5 Learning Corners
Sensorial Learning Corner
In order to develop his mind, a child must have objects in his environment where he can hear, see and manipulate using his hand. The aim of the sensorial materials is about educating and refinement of the child’s senses such as visual, tactile, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, thermic, baric, sterognostic, and chromatic.
For each of the senses, Maria Montessori has created materials that give the children the ability to increasingly refine them, by isolating specific qualities and by grading each set in ever-refined series. It assists the child in the development of his intelligence, which is dependent upon the organizing and categorizing of his sense perceptions into an inner mental order.
“Through the education of the senses, it is possible to discover and correct positive defects which would pass unnoticed.” (The discovery of the child, pg 144)
Practical Life Learning Corner
The Practical Life exercises are formative activities which are all needed throughout the child development until lifelong. Children do not only learn about independent, they learn about responsibilities, knowledge, correct behavior and good habits. They take into account the natural impulses of special periods of childhood. Through for the moment the exercises have no merely practical aims, they are a work of adaption to the environment.
Practical life exercise is the curriculum designed in the Montessori classroom for the children to promote the children development by exploring the daily basic skills. They are simple concrete exercises that help the child to adapt to the world around them and help them on the way to self perfection and can be used daily at home and at school. They are the tools to assist the children to acquire their development physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally during their formative years (0 – 6 years old).
“Dr. Montessori has developed an educational program for children that stimulate brain growth.” (Montessori learning in the 21st Century, Chapter 4,Pg 59).
Language Learning Corner
Language is a means to communicate ideas or feeling by the use of conventionalised sounds and signs. Language helps the child to understand and appreciate the world. It allows the child to share ideas and experiences with other people uniquely.
The children in the Montessori environment learn to read by learning the sounds of the letters of the alphabets know as phonetic. By learning the basic sounds of the letters, the child is able to write and read at the age of five years old.
The graded phonic sequence consists of four stages; they are the pink scheme, blue scheme, grammar scheme and lastly green scheme.
“The children in the Casa made extraordinary progress and soon five years olds were writing and reading.”
(Montessori Read and Write, Pg 10)
Mathematics to a young child’s developing mind is not about facts and memorisation. Mathematics in a young child’s life is about shapes, patterns and spatial relationships that he experiences within his environment.
To a child, work is play. According to Maria Montessori, the work of a child is different from the adult. It is through work that the child will develops a mathematical mind. A mathematical mind tends to estimate, needs to quantify, to see identity, similarity, difference, and patterns, to make order and sequence and to control error.
Before beginning mathematics work, the Sensorial materials and the Practical Life materials are the initial activities to get the child to get the child ready.
“This hand becomes a “prehensile organ of the mind.”
(Absorbent mind, Chapter 16, Pg 168).
Culture Learning Corner
Every culture has an account of history, which involved either both legend and myths or either one. Men past history is something mystery to everyone. Montessori quoted that “The children of today are the adults of tomorrow; he is our agent for peace in the world.” Her goal was to develop the whole personality of the child, so that the child can help to look after his world, to face reality and live according to the basic laws of life.
“Our goal is to develop a global perspective and the study of history and world culture forms the cornerstone of the Montessori curriculum.” (The Montessori Way, Section 2, pg 91).