The pre-primary child learns through observing and interacting with his environment. So it is very important to create “Just the right environment.” The environment should have hands on activities that the child uses to explore and learn. Setting the right boundaries will help the child develop self-discipline.
In this course the student teacher will learn how to prepare this “right” environment .
Duration – 8 months
- Module 1: Exercises of Practical Life
- Module 2: Sensorial
- Module 3: Math
- Module 4: Language (story telling, circle time and music)
- Module 5: Cultural (Art and Geometry)
- Module 6: Child Nutrition and child Psychology
In this area the child is given opportunities to develop control of movement, concentration and grace and courtesy. The child is given activities to develop his fine motor and gross motor muscles. The child also learns the necessary skills to take care of himself and the environment, leading him towards independence.
The child through multiple exercises involving pouring, scooping, tying, lacing, sweeping etc. become independent and productive at a very early age. This builds their self-esteem.
In the Sensorial curriculum, the education happens through the senses. For example, smooth and rough are learnt by first feeling concrete material. After the experience it is named. The concept of short and long is experienced by the child when he/she holds a long rod and then a short rod in his or her stretched arms. The child is able to recognize the meaning of these words.
Between the ages of 3 and 6 the sensorial experience is in total explosion. To take advantage of this growth math concepts are also presented to the child using their senses. For example, the child is allowed to feel a unit bead to understand what a unit is. He sees practically how 10 units make a ten and so on. So Math operations are understood using concrete material.
Through the cooperation of the senses the child fixes the image of a symbol associating it with a sound. Beginning sounds, ending sounds and analysis of all the sounds in the word follow this. The child then starts forming words with the short vowel sound like “cat.” This is the beginning of the reading process. The orthographic complications are introduced to the child using concrete experiences with objects and pictures with the help of the moveable alphabet.
The child is taken through the process of writing starting with writing on sand, writing on chalk board, tracing, refinement of pencil grip leading into an explosion into writing.
Movable Alphabet Box
The cultural curriculum includes History, Geography, Botany, Zoology and Astronomy. It is an extension of the language curriculum as reading and writing skills are used extensively .The foundation of the cultural curriculum is formed by presentations like air, water and land, living and non-living History is introduced using the time line, calendar time etc. Geography includes political as well as physical Geography. Concrete materials are used to teach continents and countries. “The layers of the earth ”is learnt by a hands on experience of making the layers using clay. Botany would include parts of a leaf, tree etc. Zoology will include parts of a fish, life cycle of a butterfly etc. Astronomy includes the study of the planets in our Solar system.
Phases of Moon
This area talks about the nutrients and their importance for a healthy body. The student teacher will learn different ways to show children how to be responsible for their own health and well-being.
- Child Psychology deals with growth, development and behavior of children. It studies children at various ages and stages of growth and the influences, which affect growth. This branch of psychology will greatly change the student teacher’s attitude to children and improve their ways of facilitating the child’s learning.
- Child Psychology will also help the student teacher know herself better, thereby playing her role as a teacher effectively.
The student teacher will learn the basics about geometry in order to be able to show the child the world of shapes. The Geometric cabinets, Geometric Solids are a few materials that are used for this area.
Music can significantly enhance child development. Music stimulates the creation of neural bridges in the area of the brain that is responsible for particular types of mathematical computation. It therefore, helps to develop and exercise a child’s abstract reasoning skills. Children who are exposed to music experience significant benefits, both intellectually and creatively.
The student teacher will learn how to incorporate art into the Montessori curriculum. They will learn to make a few art and craft work.
The student teacher will learn about the characteristics of a good teller. They will be introduced to the usage of puppets, voice modulation etc., which will make the narration powerful and fun.
The student teacher will learn how to present concepts through circle time activities. They will gain experience by conducting a circle time activity as a part of the assignment.
Life cycle of a frog
The student teacher will be introduced to “Learning disabilities.” They will learn how to follow the child’s pace of learning and how to change teaching styles as per the child’s requirement.
Observation of pre-primary children within the Montessori environment is an essential aspect of teacher training. It is only through the acquisition of excellent observation skills that the guide is able to properly assess each child and truly be “the dynamic link” between the child and the environment, knowing when to “kindle the flame of interest” and when to step back and allow the child to interact with the environment on his own.