“Imagination can only have a sensorial basis. The sensory education which prepares for accurate perception of all different details in the qualities of things is the foundation of all observation. This helps us to collect from the external world the material for the imagination.”
Our world is made up of color, size, dimension, shape, form, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Children live in a world of senses. In order to continue their creative task of development, children need to classify and express the impressions they have already received. Through sight, touch, sound, taste and smell, the sensorial Montessori materials enable them to clarify, classify, and comprehend their world, “throwing a spotlight” on reality. For example: the concepts of longness and shortness are derived from red rods of varying lengths. Language is clarified and vocabulary is sharpened. Because these rods are rendered in unit lengths from one to ten, they also provide a basis for mathematical gradation.
Another example: roughness and smoothness are experienced by touching rough sandpaper and smooth polished wood. Later, these lessons are repeated with the sandpaper globe helping children distinguish between land (sandpaper) and water (smooth). Sensorial materials are used for clarification of large, small, heavy; thick and thin; loud and soft; high and low; hot and cold; colors, tastes; smells; and for plane and geometric forms. The sensorial material is really like a key to the world and is the basis for abstraction.
These sensorial experiences are by no means to be limited to the Montessori classroom. Every day life away from school offers immeasurable opportunities for sensorial exploration. Here are just a few:
During your walk home or around the block, notice all the variety of fall leaves! There are numerous shapes, sizes, and, this time of year, colors. Collect some to bring home and talk about.
Many household tasks can lead to discussions of size, smell, sound, taste and texture:
When folding laundry, point out how baby’s socks are smaller than daddy’s socks, a cotton shirt is smooth whereas jeans can be rough.
While setting the table discuss different sizes of forks or plates each member of the family uses.
When cooking, take a moment to smell all the spices and herbs going into your dish.
Listen to all the different kinds of barks your dog (or a neighbor’s dog) makes.
Use the most descriptive language you can for daily conversation. Instead of simply saying, “Can you please hand me the pen on the table?” say, “Can you please hand me the violet pen on the coffee table?”
These interactions with your child will enrich and expand your child’s vocabulary, empowering him with a rich vocabulary to describe the world, will help your child hone their observation skills to notice the sometimes subtle differences between similar objects, and you will have enjoyed some meaningful time together.
For more information on the Montessori Sensorial materials check out:
A Parent’s Introduction to Montessori Preschool and What is Montessori Preschool, both available in our school library.
Please bring canned, boxed foods, and toiletries to school to benefit SHARE, which helps families in need.
Donations will be accepted until the morning of Monday, November 25 when the Kindergarten children will sort the donations.
We are still collecting orders from the For Small Hands catalog, now you just have to add shipping charges. New paid shipping deadline is Friday, November 15, 2013. Please use the order form you received a few weeks ago and be sure to add 8% shipping to your order. We have some extra catalogs and order forms in the both the East and West lobby\ies. If you have any questions, please contact Erika.
This week, 11 through 20. Helpful Parenting tips by Barbara Hacker. We hope you will take a few moments to read them and consider which of these can fit into your life.
11. This one warrants repeating: Read together daily. With younger children stick to books with realistic themes.
12. Ensure that your child gets to school on time.
13. Allow sufficient time for your child to dress himself/herself.
14. Allow your child to collaborate with food preparation and encourage your Kindergarten/All Day Montessori child to take at least some responsibility for preparing his or her own lunch.
15. If possible allow your child a plot of land or at least a flower pot in which to experience growing things.
16. Take walks together at the child's pace, pausing to notice things and talk about them.
17. Help your child be in a calm and prepared mood to begin school rather than over-stimulated and carrying toys or food.
18. Eliminate or strictly limit TV watching and replace with activity oriented things which involve the child rather than his/her being a passive observer. When the child does watch TV, watch it with him/her and discuss what is being seen.
19. From the earliest age give your child the responsibility to pick up after himself/herself, i.e., return toys to place, put dirty clothes in laundry basket, clear dishes to appropriate place, clean off sink after use, etc. This necessitates preparing the environment so children know where things go.
20. Hug regularly but don't impose affection. Recognize the difference.
“It is necessary for the teacher to guide the child without letting him feel her presence too much, so that she may always be ready to supply the desired help, but never be the obstacle between the child and his experience.”
~ Maria Montessori
The teacher watched patiently as an almost 4 and a half-year-old matched letter sounds to images of things beginning with those sounds. As the child said the name of the items pictured she matched the letter that makes the same sound of the beginning of the word. “t” for tent, “s“ for spoon, “m” for apple, “o“ for ostrich, “p“ for pig. When there was only one letter sound “a” and one picture, of a mouse, remaining, she hesitated. Then, with a joyful look of realization and discovery in her eyes, she took the “m”, placed it with the mouse and put the “a” with the picture of the apple.
By waiting and watching the child figure this out, without any external input, the teacher allowed her to discover the answer for herself. When we act as arbitrators in children’s learning experiences, by telling a child the answer or by pointing out an error, they miss the opportunity to discover the answer for themselves. We risk making them feel self-conscious and unable to perform. By interrupting, we send them the message that they are less than perfect in our eyes, and we are the very people they wish to please the most. Maria Montessori put it thus: “We must quit our roles as jailers and instead take care to prepare an environment in which we do as little as possible to exhaust the child with our surveillance and instruction.”
The Montessori classroom is prepared with a seemingly endless number of activities and materials, carefully displayed and arranged to appeal to the child’s sense of curiosity and wonder. “The environment itself will teach the child...without the intervention of a parent or teacher, who should remain a quiet observer of all that happens” (Maria Montessori) The materials are “self-corrective”, having controls of error built in, allowing children to discover on their own where an error may lie.
Our goal in the Montessori classroom is to provide children with the time to explore the materials and to independently discover the “right answer”. By giving children the space, independence and time to work with materials, they have the opportunity, through experimentation, to develop a creative approach to problem solving. This discovery may not occur the first time a child works with a material, or even the second time, but, given the time and opportunity to work at their own unique and individual pace, the child will master the lesson or activity and they will be happy and content with their accomplishment.
Self discovery is the surest way to learn a new skill, master and retain it. Enabling children to make the discovery for themselves instills in them a sense of accomplishment, develops their ability to approach a challenge with perseverance and patience and builds self-confidence and self-esteem. These are qualities that every parent and educator wishes for our children.
We look forward to seeing you at Parent-Teacher Conferences on November 15th and November 22nd. If you have not already registered, this is your last chance!
Starts Monday, November 4
Donations will be accepted until the morning of Monday, November 25 when the Kindergarten students will sort the donations.
but you’ll need to add 8% of your order total to cover shipping.
You can have some of the very same materials we use in our Montessori classrooms to create a developmentally appropriate home environment for your child that helps foster independence and self-sufficiency!
Check out the For Small Hands catalogue we sent home in the Friday envelopes a few weeks ago and place your order before NOVEMBER 15th to receive items in time for the winter holiday! There are extra catalogs in our lobbies. In addition to developmentally appropriate toys, cooperative games, and books, the For Small Hands catalog offers child-sized items especially designed for your child’s small hands: garden tools, dishes, cups, kitchen tools, pitchers, and much, much more, just like those we use in our classrooms!
Over the next several weeks we will share these 101 Things Parents Can Do to Help Children helpful Parenting tips by Barbara Hacker. We hope you will take a few moments to read them and consider which of these can fit into your life. This week, 1 through 10.
Read about Montessori education and philosophy and how it applies to your child.
Take the time to stand back and observe your child carefully and note the characteristics he/she is displaying.
Analyze your child's wardrobe and build a wardrobe aimed at freedom of movement, independence, and freedom from distraction.
Make sure your child gets sufficient sleep.
Make both going to bed and getting up a calm and pleasant ritual.
Teach grace and courtesy in the home. Model it. Use courtesy with your child and help your child to demonstrate it.
Refrain from physical punishment and learn ways of positive discipline.
Have a special shelf where your child's books are kept and replaced after careful use.
Make regular trips to the public library, and become familiar with the librarians and how the library works and enjoy books together. Borrow books and help your child learn the responsibility for caring for them and returning them.
Read together daily. With younger children choose books with realistic themes.
VERY LAST CHANCE this year to order from FOR SMALL HANDS catalog!
Friends, neighbors, and grandparents are welcome to order too.
Additional catalogs are available in both the GTMS East and GTMS West lobbies.
Additional orders WITH 8% SHIPPING CHARGES will be accepted until November 15.
The For Small Hands catalog offers some of the same great materials we use in our classrooms and more to help support your child’s growing independence.
are invited to a Community Open House at
Greene Towne Montessori School’s new West campus
Sunday, October 27
11:00 am to 12:30 pm
2215 Arch Street, please enter at the gate on Croskey Street
RSVP: 215 563-6368 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tours of our new Toddler and Primary classrooms will be held every 10 minute. Children are welcome with parental supervision.
“Education is not something the teacher does. It is a natural process that develops spontaneously.” Maria Montessori
This week we’re outsourcing the Montessori Parenting component of our weekly Bulletin to Tomorrow’s Child, the publication each Greene Towne family receives throughout the year. The current issue is a Special Expanded Issue reprint, including a wide variety of articles: Montessori 101: Information Every Montessori Parent Should Know and A Guided Tour of the Montessori Classroom, Dr. Maria Montessori: A Historical Perspective, What makes Montessori Different, Montessori Vocabulary Made Clear, and much, much more.
If, like most parents, you want to better understand your child’s experience in the Montessori environments and how to support your child in their Montessori journey, educating yourself and better understanding the Montessori classroom, philosophy, vocabulary, goals, materials, etc. is a great place to start!
We’re sending this issue home in your child’s Friday envelope and encourage you to read through it for helpful information on the Montessori Classroom and for insight into your child’s experience in our classrooms at Greene Towne.
If your family is new to Greene Towne, the Tomorrow’s Child issue you received during New Parent Orientation is almost identical to this issue. Please fell free to share one of your copies with a friend or neighbor who is interested in Montessori. Other families have also received a similar issue in the past. If, as we hope, you still have your copy of Montessori 101: Information Every Montessori Parent Should Know and a Guided Tour of the Montessori Classroom, then we ask you, too, to share this issue with a friend, neighbor, or your pediatrician.
If you read this issue months or years ago, this is a great time to re-read some of the articles now that you have a better idea of what your child’s classroom experience is like and as preparation for your parent observation and conference.
Accoring to the GTMS Handbook:
We have found that crocs or croc-like shoes are not very safe, and are part of the category with flip flops and slides.
For inside shoes, please make sure they have tread on the bottom - slippers are so named because they are slippery! Your teacher will be in contact if your child is in need of a different inside shoe.
Thank you so much for your cooperation and help - we couldn't do this without you!
Thank you to all for your continued patience during arrival and dismissal times as PGW continues work on 22nd Street. We are told the work will continue for another week to 10 days.
Your child’s safety continues to be our first priority and so we ask, as much as is possible, to maintain drop-off and pick-up procedures. If driving, please wait for a place at the curb in front of GTMS East before dropping off.
While the work continues, and traffic is backed up, please leave a little extra time to get to school in the morning and when you are coming to pick up.
Thank you again!