Inside a montessori classroom
In practical terms, what do we do in a Montessori classroom ?
The adult as a guide
The educator is a caring and experienced observer. Deeply respecting the child, he is aware of his singularity and his pace. He accompanies each child in his development in a personalized way and helps him learn by himself.
The educator offers the materials for the first use, discretely monitoring the progress of each child, so that to propose new activities when the child is ready.
According to Maria Montessori, his role towards the child can be summarized as follows: « Help me do it by myself».
Freedom of choice of activities
In a child choosing an activity by himself freedom to choose is not freedom to do anything he wants, but freedom to do the right thing. This way, he is motivated, enjoys, concentrates and "absorbs" better. The freedom of choice of activities enables the child to respect the sensitive periods at his own pace.
There is freedom of choice but the rules of life and governing the use of the materials are very specific. Individual responsibility and autonomy are right in the heart of Montessori pedagogy. There is only one piece of material in the classroom. Children have to learn to control outbursts of frustration while waiting until an activity becomes available to be used.
Unique materials, scientifically prepared
Numerical rods, rough letters, decimal system tray, large moveable alphabet, continents map and roman arch, … the child chooses the materials that motivate him the most among more than 200 items proposed in shelves at his height.
Through the use of Montessori materials, scientifically prepared, concrete and multi-sensory, the child learns everything by experiencing and developing his autonomy. The materials are designed to allow the child to self-correct his own mistakes ("self-correcting material"), and looking naturally for a solution; thus, the child learns to think, develops his creativity and his capacity to find a solution by himself. Therefore, making a mistake is a natural step of the learning process.
Activities are broken down into 7 main subject areas: Practical life, Sensorial life, Language, Maths, Culture, Arts, Psychomotricity.
The materials used in Smiles’n Kids is of top-quality produced by the brand Nienhuis, a certified supplier of AMI (Association Montessori Internationale).
Mixed age grouping
This community of children of mixed age (between 3 and 6 years old) fosters emulation, cooperation and empathy. The younger ones are motivated by the older. The older children help the younger ones and hence work on their ability to concentrate, on empathy, on memory and on communication.