Colette B. Cross
If you attended our Language Workshop today, you left with an impressive view of a Montessori Language Curriculum in an Early Childhood Classroom.
I never cease to be amazed, not only at the wealth and depth of language skills available to every student in a Montessori classroom, but to the fact that students do not have to wait until a certain age or time to work on a specific skill. I observed one of our Early Childhood classes recently and in the space of an hour I saw three, four, and five year olds engaged in a multitude of activities that had to be seen to be believed. The children were actively and productively engaged. They chose and carried the work out with pride and purpose: no pressure, no worries, simply realistic expectations and a desire to learn.
Learning in a Montessori classroom is as natural as learning to walk and talk. Children learn to do these things when they are developmentally ready to do so. So it should be for all learning. The prepared environment, the teacher who understands and supports each student’s developmental level, the engaged student and supportive parents are key to successful learning. I watched a four year old read an amazing list of sight words because she could, a three-year-old build three letter “a” words with a moveable alphabet, and a five year old independently completing a comprehension exercise. The list goes on; matching sounds to objects and to visuals, booklet making, medial vowel activities, story writing. But you get the picture, endless possibilities!
It is well researched that learning to read and write is critical to a child’s success in school, as well as later in life, and the early years are the most important years for literacy development. This is the developmental stage when children can absorb information from people, ideas and tools within their environment. The preparation and precursor skills are offered from day one in the form of the practical life activities, vocabulary development, and lessons using concrete materials.
If you missed our presentation, come visit a class and see for yourself. A visit to a Montessori class will make you wish you could go back to school and learn to read and write the Montessori way!