Pining practical life exercises Essay Sample
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Pining practical life exercises Essay Sample
Maria Montessori believed that children in each plane of development undergo several sensitive periods. By providing the appropriate stimulation in this period, their senses can be awakened. She noted that children at tender age of 3 years responded to familiar materials in their environment. They showed extreme eagerness to use materials similar to those they had seen in their homes. As the children were encouraged to use appropriately sized replicas of tools, they considered their contribution as more productive. This helped build on their self-esteem, motor skills, social skills, as well as development of intelligence and concentration.
The child is then motivated by his will to perform the activity, and does not need adult led discipline in the form of rewards or punishments. Development Montessori placed the practical life exercises under 4 broad categories, as under: Elementary movements: these activities focus primarily on development of gross and fine motor skills in the children. Repeatedly performing the same activity leads to greater hand-to-eye coordination and enhanced concentration. These activities lay the foundation of all the works in the Montessori classroom. Some examples of these activities are:
Rolling and unrolling sitting mats Opening and closing bottles, boxes, latches Sitting down and standing up from chairs, mats Walking quietly without touching other’s chairs, mats Talking softly but audibly Carrying a tray with or without objects in it Holding and carrying tools Care of the environment: these are activities that teach the child to look after his environment. the main exercises involved pouring, transferring, cleaning and polishing. The level of complexity varies from child to child, depending upon his plane of development. Some examples of these activities are:
Dry pouring of beans from one jug to another Wet pouring of liquids into bottle using a funnel Arranging tables and chairs, dusting and sweeping Washing dishes, scrubbing pots and pans Use of tweezers, chopsticks, tongs to hold tiny objects. Arranging flowers in a vase, Watering plants in pots Maintenance of aquarium, terrarium, caring for animals, fishes etc. Care of self: relates to exercises that encourage the child to maintain personal hygiene. These are aimed at making the child independent to look after his own needs. Some examples of these activities are:
Cleaning the teeth with toothbrush and toothpaste Washing and drying hands and face, with soap, water and towel Cutting nails Dressing and undressing Blowing nose Putting on shoes, tying shoe laces Combing and brushing hair Social relations: Montessori regarded these activities relating to social grace and courtesy within the environment, as the most important. The child is taught how to interact with others respectfully and gracefully. Some examples of these activities may include: Exchanging greetings like hello, how are you, thankyou, please Shaking hands, apologizing, excusing themselves
Asking for something with courtesy Being respectful and caring for other’s possession’s Table etiquettes, table setting Watching others without speaking or disturbing them The practical life exercises bring about the biggest responsibility for the Montessori teacher. This consists mainly of: Preparation of the environment: the teacher’s role is to maintain and develop the environment, suitably. There should be atleast 20-30 activities, attractively displayed in an organized and neat manner. Some key characteristics of the practical life activities are:
Reality based- the activities keep the children in touch with reality. They use soap to wash their hands, knife to cut fruits, dusting cloth to clean tables, just as adults in the real world. This helps them develop a connection with their surroundings. Attractively displayed- the materials are presented in an attractive manner, almost to entice children and grab their attention. Not limited – there is no exhaustive list of possible activities, as they can vary depending upon the cultural and country related factors that must be incorporated by the teacher.
Complete – the activity in itself must have all materials to be complete at the end. If a child completes the activity with the requirement of re-stocking a material, he must be shown how to do so. Location of materials – the activities must be located in accordance to groupings of categories like food based, water based, self-care based, etc. This is essential to make them readily available when the child is engaged and seeking out materials. Sequential – all activities are planned with a sequential beginning, middle and end. This gives the child a direction to follow.
One of the beginning exercises may be to put on an apron. Manageable container – the sizes of the trays, baskets, containers, jugs, must be appropriate for children to carry out the activity. The trays must be deep enough to prevent containers from falling out when children carry them. Functional – the materials provided must be able to serve the purpose they are intended for. If the child has a knife which does not cut, he will feel disappointed at not being able to perform an activity that other children could. The teacher must consider the children’s abilities while preparing the activities.
Natural materials – materials must be of a natural make, to make them more pleasing to touch aesthetically. Easily cleaned – natural materials are easier to clean and accumulate less bacteria. This makes it easier to maintain cleanliness and hygiene in the classroom. Safety – all materials must be safe for children’s little hands while they turn them upside down and explore them from all possible sides. Any objects with sharp edges must be smoothened or covered to avoid any injury. All materials should be made of natural non-toxic substances.
Orderly – the materials must be arranged and presented in an organized manner. The setup must be in a logical sequence, with the simpler activities placed at the left and the more complex ones towards the right. Cultural diversity – all materials must incorporate elements of the culture and country where the school is located. Teachers must include different festivals and celebrations as part of the materials. Self contained Child size Spaciously located: both indoors and outdoors, animal care One of each Color coded Proportional items Dynamic- changed regularly, to avoid boredom.
Presentation of the material: the teacher’s biggest responsibility is to serve as the link between the child and his development through the use of the materials. She has to adapt the appropriate use of the materials in her mannerisms, and present it to the children either in groups, or individually. The presentation must be interesting and attractive, and help clarify the requirements in order to perform the said task. Granting the freedom of choice:
Conclusion In summary, Bibliography
1. Montessori, Maria The absorbent mind Kala Kshetra Publications 2006
2. Montessori, Maria The Discovery of the Child