We are finally back to our weekly poems, after a long disruption of holidays and celebrations. The poem for the next two weeks is : There was a crooked man. The poem has been posted on our new poem board, which they can refer to during the day. A related activity to each story and poem, is ‘story sequencing’. After hearing the story and becoming familiar with the meaning, they then arrange the story into a sequence making use of pictures. This activity is a great way of retelling a story, working on vocabularly, comprehension and memory.
These form part of the Montessori Sensorial Material. The material consists of four wooden blocks each containing ten cylinders with knobs. The cylinders vary by 1.5cm in each dimension: 1. Height and diameter are varied from short and narrow to tall and wide, and these go the opositve way round. Cylinders also vary in diameter only, and height only. The direct aim of these are for visual discrimination of dimension. While the indirect aim is for preparation of writing, through the control of movement, as well as the understanding of connected language. However, despite the correct presentation and use of these materials, some children will always find another creative use 🙂
As with each week we have been focusing on a specific color, and this week was YELLOW. I have found this a very effective method for reinforcing colors. We play a color game each Wednesday morning when the children need to find objects in the gan of the color named. The important part of all learning is to praise the effort and not so much the result, so even though many of them are still confusing some of the colors, they still very much enjoy the game and are encouraged by the positive reinforcement to keep trying.
When children play they examine and test real life scenarios in a safe, non threatening manner. We see a number of themes of life being respresented during their play. Play ground squabbles are not uncommon, as the children begin to form alliances and challenge their boundaries. This provides the teachers with the opportunity to explore the themes of friendship, compassion, cooperation and kindness. Facilitating their play allows the teachers to guide the children and introduce them to life skills of communication such as listening, understanding, tolerance, empathy, inclusion, and negotiation. Children are often gathered together to discuss how to manage conflicts, each learning from the other. The montessori environment is aimed at helping the children to become competent social beings, giving them the tools and confidence for conflict resolution and relationship building.