses. Many of the materials help develop the child’s muscular co-ordination and some prepare the muscles for later specific tasks. They help to provide a child with both direct and indirect experience in the fields of mathematics, reading, science and music. Sensorial materials, like many other materials in the Montessori classroom, have what is called a “control of error.” This means that the child will work with the material, but will have a way for them to check their own work rather than seeking out the teacher. This is done to help promote independence.