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Math in the Montessori environment March 25, 2017

Take a look at the focus with which these children from the 3 – 6 environment explore with the math manipulative!  All of these students are pre-K

Below ~ an overview of Montessori math materials for the lower elementary years!

Below ~ a brief overview of math materials in the 3-6 year old environment

Finally a brief overview of math manipulatives in the toddler room

 

The Absorbent Mind December 3, 2014

 

baby

If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.

If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

These are some of the qualities I hope surround our children at school ~ kindness, consideration, security and friendliness!

Babies are amazing!  They are born without culture or language, but with a built in sensitivity to faces, language and a mind that is able to absorb through sensory impressions.  Montessori called this ‘the absorbent mind.’   The absorbent mind allows the baby to adapt and fit in to whatever environment surrounds the baby.

Babies are born with the capacity to make all sounds of all languages, but through repetition and feedback, the sounds of the baby’s mother tongue are strengthened, and sounds that the baby does not hear, are repeated less and soon fall out of the infant’s regular babbling.  If the baby hears ‘ba, ba, ba’, or ‘ma, ma, ma’ or ‘da, da, da’, those are the sounds the baby repeats.  When these sounds get a response, then the baby repeats them again.  This is how the baby builds his or her ability to make the sounds of his or her mother tongue, and then is able to form words and simple sentences.

Similarly, through absorbing what goes on around him or her, the baby picks up appropriate body language and facial expressions for his or her culture.  Food preferences, musical tastes, favorite activities, use of eating utensils, such as forks or chopsticks, are all picked up from the baby’s environment.

The absorbent mind is such a wonderful tool for survival and adaptation, and allows babies to learn so much and at such a rapid pace.  Just think what a child learns in the first five years of life.  Yet, it also comes at a price.  Because babies learn, rather than rely on instinct, they are far more dependent on their parents for a longer period of time.  Their environments play such a big role in their development, too.  Babies and children learn what they live!

This poem says it so well!

Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte

 

 

 

 

 

The First Five Years February 22, 2014

Why is early learning so important?

Did you know that 85 – 90% of a child’s brain is developed before the age of five?  It truly is amazing how much children learn in these early years – how to support their head, how to control their muscles, how to roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, throw and catch a ball, jump, hop, skip, dance, how to take in sounds, sights, tastes, smells and feelings and make sense of their world around them, how to understand and use language, (sometimes more than one language!) how to regulate their own emotions, how to take care of many of their own personal needs, how to be part of a family and other groups . . .  And often, children seem to learn these skills effortlessly and with great satisfaction.

And that is part of the reason why early learning is so important.  During the first five years, children are like sponges, picking up so many skills from their environments.  Maria Montessori used the term ‘The Absorbent Mind’ to describe this ability.  ImageAt no other time in life is it as easy to pick up a new language and use it fluently, for example.  It is not that any of the skills can’t be learned after the first five years of life, but learning them will take more conscious effort and practice.

So please do help your child make the most of the golden opportunity for learning that the first five years of life offer.

One of our favorite resources for ideas to help you make the most of the birth to three years is http://lovetalkplay.org/ where you’ll find lots of everyday ways to love, talk and play with your baby and toddler.  All of the ideas take advantage of normal, everyday moments, such as changing your baby’s diaper, giving him a bath, dressing him, feeding him, and playing together.  No difficult schedule or expensive supplies are needed ~just you and your child doing everyday things together, but making the most of each opportunity to learn!