The Sensorial area in the Montessori classroom is essential to the education and development of the child. It helps to train and refine sensory organs so the child is capable of fine perceptions, developing memory, and helps the child to see more clearly the details of his environment. The materials are designed to simplify the labor of classifying and grading. Sensorial lays the foundation of an orderly mind. The materials increase perception of similarities and difference, and also increase power of discrimination of sizes, shapes, sounds, temperatures, and textures.
Sensorial materials are designed to meet the child's need of order. The materials have an orderly sequential characteristic. Some materials are classifying and sequencing, and some are orderly by size, weight, depth, length, diameter, texture, and taste. The activities lead into math, geometry, art, and reading.
Maria Montessori believed that Practical Life is the foundation for all learning. It is the most significant area in the classroom. The purpose of Practical Life is to assist children in future skills that they will need. Practical Life materials include a direct aim and an indirect aim. The direct aim is to assist the child in skills used for that activity. The indirect aim is the skill that is developed to assist the child in future academics. The direct aim in all Practical Life materials consists of concentration, independence, coordination and order.
There are six areas of Practical Life. The six areas include: grace and courtesy, care of the self, care of the environment, visual motor, perceptual motor skills, and food preparation.
Prior to learning the sounds and reading, the child first begins with pre-language actuvities. The activities include: various matching exercises, classifyng, sequencing, and auditory activities. Pre-language activities lay the foundation for the child's reading and writing skills.
In Montessori, the focus is first on the sound that each letter makes rather than the name of the letter. When most of the sounds have been mastered the child may begin the reading process. There are three levels in the reading process. Pink reading, blue reading, and green reading.
Math is a very important part of the Montessori classroom. Before children begin work with numbers they must first start with pre-math. In the pre-math area the children learn a variety of things that will lay the foundation for future math activities, and assist the child's development of a mathematical mind. The pre-math activities include: patterning, sorting, 1:1 correspondence, graphing, and estimating.
Other areas of the Montessori classroom contribute to preparing the child for math.
Geography gives the child a sense of spacial awareness. The children also gain knowlede about other cultures. With our "continent song", globes, maps, and other activities the children have access to learn about our wonderul world.
Through activities and units the children are able to learn about parts of plants, animals, flowers, pumpkins, etc...
There are simple science activities on the shelf, and experiments are done at group time.