The Montessori materials are sensory based learning tools that are designed to provide children with opportunities to discover learning through independent learning, repetition, and practice.
The Montessori materials are beautiful and simple to use, guiding children through the Montessori curriculum, as they increase in complexity. Children are introduced to the Montessori materials by the Montessori educator, who will present the material to the child, and then invite the child to work with the material independently.
The Montessori materials are presented to the child in sequence, from easiest to hardest, in accordance with their developmental needs and interests, and within the context of the other materials that they will encounter as they progress through the Montessori Education Program.
This clear sequence provides children with a logical pathway to learning that promotes the gradual layering of knowledge to establish foundational learning. As Doctor Maria Montessori stated: “Practice makes permanent” and “Nothing goes into the mind that does not first go through the hands.”
Control of Error
Especially unique, is that each Montessori material is designed with a visual control of error. This means that the child can easily see and correct their own mistakes because the pieces do not fit together, or there is a piece left out. This self-correcting aspect also makes the materials auto-instructional. This means that the child can discover and master the outcomes of the material through repetition and practice, independent of an adult. As a result, Montessori students develop strong problem solving skills, resilience, and concentration.
Within the Montessori classroom, the Montessori materials are displayed within their specific Curriculum area, including: Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language, and Culture. Each material is displayed in progression order, from easiest to hardest, and from left to right. This logical structure encourages children to organise their thinking, progress logically through the Montessori program, and absorb the outcome of the material at their own pace. The left to right orientation of the Montessori materials also assists children with preparation for reading and writing, and the way that the brain naturally processes information.
Fine Motor Skills
In addition to teaching children concrete knowledge areas and skills, Montessori materials are also beneficial for building fine-motor skills in children. Maria Montessori understood fine motor development to be a crucial aspect of children’s education because of its link to how children come to understand their world. Children first learn through their hands. Incorporating both gross and fine motor skills is crucial to a balanced approach to each childhood education that incorporates the social, physical, mental and emotional aspects of child development.Therefore, many Montessori materials encourage the development of these skills from a young age. By allowing children to experience learning through their senses, the Montessori materials teach children to become independent, self-motivated learners, with the skills to thrive.
What’s unique about Montessori learning materials?
Control of error
Purposeful activities using movement and exploration
Materials isolate one concept or skill
Aesthetic and engaging
Hands-on experiential learning
Simplify abstract concepts
Develop fine motor skills