Montessori School System

Sensorial Activities
Any information that has to be gathered from the environment is done by the senses. If the senses are not working properly the intelligence gets starved. The Sensorial activities will not be familiar to the child as the Practical Life activities were. The purpose of these activities is not known to the child. Therefore, we do not offer these activities to the child as soon as he is admitted to a Montessori setting. The child gets the preparation needed to do these activities from the Practical Life activities. There are five basic principles for using the Sensorial activities as follows:

1. These activities will help the child develop a scientific approach of looking at his surroundings. (To observe, compare, establish contact, and then come to a conclusion.)

2. The child will make conscious discoveries through hands-on materials.

3. The child will develop a wealth of new vocabulary (thick, thin, loud, soft, large, small, heavy, light, etc.).

4. As the child's consciousness grows he will become more interested in his environment.
This also helps him to explore the human environment in other points of view socially, culturally, and ethnically.

5. By mastering the sensorial impressions, he feels secure and is able to disregard allunnecessary information.

The biggest difficulty in arithmetic is understanding quantity. Montessori math activities are made in such a way that they are easy to understand. The first activity in math that deals with understanding quantity is Number Rod. After gaining this basic knowledge of quantities one through ten the children in the Montessori environment can work with hundreds and thousands but only with the specially prepared Decimal System Bead & Card material. This material enables the child to proceed with numbers over thousands without any difficulty since he finds no group contains more than .nine of that kind. We find that not only does the child have no difficulty in handling large numbers but he finds them far more interesting than small quantities.
Science We give science experiments to children in a motor-sensorial way. This is not the time for a lot of explanations. Instead we place in the environment simple science materials for the child to play and work with as much as he desires. In this way, he will absorb the basic principles which will leap to later interest and study of earth sciences. Children at this age love working with water, magnets, batteries, candles and other real physics materials, each a key to a basic physical law.

Geography & History
The seeds of the study of history are given through experiences such as sampling ethnic foods and music as well as observing objects, pictures, and books. Many people are astonished at the young child's ability to learn the names of continents, countries, land forms, flags,' etc. According to the Montessori philosophy, the child under six years of age is in the strongest "sensitive period" for learning language. The materials in the Montessori environment are specially designed to help the child develop a love for geography. This is offered to the child in the forms of puzzle maps. Later, we offer the names of the places on the map. All of this experience and knowledge leads to a natural concern and responsibility at a later age because children "love what they know."

The most important of all developments that govern the growth of the child is that of language. The adult in the child's life should speak to the child in a very clear manner. The child first starts using nouns followed by prepositions, conjunctions, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. Dr. Montessori discovered that symbols for sounds appeal to the child's mind. She developed sandpaper letters to help the child establish a strong association between the symbol and the sound. The key to language is-becoming "sound conscious." Dr. Montessori also realized that these abstractions of sound had to be materialized in order to help the child. She also realized children from ages three to six are sensitive to language and sensorial impressions. Language materials are all designed with this philosophy in mind. Each language lesson is an individual lesson at first and then the child is given plenty of freedom to explore the material.

It is important to understand that the Montessori philosophy is not limited to the classroom. Instead, there should be a "team" approach between the Montessori teacher and the parents so the child's needs are being met both at school and at home. As the parents see the growth in their child they will become confident in what the child is doing at school and they can continue this process with home activities. It is my goal to provide a quality Montessori environment to the parents and children of this area. I spent more than two years studying the Montessori philosophy and I am confident in my teaching abilities. I encourage all of my parents to study the Montessori philosophy and implement this approach in their respective homes. The most important period of life is not the age of university studies but the first one, the period of birth to the age of six. That is the time man intelligence; his greatest implement is being formed.
(Dr. Maria Montessori)