Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New materials in our sensorial area

During our Easter break, I decided to extend our Montessori sensorial area and I have purchased new materials. I can't wait for the children to see them. Some of you might not be used to the Montessori method of Education... So here is a bit of theory for you.

The purpose and aim of Sensorial work is for the child to make classifications in his environment. Montessori believed that sensorial experiences began at birth. Through his senses, the child studies his environment and through his studies, the child  begins to understand the environment. The child is given the knowledge not through word of mouth, but through his own experiences. This is one of the key principles in the Montessori method. What I really love about the Montessori sensorial materials is that they isolate the one quality that is to be worked with by the child, allowing him/her to focus on that one quality. And of course, the materials all have a control of error, which allows the child to make the corrections himself/herself, teaching independence and problem solving.

The first thing I wanted to show you is the mystery bag with geometric solids. The Mystery Bag is simply a bag in which I place objects that the child cannot see. The child then uses his/her sense of touch to explore the object without removing it from the bag. During the first 2 trimestres, I used objects with different textures such as a sponge, a cork, a sea shell, a pine cones,  etc... The child would have to guess what it was and use terms such as smooth, rough, soft etc.. to describe what they were touching. When the children come back on May 3rd, I will use wooden geometric solids in the mystery bag to reinforce the children's knowledge of their names and characteristics.  

I also purchased the 4 Montessori sets of wooden  knobless cylinders. They are used to help children begin to understand the concept of dimension. The first set of cylinders varies in height and diameter with the tallest also being the thickest. The second also varies in height and diameter, but the tallest is the thinnest. The third set varies only in diameter, and the fourth only in height. These lessons are designed to teach coordination and grading by size.

I also added the Trinomial box beside our binomial box on the sensorial shelf. Children explore both boxes as sensorial activities of visual discrimination of color and form, preparing them indirectly for mathematics and algebra.

And I FINALLY bought the color grading material I had my eyes on over the past few months. This is such a lovely activity and I am sure it will be very popular amonf the kids. The sensorial materials in the Montessori classroom help the child to become aware of details by offering  at first, strongly contrasted sensations, such as red and blue. With this Color grading material, I can offer the children graded sensations, such as many different shades of blue or green or red.

I should really write a post about each areas in our classroom. I know I mentioned it before... Ok. That's definitely on my list then...

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I write from Spain, I'm a homeschooler-to-be mum and I'd like to know where you got the color grading box which appears in the last two pictures. It's just lovely.
    This is my address:
    Thank you very much in advance.


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