Introduction to Language
- Pages: 26
- Word count: 6276
- Category: Language
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Language is a system of symbols with an agreed upon meaning that is used by a group of people. Language is a means of communication ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized sounds and signs, thus, being the spoken and written language. The History of Language
It is a human tendency to communicate with others and this could underlie the emergence of language. Montessori said, “To talk is in the nature of man.” Humans needed language in order to communicate, and soon, the powers that come with language were revealed. The evolution of the human language began when communication was done through pictograms or pictures and drawings.
It then developed into ideograms when pictures began to turn into symbols. Later, these symbols became words, words involved letters, vowels emerged, one symbol came to represent one sound, an alphabet was created, and then came the alphabet we now use today. And just as language evolved hundreds of thousands of years ago, it also changes with each generation. Unneeded words are dropped and new words come into use. Language rose and continues to rise with the collective intelligence.
The Language Development of the Child
When the child arrives in the Montessori classroom, he has fully absorbed his culture’s language. He has already constructed the spoken language and with his entry into the classroom, he will begin to consolidate the spoken language and begin to explore the written forms of language.
Because language is an intrical involvement in the process of thinking, the child will need to be spoken to and listened to often. The child will need a broad exposure to language, with correct articulation, enunciation, and punctuation. The child will need to experience different modes of language and to hear and tell stories. Most importantly, the child needs to feel free and be encouraged to communicate with others.
With the child’s absorbent mind the child by age six will have reached the 3rd point of consciousness in language where he understands that sounds and words have meaning and that these symbols can be used in writing. He will become fully articulate, he will be able to express himself in writing, he will be able to read with ease, and have a full comprehension of the thoughts of others.
The Prepared Environment
To help the child in his development in language, the Montessori classroom is designed to help the child reach the 3rd period of consciousness. Because the learning of language is not done through subjects as in a normal classroom, the child is learning at his own rhythm. This allows the child to concentrate on the learning of each important step in language so that each progressive step is done easily and without any thought on the part of the child. The special material also plays an important role in aiding the child develop the powers of communication and expression, of organization and classification, and the development of thought.
But the most important tool in the child’s learning of language lies within the directress. She must support the child in his learning, give him order to classify what he has learned, to help the child build self-confidence, and to provide the child with meaningful activities. The directress is the child’s best source in language development. Language Completions of the First Plane
As the child leaves the Montessori classroom after the age of six, he will have become an articulate person, being able to communication his feelings in well-formed sentences and in writing. He will be able to write these thoughts and feelings in a skillful handwriting. He will have the ability to write in different styles and about a variety of subjects. The child will have total reading and a sense of the home language at a level where he will be the master of his words.
The Big Picture of Language Development in the Young Child
How a child learns to speak and understand the spoken word is a mysterious process. As long as a child is exposed to some language in his/her early life, s/he will almost always learn to speak. We don’t entirely understand why, but we know this to be true absent certain complications. She will learn the vocabulary that she is offered. We can do much to enrich these offerings, to give the child a greater wealth of words at her command, but we can not make her learn to speak. That occurs in a way that, at present, remains a mystery. But the same can not be said for writing or reading. These, we teach. Writing and reading require instruction of some sort and require some degree of effort by the child. She must exert herself on the components of our language to build it for herself. She must mount each of these steps: Step 1: Spoken Language: create an internal dictionary and practice using the words in it Step 2: Phonetic Awareness: learn the sounds within words and the sounds/symbols of our alphabet Step 3: Creating Words (Writing): learn to put those sounds/symbols together to make words Step 4: Reading: Learn to decode those sounds/symbols to decipher words
Step 1: Spoken Language
There are many ways the adult can facilitate the acquisition of verbal language but we can not directly teach it. Instead, we prepare the environment. We naturally focus on offering the child rich oral language experiences. This is essential yet there is other work we do that is as critical, if not moreso. We must adjust the child’s environment, both physical and navigable (e.g., daily routines, human interactions), so that it does not in anyway block the expression of the human tendencies. We trust that given the right environment, the right support structure, the child is inherently capable of developing a strong, logical, ordered, and gracious voice. So, there is little direct teaching we do to support the child’s development of oral language. Our work in this regard is mostly indirect and it begins with the child’s surroundings for one of the most significant ways we can offer assistance is by providing the child with an organized and accessible environment.
An Organized, Accessible Environment
Before we had the assistance of medical scanning or imaging devices, Dr. Montessori understood that the neural pathways in the child’s brain are formed as a direct result of how the child interacts with his environment. If the child has varied and relevant opportunities to lay his hands upon his world, to exercise his will, then he forges strong and numerous neural pathways. If he is limited in his opportunities to move, to act with meaning and intention, there will be fewer, weaker neural pathways. In both cases, the child will rely on these pathways for the rest of his life. These are the foundations upon which he rests all future learning. We must work to make sure that that foundation is strong, solid, and organized. If we hope for the child to develop a voice that is logical and to express organized thought, we must provide him with surroundings that are organized. We must provide him with opportunities to exert his developing will and realize the logical consequences of those exertions.
In order to do all this, we need to prepare a space for the child that accommodates his size, abilities, interests, and time table. His space must give him opportunities to meet his basic needs without interference or unnecessary help. Can he reach the hook for his coat? Can he access the sink to get a drink of water or wash his hands? Is there a mirror located so that he can notice that his mouth or nose needs a wipe? Is there a spirit of open communication so that he is encouraged to engage with others? Do we move slowly and gracefully so that the child can notice exactly how we use our hands to open a lunch box or blow our nose? These tiny movements are usually overlooked by the adult but to the child, they are diamonds. The child is intensely interested in mastering the movements that we don’t even notice we make.
This point about organization and consistent routines needs to be stressed because the organization of the child’s surroundings are related directly to how the mind becomes ordered or disordered. As the child begins to interact with the environment, he is organizing his intelligence. If there is disorder in the child’s ability to master language, your first remedy is to remove the disorder and impediments in his surroundings.
Rich Oral Language Experiences
We also work to provide endless opportunities for the children to speak, to practice using their new language, and to hear our language in all of its stirring forms. It is through this practice, through the use and the slight adjustments the children make each time the words leave their lips, that the children work to perfect their speech, articulation, vocabulary, grammar, phrasing, sentence structure: to perfect their verbal expression. If they are to become masters of their language, they must gain experience using it.
It is essential for a young child to have a rich internal dictionary, a store of words at her command. Many of these words are absorbed effortlessly as she goes about her daily life. Words like “up” and “milk” and “hello” are examples. And yet our speech is often so quick or the child’s exposure somehow fragmented that it is not possible for the child to absorb everything in this manner. There are a few simple things we can do to adapt ourselves to meet the child’s needs in this area. Repeat new words when they are introduced (e.g., this is a spoon, a spoon)Annunciate carefully and speak slowly, at the child’s pace Allow the child to sense your breath as you speak (i.e., the child’s face or hands are near enough to your mouth that they have a tactile sensation of how much air leaves your mouth for different sounds) Use the 3-period lesson to teach specific terms
The 3-Period Lesson. We can use the 3-period lesson to directly teach specific vocabulary for everything in the classroom and home environment. We use real objects, photos/illustrations, and miniatures to facilitate this. For example, we walk with the 3 year old around the classroom on her first day. We touch the sink and say, “this is the sink, sink.” We touch the soap and say, “this is the soap, soap.” We touch the paper towels and say, “these are the paper towels, paper towels.” This first step of providing the names of each object is called Period 1. In period
2, we ask the child to identify the objects we name. We may say, “Can you point to the paper towels? Can you stand next to the sink? Can you find the soap?” It is during this second period that most learning takes place. This is when the child’s body and mind are simultaneously engaged. So we must spend time here, before moving on to Period 3. In Period 3, we point to each object in turn and ask, “What is this?” This is the most challenging part of the lesson because the child needs to find the correct word from all of the hundreds or thousands of words she knows. This is much more difficult than pointing to the right object when the vocabulary is provided and there are limited objects from which to choose.
When thinking about this example, please note that we do not overlook any vocabulary. We do not yet know how much or how little vocabulary the children have acquired. We must give them the opportunity to succeed in the requirements of their environment. How can this happen if they don’t know the names of the objects we refer to? So, we are sure to review the names of everything in their environment: hook, sink, tissue, floor, chair, etc. Often these reviews go very quickly but from time to time we meet the child who proceeds slowly through these often overlooked basics. And it is this child we must not miss!
Step 2: Phonetic Awareness
Traditional education demonstrates a somewhat predictable swing between the pedagogical concepts of phonics versus whole language. Every few years we hear that a school district or state educational commission is following a phonics based approach and then a few years later we hear that they recommend a whole language approach. These concepts swing in and out of favor like the pendulum on a grandfather clock.
The reality is that both of these concepts are valuable and necessary. The Montessori approach teaches both, but it teaches phonetics first. Why? Because 50% of our language is phonetic. It follows predictable rules…and children love rules. They are drawn to find the logic and order within our world. The human tendencies for order and precision are very strong in the young child and the phonetic half of English is compliant in this respect. It is systematic and predictable. There are rules that, when followed, hold the key to cracking the code of English.
We begin by teaching the child these rules. We teach them the sounds of each letter and of key phonograms. We encourage them to build phonetic words, and later, when they are ready, to read phonetic words. This process slowly builds the child’s confidence. It lays out the patterns of English. It presents the rules the children love to follow and gives them opportunities to practice applying those rules, to practice hearing the sounds in words, saying the sounds of each letter, writing letters, using those letters to build words, and reading phonetic words. Then, once the child has confidence, once the child believes she can crack the code of English, we slowly reveal the non-phonetic half of English…the words which don’t follow any rules at all. Wow! Words that don’t follow any rules at all? That’s interesting! And learning follows interest.
The Sounds of Language
Phonetic awareness begins with the child’s knowledge of sounds. The child must be able to hear the sounds in words. We can help children hear individual sounds by:Annunciating slowly and carefully Encouraging the children to speak and pronounce words
Repeating new words
Playing sound games like I Spy
I Spy. This is a simple game that gives the child the opportunity (but not the requirement) to identify the sounds in words. We play it with one or several children by saying, “I spy with my little eye, something in Kyra’s hand that starts with the sound ‘puh, ‘puh.’ Of course, Kyra is holding nothing but a pencil so her chance of succeeding is high. Continue to sound out the word, ‘puh en sul.’ Do this as much as you need to until one of the children hears it and says, “pencil!” Continue for as long as the children are interested. On another day, once they understand how the game works, walk about the room together and choose about six different objects, each with a different initial sound. Bring them to a workspace and play it again. “I spy with my little eye something that starts with the sound ‘mmmm, mmmm.’” We repeat the sound and then, unless the child beats us to it, we point to the monkey and say, “mmmm unkey, mmmm unkey.” We repeat this for all of the objects. All the while, we are encouraging the children to play it without us, to take the lead so that they are freed to work on this whenever they want to, without any help at all. Once children master the beginning sounds in words, we move on to ending sounds and, finally, middle sounds (the hardest to hear).
The Symbols of Language
In Montessori classrooms, there are two primary pedagogical materials used to teach children the sounds that each letter makes and how you can put those letters/sounds together to create words: the sandpaper letters and the movable alphabet. The sandpaper letters allow children to physically trace the shape of each letter while they say its sound, not it’s name. The movable alphabet allows them to then put those symbols/sounds together to create words even before their hand can hold a pencil.
So it is at this stage that we adults directly teach children the sounds and symbols of our language. This is where we demonstrate that spoken language is directly linked to written/printed language. This is where we make language concrete. What follows is practice. Once the children can associate sound with symbol, they need opportunities and inspiration to practice using that knowledge.
Introduction to Mathematics
Math is all around the young child from day one. How old are you? In one hour you will go to school. You were born on the 2nd. Number itself cannot be defined and understand of number grows from experience with real objects but eventually they become abstract ideas. It is one of the most abstract concepts that the human mind has encountered. No physical aspects of objects can ever suggest the idea of number. The ability to count, to compute, and to use numerical relationships are among the most significant among human achievements. The concept of number is not the contribution of a single individual but is the product of a gradual, social evolution. The number system which has been created over thousands of years is an abstract invention. It began with the realization of one and then more than one. It is marvelous to see the readiness of the child’s understanding of this same concept. Arithmetic deals with shape, space, numbers, and their relationships and attributes by the use of numbers and symbols. It is a study of the science of pattern and includes patterns of all kinds, such as numerical patterns, abstract patterns, patterns of shape and motion.
In the Montessori classroom, five families with math are presented to the child: arithmetic, geometry, statistics and calculus. More precisely, the concepts covered in the Primary class are numeration, the decimal system, computation, the arithmetic tables, whole numbers, fractions, and positive numbers. We offer arithmetic to the child in the final two years of the first place of developments from age four to age five and six. Arithmetic is the science of computing using positive real numbers. It is specifically the process of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The materials of the Primary Montessori classroom also present sensorial experiences in geometry and algebra. Little children are naturally attracted to the science of number. Mathematics, like language, is the product of the human intellect. It is therefore part of the nature of a human being. Mathematics arises form the human mind as it comes into contact with the world and as it contemplates the universe and the factors of time and space.
It under girds the effort of the human to understand the world in which he lives. All humans exhibit this mathematical propensity, even little children. It can therefore be said that human kind has a mathematical mind. Montessori took this idea that the human has a mathematical mind from the French philosopher Pascal. Maria Montessori said that a mathematical mind was “a sort of mind which is built up with exactity.” The mathematical mind tends to estimate, needs to quantify, to see identity, similarity, difference, and patterns, to make order and sequence and to control error. The infant and young child observes and experiences the world sensorial. From this experience the child abstracts concepts and qualities of the things in the environment. These concepts allow the child to create mental order. The child establishes a mental map, which supports adaptation to the environment and the changes which may occur in it. Clear, precise, abstract ideas are used for thought. The child’s growing knowledge of the environment makes it possible for him to have a sense of positioning in space. Numerocity is also related to special orientation. In the first plane of development, the human tendency to make order along with the sensitive period for order support the exactitude by which the child classifies experience of the world.
The Montessori materials help the child construct precise order. In the class, the child is offered material and experiences to help him build internal order. It is internal order that makes the child able to function well in the environment. Order under girds the power to reason, and adapt to change in the environment. Each culture has a pattern of function in that society. This pattern is absorbed by the child, and becomes the foundation of which the child builds his life. This cultural pattern is the context for the Montessori class. Practical life Exercises are the every day tasks of the home culture and include the courtesies by which people relate. The child is attracted to these activities because they are the ways of his people. He is attracted to the real purpose which engages his intellect. As he begins to work with Practical Life Exercises, he is more and more attracted to the order and precision that is required. Participation in these activities help the child become a member of the society of peers in the classroom. Without the child’s knowing it, these activities are laying out patterns in the nervous system. Repetition sets these patterns and leads to ease of effort. The Sensorial Material is mathematical material. It is exact. It is presented with exactness and will be used by the child with exactness.
The activities call for precision so that the child can come into contact with the isolated concepts and through repetition, draw from the essence of each and have a clear abstraction. These concepts help the child to order his mind. He is able to classify experience. Clear perception and the ability to classify leads to precise conclusions. The Sensorial work is a preparation for the study of sequence and progression. It helps the child build up spatial representations of quantities and to form images of their magnitudes such as the Pink Tower. Spoken language is used to express abstract concepts and to communicate them to others. In addition to the spoken language, humans came to need a language to express quantitative experience, and from this came the language of mathematics. By age four, the child is ready for the language of mathematics. A series of preparations have been made. First the child has established internal order. Second, the child has developed precise movement. Third, the child has established the work habit. Fourth, the child is able to follow and complete a work cycle. Fifth, the child has the ability to concentrate. Sixth, the child has learned to follow a process. Seventh, the child has used symbols. All of this previous development has brought the child to a maturity of mind and a readiness of work. The concrete materials for arithmetic are materialized abstractions.
They are developmentally appropriate ways for the child to explore arithmetic. The child gets sensorial impressions of the mathematical concepts and movement supports the learning experience. The material begins with concrete experiences but moves the child towards the abstract. There is also a progression of difficulty. In the presentation of the material, a pattern is followed. It is used throughout the arithmetic Exercises. For the presentation of the mathematical concepts, the child is first introduced to quantity in isolation, and is given the name for it. Next, symbol is introduced in isolation and it is also named.
The child is then given the opportunity to associate the quantity and symbol. Sequence is given incidentally in all of the work. Various Exercises call for the child to establish sequence. The mathematical material gives the child his own mathematical experience and to arrive at individual work. There are some teacher directed activities but these are followed with activities for the individual. Some work begins with small group lessons, these too will be toward independent, individual work. The Exercises in arithmetic are grouped. There is some sequential work and some parallel work. The first group is Numbers through Ten. The experiences in this group are sequential. When the child has a full understanding of numbers through ten, the second group, The Decimal System, can be introduced.
The focus here is on the hierarchy of the decimal system and how the system functions. It also starts the child on the Exercises of simple computations, which are the operations of arithmetic. The third group will be started when the decimal system is well underway.
From then on, these Exercises will be given parallel to the continuing of the decimal system. This third group, Counting beyond Ten, includes the teens, the tens, and linear and skip counting. The fourth group is the memorization of the arithmetic tables. This work can begin while the later work of the decimal system and the counting beyond ten Exercises are continued. The fifth group is the passage to abstraction. The Exercises in this group require the child to understand the process of each form of arithmetic and to know the tables of each operation. There is again an overlap.
The child who knows the process and tables for addition can begin to do the addition for this group. He may still be working on learning the tables for the other operations and these will not be taken up until he has the readiness. The Exercises in the group for passing to abstraction, allows the child to drop the use of the material as he is ready. He can then begin to work more and more with the symbols on paper, without using the material to find the answers. The sixth group of materials, Fractions, can work parallel to the group of making abstractions and the early work with the fractions can begin even sooner than that. Sensorial work with the fraction material can be done parallel with the other groups of arithmetic.
The writing of fractions and the operations of fractions can follow as the child is moving into the passage to abstraction. The adult is responsible for the environment and the child’s experiences in it. It is important to provide the indirect preparation of experience with numbers before it is studied. The arithmetic materials must be carefully presented as the child is ready. Montessori has emphasized that young children take great pleasure in the number work. It is therefore important that the adult not pass on any negative overtone onto the child’s experiences with arithmetic. These Exercises are presented with great enthusiasm. They must be carefully and clearly given to the child. In this work, it is also important for the directress to observe the child’s work. From observation, the directress will know if the child is understanding the concepts or if further help is needed. As always, the adult encourages repetition and provides for independent work, which will lead to mastery. When the child is ready, the absorption is as easy and natural as for other areas of knowledge. It is empowering and brings the child to a level of confidence and joy in another path of culture. The abstract nature of man is not an abstraction if the child’s development is understood by the adult.
Introduction to Practical Life
What is Practical Life
Practical: means basic, useful, purposeful
Life: means the way of living.
Practical life Exercises are just that, they are Exercises so the child can learn how to do living activities in a purposeful way.
Meaning and Purpose of Practical Life
The purpose and aim of Practical Life is to help the child gain control in the coordination of his movement, and help the child to gain independence and adapt to his society. It is therefore important to “Teach teaching, not correcting” (Montessori) in order to allow the child to be a fully functionional member in hios own society. Practical Life Exercises also aid the growth and development of the child’s intellect and concentration and will in turn also help the child develop an orderly way of thinking. Exercice Groups
Practical Life Exercises can be categorized into four different groups: Preliminary Applications, Applied Applications, Grace and Courtesy, and Control of Moment. In the Preliminary Exercises, the child learns the basic movements of all societies such as pouring, folding, and carrying. In the Applied Exercises, the child learns about the care and maintenance that helps every day life. These activities are, for example, the care of the person (i.e the washing of the hand) and the care of the environment (i.e dusting a table or outdoor sweeping). In the Grace and Courtesy Exercises, the children work on the interactions of people to people. In the Control of Movement Exercises, the child learns about his own movements and learns how to refine his coordination through such activities as walking on the line.
Reason for Practical Life Exercises
Children are naturally interested in activities they have witnessed. Therefore, Dr. Montessori began using what she called “Practical Life Exercises” to allow the child to do activities of daily life and therefore adapt and orientate himself in his society.
It is therefore the Directress’s task to demonstrate the correct way of doing these Exercises in a way that allows the child to fully observe the movements. Montessori says, “If talking don’t move, if moving don’t talk”.
The directress must also keep in mind that the goal is to show the actions so that the child can go off and repeat the activity in his own successful way. Montessori says, “Our task is to show how the action is done and at the same time destroy the possibility of imitation”. The child must develop his own way of doing these activities so that the movements become real and not synthetic. During the child’s sensitive period between birth and 6, the child is constructing the inner building blocks of his person. It is therefore important for the child to participate in activities to prepare him for his environment, that allow him to grow independently and use his motor skills, as well as allow the child to analyze difficulties he may have in the exercise and problem solve successfully.
Montessori also saw the child’s need for order, repetition, and succession in movements. Practical Life Exercises also helps to aid the child to develop his coordination in movement, his balance and his gracefulness in his environment as well as his need to develop the power of being silent.
Characteristics of Practical Life
Because Practical Life Exercises are meant to resemble everyday activities, it is important that all materials be familiar, real, breakable, and functional. The materials must also be related to the child’s time and culture. In order to allow the child to fully finish the exercise and to therefore finish the full cycle of the activity, the material must be complete.
In the environment, the Directress may want to color code the materials as well as arrange the materials based on difficulties in order to facilitate the classification and arrangements of the work by the children.
The attractiveness is also of utmost importance as Montessori believed that the child must be offered what is most beautiful and pleasing to the eye so as to help the child enter into a “more refined and subtle world”.
Introduction to Sensorial
What is Sensorial Work
Sensorial comes from the words sense or senses. As there are no new experiences for the child to take from the Sensorial work, the child is able to concentrate on the refinement of all his senses, from visual to stereognostic. The Purpose of Sensorial Work
The purpose and aim of Sensorial work is for the child to acquire clear, conscious, information and to be able to then make classifications in his environment. Montessori believed that sensorial experiences began at birth. Through his senses, the child studies his environment. Through this study, the child then begins to understand his environment. The child, to Montessori, is a “sensorial explorer”. Through work with the sensorial materials, the child is given the keys to classifying the things around him, which leads to the child making his own experiences in his environment. Through the classification, the child is also offered the first steps in organizing his intelligence, which then leads to his adapting to his environment. Exercise Groups
Sensorial Exercises were designed by Montessori to cover every quality that can be perceived by the senses such as size, shape, composition, texture, loudness or softness, matching, weight, temperature, etc. Because the Exercises cover such a wide range of senses, Montessori categorized the Exercises into eight different groups: Visual, Tactile, Baric, Thermic, Auditory, Olfactory, Gustatory, and Stereognostic. In the Visual Sense Exercises, the child learns how to visually discriminate differences between similar objects and differing objects. In the Tactile Sense Exercises, the child learns through his sense of touch. “Although the sense of touch is spread throughout the surface of the body, the Exercises given to the children are limited to the tips of the fingers, and particularly, to those of the right hand.” (Montessori, Maria (1997) The Discovery of the Child, Oxford, England: Clio Press) This allows the child to really focus on what he is feeling, through a concentration of a small part of his body. In the Baric sense Exercises, the child learns to feel the difference of pressure or weight of different objects. This sense is heightened through the use of a blindfold or of closing your eyes.
In the Thermic Sense Exercises, the child works to refine his sense of temperature. In the Auditory Sense Exercises, the child discriminates between different sounds. In doing these different Exercises, the child will refine and make him more sensitive to the sounds in his environment. In the Olfactory and Gustatory Sense Exercises, the child is given a key to his smelling and tasting sense. Although not all smells or tastes are given to the child in these Exercises, the child does work to distinguish one smell from another or one taste from another. He can then take these senses, and apply them to other smells or tastes in his environment. In the Stereognostic Sense Exercises, the child learns to feel objects and make recognitions based on what he feels. “When the hand and arm are moved about an object, an impression of movement is added to that touch. Such an impression is attributed to a special, sixth sense, which is called a muscular sense, and which permits many impressions to be stored in a “muscular memory”, which recalls movements that have been made.”((Montessori, Maria (1997) The Discovery of the Child, Oxford, England: Clio Press) The Designed Material
Montessori’s materials for the Sensorial work came from her own observations and from ideas and materials from the French doctors Itard and Seguin. Unlike the material used for Practical Life, this material has either never been seen or never been used by the child in his everyday life. With this said however, the child will receive no new experiences through the use of the material. This was purposefully thought through in order to give the child what he knows, but might not yet realize, and to then refine his knowledge. In order to do this, the material is presented in a specific way or in a specific pattern: the child learns to match the similar things, then he is shown how to grade the material based on its quality, and then he receives the language related to his work. In presenting the material to the child in this way allows him to fully understand the concept of his work.
All of the Sensorial materials were designed keeping the same ideas in mind. All of the material isolates the one quality that is to be worked with by the child. This allows the child to focus on that one quality. All of the materials have, what is called, a control of error. This calls to the child to make the corrections himself. All of the material is esthetically pleasing. Such as with the Practical Life materials, this attracts the child’s attention to the objects and allows the child to manipulate the materials with ease. All of the material must be complete. This allows the child who is working with the material to finish through the entire piece of work without having to stop and find a missing piece. All of the material is limited.
The first use of the term limited refers to the fact that there is only one of each material in the environment. This calls for other students to build on their patience. The second use of the word limited is in reference to the idea that not all of one quality or piece of information is given to the child. This child is not given every color in the world, but only a select few. This gives the child the keys to the information so it peaks his curiosity and leads him to learn more out of his own interest. Most importantly, all of the material could be called “materialized abstractions”. This means that though Montessori’s Sensorial materials, abstract concepts are made into concrete materials. Montessori saw the importance of the manipulation of objects to aid the child in better understanding his environment. Through the child’s work with Sensorial material, the child is helped to make abstractions, he is helped in making distinctions in his environment, and the child is given the knowledge not through word of mouth, but through his own experiences.