Friday, February 18, 2011
Montessori Method, Letters, and Reading Fun
I have been studying and learning the concept and principles of Montessori. I have been learning some methods of Montessori and why teaching a child during the open outlet of teaching is so important. Although these moments of teaching occur during time periods in the earlier years of a child's life, it is imperative to grasp onto them and allow the child to absorb any information provided for them in their environment. Allowing the child to absorb and create in their environment is the biggest principle in Montessori teaching. You prepare the environment for the child and see where they decide how to use the tools provided for them. They also gain knowledge of errors that they make during certain activities, such as simple tasks of lacing shoes or sorting marble colors. There are different models and different Montessori Tools available that work as the cornerstone for this teaching method. (Hainstock, 1997) I am still learning the techniques for Montessori, and although I don't agree with everything that this teaching method offers, I love the fact that it relies on the child's motives and creativity. I could talk about Dr. Montessori and her methods all day. For more information, you can visit some of these websites: Montessori and a real-life teacher/mom of Montessori's blog that I just LOVE reading about, Counting Coconuts.
Learning letters, their function in our language, and their function from a preschool perspective.
The letter's of the week are P, Q, and R. I try to change up the learning methods for teaching Harmony these letters.. because lets face a fact about most four year old children, they do not have a long attention span especially when they know they could be doing something more exciting. :) If Harmony is not intrigued to begin with and seems bored, I might as well skip that lesson and move on.
I usually always have Harmony do the writing sheets. She use to struggle with this months ago, but now will complete them with ease. I often let her use a pen. She feels that she is rather grown up while doing this. It makes her day! Aside from that, we also work on letters by creating shapes out of play dough and using pasta, marbles, paints, textured material that is maneuverable, and other household materials. I have done research into teaching the alphabet to children and it is important in cognitive development for a child to write and have a visual depiction by using fine motor function skills to complete an image that they create (forming play dough and using pasta to create picture of the example letter). (CASRC, 2008)
I am also trying something new, as Harmony and I have been working with phonics as well. I want her to start familiarizing words with pictures so we place labels on objects that are lying openly around the house so she can associate the letter of the day with her environment. I definitely walked around for an entire day with "pants" tapped to my leg!
I get so delighted when Harmony surprisingly says a word as I'm reading during story time, whether it's familiar to her or a sight word. We do run through the sight words flash cards on a daily basis so Harmony can learn them to ease the reading process later on. She is doing wonderfully with this!
In conclusion, children absorb a lot more information than we give them credit for! They are truly amazing and are extremely intelligent creatures wrapped up in a cutie-pie package! I could go on and on and ramble about my teaching methods. They might not work for you, but at least I can provide you with some resources, personal experience, and ideas for your little one's!
CASRC. (2008). How Kids Develop. Retrieved on February 18, 2011, from http://www.howkidsdevelop.com/developSkills.html
Hainstock, E. (1997). Teaching Montessori In The Home. Penguin Group: New York, NY.