MM: Three Period Lesson and a link
Monday, February 19, 2007

Here's just a quick Montessori Monday today. The kids are home from school because of President's Day, so I'm just going to leave a couple of links.

This mom homeschools her autistic daughter with Sensory Integration Disorder - they also have a special diet (no apples, almonds, or eggs in their case). She uses Ambleside Online, which is an online Charlotte Mason curriculum and free!


Her three part series on Masterly Inactivity is worth a look! Masterly Inactivity is to Charlotte Mason what observation is to Montessori - basically, hand off! Let them do it themselves!

In The Montessori Method, Dr. Montessori noted that her classrooms were structured much like a music lesson. When a child goes to a class to learn to play the piano, the instructor will help him seat himself on the bench, assist in the placement of the hands, teach him how to correspond the notes on the page with the keys, and then he will leave him to it. The student will play, or attempt to play, the music on his own. The maestro will observe, noting if more work is needed on reading music, on the tempo, etc. A musical student will play the same piece until it is mastered.

A Montessori classroom is similar. The directress will supply a prepared environment for the children to learn. She will use the three-period lesson to introduce children to concepts and connect it with language. And then she will leave the children to it, all the while observing and noting if she needs to introduce a concept again, if they are ready to be introduced to the next work, and so on. The child will continue to pursue the same work until it is mastered - and the child decides what level of perfection constitutes mastery.

Note: when introducing the Three Period lesson, the first lesson, naming, always includes two contrasts. Red and Blue would be presented together, small and big, wet and dry. Montessori believed that the contrast helped with the memory work. Also, much care should be taken to isolate the quality you are introducing.
So, to introduce red and blue, one should use two objects exactly the same (i.e., square wooden blocks). The only difference should be the color. Using, say, a red rubber ball and a blue plastic spoon could be confusing - does red mean "rubber"? "toy"? "round"? "bouncy"? Does blue mean "utensil"? "plastic"? "something you put in your mouth"?

She would often isolate the senses using a blindfold, especially for non-visual sensory introductions, such as weight, noises, temperature. For example, blindfolding a child and placing their hand in cold water, then warm water. (She only used the blindfold when teaching developmentally normal children. She found that children with mental handicaps (called 'deficients' in her day by the medical establishment) were not able to use the blindfold well)

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/19/2007 09:07:00 AM | Permalink | |