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Practical life materials develop hand-eye coordination, concentration and independence. They improve fine and gross motor skills, care of self and environment, and grace and courtesy. With work done left to right, they are the basis for reading.
Sensorial materials engage all 5 senses. They allow children to visually discriminate length, width, height, shades of colors, different sounds, smells, and textures. With work involving size and quantities 1-10, they are the basis for math.
Language materials provide experience sorting, classifying, tracing and writing. The movable alphabet allows children to see the beginning, middle and end sound, which is the basis for reading with fluency in English and Spanish.
Math materials go from concrete to abstract. Dr. Montessori observed that if children could touch and hold the materials, they had a better understanding of the concept being taught. Children count, add, subtract, multiply and divide using concrete materials first, then move to pencil and paper when ready.
Science materials encourage children to explore and experiment by pursuing their natural curiosity. Dr. Montessori wanted children to be life-long lovers and observers of nature and their natural surroundings. Materials include: parts of an animal, parts of a plant, sink and float, and magnetism.
Geography and Social Studies materials develop respect and understanding of other cultures from around the world, building awareness of the global community in which we live. Materials include: puzzle maps of every continent, land forms, color coded land and water globes, and flags for every country.
The Montessori Community
Here are a few of our favorite Montessori websites, organizations and books – enjoy!
Websites and Organizations
AZ Montessori Coalition: a local organization comprised of school leaders and advocates of Montessori from all over Arizona; they regularly host events and post news relevant to the local Montessori community
Montessori Madmen: a powerhouse of Montessori dads (and moms) who are strong advocates of Montessori education; check out their map, books, videos and excellent list of resources that take parent to parent education, involvement and advocacy to a whole new level
How We Montessori: a beautiful blog by a mother of 2 boys attending a Montessori school in Australia; includes lots of detailed photos and descriptions of how to apply Montessori in the home environment
Montessori From the Start: The Child at Home, From Birth to Age Three, by Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen
How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way, by Tim Seldin
Our Peaceful Classroom: Illustrations by Children from Montessori Schools from Around the World with a narrative by Aline D. Wolf