Gables Montessori Blog

THE TEACHERS IN THE MONTESSORI SYSTEM

The role of teachers in Montessori system is teaching each child on an individual basis. The method does not impose lessons to anyone, the work is based on guiding and helping each child according to his needs. The guide can not intervene until the child requires it.

María Montessori calls the teacher ¨director¨, and the person has to be internally (spiritually) and externally (methodologically) prepared. This expert should organize the environment to help the child to develop a structured «mind».

Children are plenty of possibilities.  The “director¨ is the responsible person for showing children the way to their development. The director has to believe in the ability of each child respecting the different rhythms of development. This practice allows to integrate different types of children in the same group (those who learn slowly with those more advanced). The Montessori´s idea is to let the child feels being able to act without constantly relying on an adult, so he can develop his curiosity and creativeness and learn to think for himself.

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THE BELLS

Another quality of the sound that is interesting for kids is the tone. To isolate this quality, Montessori designed a set of bells in black and white that matches the black and white keys on the piano. The bells are the same in all details, except the tone, which is heard when the child hits them gently.

A similar set of brown bells corresponds exactly to the tone of the set in black and white. The exercise is pairing the bells in the musical scale order.

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THE ART OF LISTENING

The art of listening is a skill that can be achieved. Many young people in our noisy world have formed the habit of “turning off” the attention to the sound. They don’t make any effort to distinguish the sounds and therefore block themselves off and lose many learning activities.

Listening with attention is vital for learning the sounds of the letters in the reading section. Montessori designed several sensory games to help the child to focus on particular sounds. In a game, the child is blindfolded and asked to identify the particular classroom sounds, like the noise of a window opening, a closing door  or pour water. In another match, it aims to identify the voices of their classmates without looking at students who are talking.

To help children become more aware of the intensity of the sound, Montessori designed a set of six cylindrical wooden boxes with red lids. Each box contains a small amount of different substances: salt, rice, dried beans, buttons or pebbles. Different sounds are produced by the child when he shakes the boxes, and it varies in intensity from mild to strong. There is a second set of boxes with blue lids. Each box in the first set has a companion in the second, which produces a similar sound. The child (by listening) must find the couple. Then, he can put the boxes in a set from the strongest to the softer.

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CLASSIFICATION OF COLORS

For the next step, the child can use a box containing eight different color tones. The tones of each color are classified from very light to very dark. For this exercise, the child should distinguish the intensity of the tones and set tablets in order from the lightest to the darker shade of each color. When the exercise is completed, the arrangement of colors gives a beautiful rainbow that is attractive for the children effect.

 

The professor can make this activity even more difficult. He can select a color tablet and ask the child to go to the box and bring back the tablet that is darker or lighter than the master is holding. It is not easy for them, but many children are able to do so with accuracy after working with colors for several months. Teaching children to be aware of the fine differences in colours gives them preparation for all types of scientific observations, the art and the appreciation of art, decoration, and many other meaningful activities.

 

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BEHAVIOR OF CHILDREN

There is always a busy hum of activity in a Montessori classroom because the use of materials involves many motions – walking, carrying, pouring, speaking, and in particular the constant use of the hands. All activity, however, is guided by respect for the teacher, a respect for the work of others, and respect for the materials themselves.

She felt that self-discipline should be gradually acquired through absorption in meaningful work. When a vitally child is interested in a particular classroom activity, his behavior almost always matures. If the child misbehaves in a Montessori classroom, the teacher usually helps him to select the work that catches completely his attention.

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