Week 2 Term 2 2015

April 22, 2015

We have had a wonderful start to Term 2. I would like to welcome Dona (from the Rose Room) who is working in the Fern Room for Term 2 whilst Janelle is on long service leave.  The change has been seamless which emphasises the importance of the Montessori environment where the teachers are not the most important figure in the room but should be able to melt into the background when the children are concentrating and working.

“The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.” Maria Montessori

Our Sensorial Curriculum Evening was very informative and the parents who did attend enjoyed learning more about the Sensorial apparatus and how we present the materials to the children. I believe if you have a child here, the more informed you are about the Montessori method the better and these evenings give you an opportunity to more fully understand the Montessori philosophy.

Our new website is nearly up and running and I shall let you know when it is completed. It is looking fantastic, is very easy to use and is interactive. Do not forget to send Dervla your email address as future newsletters will be emailed to you via the website.

Below is some information about the Practical Life exercises which are so important to the Pre-School child.

The Montessori Practical Life exercises respond to the need for:

  • Order of activities (sequences, routine, hierarchy, a cycle or full rotation of an activity)
  • Movement. All Practical Life activities involve great movements that are varied and attractive. The variety of movements help the child’s self-awareness within the environment and increase the child’s acquisition of intelligent movement.
  • Sensorial exploration (sights, sounds, smells, and eventually language).
  • Needs and tendencies are responded to, to help the children adapt so that they can actively participate and grow within their environment.
  • A child’s love of work. Practical Life activities feed their natural desire to work and play an active role in their environment.

Practical Life activities guide:

  1. Construction and integration of a child’s personality through  freedom of choice, and through the variety of choices. Freedom of choice is necessary for the healthy development of the will.
  2. Spontaneous purposeful activity that is only possible when children are allowed to exercise their curiosity through repetition. It is only through repetition that abstraction is possible. This abstraction brings about a feeling of completion for the growing child.
  3. Development of co-ordination of movement. The child thinks of the activity, wills himself to the activity, and then does the activity.
  4. Development of the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the child.
  5. Purposeful movement that helps the development of the mind, and a sense of achievement. The development of the child’s mind, movement, and senses will in turn, develop the will.
  6. Concentration. The child will concentrate on completing an activity as perfectly as possible; all activities are intelligible, logical, sequential, and exact. Children will internalize this and try to repeat the exercises as perfectly as possible; all exercises have a motive for perfection.
  7. Orderly work habits. The children need to internalize presentations in an orderly manner in order to reproduce it in an orderly manner.
  8. The practical life exercises develop logical thought through the definite logic in the exercises. There is a beginning, middle, and end to each exercise.
  9. The exercises give the children a sense of responsibility from the result of freedom (freedom which is a result of co-ordination of movement and awareness of the environment). Children have the freedom and ability to exercise their will within their environment.
  10. Social development. All of the practical life exercises teach the children grace, courtesy, patience, and respect. These elements of social development are re-enforced through the actions of the other children and through the actions of the teacher.
  11. Establish a sense of reality, rooted in real activities (nothing is make-believe). Exercises are lucid, logical, and realistic. This helps the children pursue reality. If an activity is not meaningful and purposeful then the mind cannot develop or construct itself.
  12. Emotional stability helps the children become familiar with the real world and their environment. It builds self-esteem, and through that, their dignity will flourish. Materials and activities are therapeutic, meaning the mind and body work together.

“The work of the teacher is to guide the children to normalisation, to concentration. She is like the sheepdog who goes after the sheep when they stray, who conducts all the sheep inside. The teacher has two tasks: to lead the children to concentration and to help them in their development afterwards. The fundamental help in development, especially with little children of three years of age, is not to interfere. Interference stops activity and stops concentration.”

(Dr. Maria Montessori, ‘The Child, Society and the World: Unpublished Speeches and Writings’, Clio Press Ltd, 16)

DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR

  • Saturday 16 May:  Open Day 10am – 1pm
  • Friday 5 June: School Closed Curriculum Day
  • Friday 26 June: Term 2 finishes
  • Tuesday 14 July:  Students commence Term 3
  • Friday 18 September: Term 3 finishes
Week 9 Term 1 2015Week 5 Term 2 2015
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