ROLES IN THE MONTESSORI ENVIRONMENT
- To respect the rights of the group and the other individuals in the environment
- To experience his/her own life and draw his/her own conclusions
- Through play the child will be led naturally to work. Work being the task of the human being to master the environment and later adapt and transform society
- Through his/her work the child will develop the responsibility that accompanies the freedom to choose his/her own direction
- To be sensitive to the needs of the child
- To see the child as having infinite possibilities to learn
- To allow the home environment be a learning environment
- To limit negative and/or excessive stimuli in a child’s life (such as television and video games)
- To provide a healthy nutritious diet limiting empty “sugar” calories
- To agree to communicate with the teacher on a regular basis
- To be involved with and assist the classroom teacher when and wherever possible
- To nurture and encourage your child to be the best person he/she can be
- To follow the child’s interest and needs
- To prepare an environment that is educationally interesting and safe
- To lead the child to discover his/her own truth and develop his/her own abilities
- To observe, analyze and provide materials and activities appropriate for the child’s sensitive periods of learning
- To maintain communications with the parent on a regular basis
Please note that a large majority of the parent and teacher roles overlap in description. Therefore it is important to maintain some consistency between home and school to provide the child with the best opportunity for a fulfilling experience.
(3, 4, & 5 Yr Olds)
In light of the mission of St. Ann’s School, which affirms the importance of educating the whole child; academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually, the Montessori Philosophy and Method fits beautifully within the harmony of our environment.
Maria Montessori was a Catholic physician from Italy who worked with and observed children of various learning styles and capacities. Dr. Montessori gained the insight that learning was a natural process designed by God. She discovered that children actually teach themselves and teachers are simply the facilitators for the learning process. Montessori developed and devised special techniques and materials which aid in the development of the child’s entire being.
The Pre-Primary Montessori classroom is devised in such a manner that it promotes 3, 4, & 5 year olds (which includes Kindergarten age children) the ability to coexist and work harmoniously in a combined settting that allows for individual differences. Maria Montessori believed that younger students are able to model older students and older students are able to become confident while setting examples for younger students. Because of the various material levels, students are able to excel at their own potential. They are continuously busy working with manipulatives that stimulate academic growth at their own individual level of learning.
THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT
The specific preparation of a tranquil and orderly environment allows children to develop self-discipline, self-esteem, concentration, and an excitement for learning.
The Montessori-based classroom provides an environment that allows the children to absorb knowledge in general academic areas as well as Religion, Social Studies, Science, Music and Physical Edcuation experiences. There are four general areas in the Montessori-Based classroom. The “work” in the “prepared environment” is as follows:
PRACTICAL LIFE – Specialized materials help the child gain control of movement and coordination of movement, an appreciation for their environment, sequence of thought patterns, independence, and responsibility.
SENSORIAL – Children sort various items in reference to size, color, touch, sound, temperature, and weight. Individual work habits and repetition are key elements in this area. The sensorial materials allow students to gain thinking skills for the later development of mathematics, geography, botany, art, and music.
LANGUAGE – Reading is an essential part of life. The Montessori classroom uses specialized materials for reading development beginning with sound formation. The sounds of letters are taught prior to the identification of letter names.
MATHEMATICS – Specialized materials promote the foundation of the understanding of math concepts. The learning of number concepts introduces addition and subtraction fundamentals.