A few of the principles and philosophies of the Montessori Method are following the child (observing their interests), prepared environment (order & beauty), control of error (successful learning), isolated quality (color, shape, etc), freedom within limits (choice), and independence (not helping a child do something they can do themselves). I love all of these and am constantly trying to encourage the students in these areas.
All of the materials in a traditional Montessori school are designed to be self-teaching. Children learn to solve problems, see natural connections in knowledge, learn skills related to practical living, and therefore, expand their imaginative thinking.
One day I was sitting at a table and one of our students who just turned 2 came over with the container for help opening the lid. Since this was the first time I had "played" this game with this particular student, I asked if he wanted to learn how to play it. I simply laid out the cups and told him to pour the bears onto the table. I then picked up a bear & asked him what cup it belongs in. While this child doesn't know all the color names, he can distinguish between the colors. I continued to ask him with a few bears and then I allowed him to do the rest himself while I sat there. I also showed him how to clean it up and put it away. When he made a mistake I simply asked if that was right? I would point to the cup, picking it up, tipping it so he could see and he would correct his mistake (control of error).
This child has since gotten this game off the shelf to play every single day since we played it together. He always plays by himself and puts the game away when he's done. I was able to capture him playing this game earlier this week and it was just precious. I should also mention that I prepared the game a bit differently and this seems a bit more inviting. It has also solved a problem in that many of our smallest toddlers (just turned 1) are wanting to pull things off the shelf & dump them out but not being able to clean up after themselves yet (they just started attend our classes). The bear container is a bit harder to open and therefore even if the younger ones get it off the shelf, they can't dump it out.
I call that a success!
*disclaimer, I will receive 10% of your purchase as compensation for pointing you in the right direction.
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Make sure you check out our Preschool Printables, Preschool Science, Preschool Crafts or the rest of our Preschool Montessori Inspired posts for more inspiration.
Here are a few to get you started:
- Preschool Craft: Homemade Paper
- Preschool Crafts: Let's Go Fly A Kite
- Character Costumes: Dr Seuss
- Preschool Crafts: Cardboard Tube Snowmen
- Preschool Printables: Hidden Sight Words
- Preschool Printables: The Solar System Inner Planets PreK Pack
- Preschool Printables: Fun Facts About Apples
- Preschool Printables: Handwriting Practice - Uppercase
- Preschool Printables: Bonus Freebie - Trace a Shape
Also, for more worksheets & printables packs, check out my new TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers) store. I am uploading things as I create them and I have a few teacher friends testing them out in their classrooms as well.