Wednesday, December 30, 2015

ดี เพื่อ ดี (ถ้าทำดี เพื่อดี นั้นดีแน่)

ถ้าทำดี เพื่อดี นั้นดีแน่ 
(Good for the good of it)
Doing good for the good of it is truly good.
จากสมุดบันทึกพิเศษ พุทธทาสธรรมคำกลอน Monthly Notebook 
ดี เพื่อ ดี.
ถ้าทำดี เพื่อดี นั้นดีแน่
ทำดี, แต่ ทำเพื่อ"กู" ดูเฉงโฉง
กลายเป็นเรื่อง ฉ้อฉล ของคนโกง-
ทำลายตน สุดโต่ง : ดูให้ดี

ทำเช่นนั้น มันยิ่ง เห็นแก่ตัว
ได้เปรียบฝ่าย ความชั่ว คือฝ่ายผี
ข้างฝ่ายถูก เสียเปรียบ ลงทุกที
ไม่กี่ปี ลืมตัว ไม่กลัวเลว.

จงทำดี เพื่อดี สุดดีเถิด
เกียรติจะเกิด หรือไม่เกิด ก็ไม่เหลว
มันยิ่งดี โดยนิสัย ได้โดยเร็ว
พ้นจากเหว แห่งบาป ลาภมาเองฯ

1. เพราะมีผู้ขาดแคลนเราจึงมีโอกาสได้บุญ
2. ความทุกข์มีอยู่ที่ไหน ความดับทุกข์ก็ต้องอยู่ที่นั่น เพราะถ้าไปอยู่เสียที่อื่นแล้ว จะดับความทุกข์ได้อย่างไร
3. หยุดอยากแล้วต่างหากจึงจะไม่รบกวน
4. เราเกิดมาเพื่อทำให้เพื่อนมนุษย์ทุกคนรวมทั้งเราด้วยอยู่กันเป็นผาสุก ไม่ใช่เกิดมาเพื่ออยู่เป็นสุข เฉพาะเราคนเดียว
5. ความสุขที่แท้จริงนั้นให้เปล่า ไม่ต้องซื้อด้วยสตางค์
6. หยุดหัวเสีย แล้วก็อิ่ม อิ่มแล้ว ก็ทำงาน เพื่อคนอื่น
7. พอใจจนไหว้ตัเองได้ คือสวรรค์แท้จริงที่นี่เดี๋ยวนี้
8. อนาคตคือคามฝัน ปัจจุบันคือภาพมายา อดีตคือปัญหาที่สะสมไว้ พระอรหันต์จึงอยู่เหนือความหมายของเวลา
9. ล้มเองลุกเอง ล้มตรงไหน ลุกตรงนั้น นั่นแหละคนเข้มแข็ง
10. ความขอบคุณ หรือขอบใจ ถ้าจะให้แก่ใครๆ จงให้ ให้มาก ๆ ด้วยใจจริง
11. ทรัพย์สมบัติเป็นเครื่องให้เกิดความยินดี แต่ถ้าจัดการไม่ดีมันก็กลายเป็นเครื่องให้คามยินร้ายโดยแน่นอน
12. จิตที่คิดจะให้นั้น สบายกว่าจิตที่่คิดจะเอา

ทำดี ดีกว่า ขอพร
ทำดี ดีกว่า ขอพร 
ซึ่งขอ ดี,ตอน
ไม่รู้ ว่าพร คือความดี
วร-พร นั้นแปล ว่า"ดี"
ดีจริง ก็มี
พรจริง อยู่แล้ว ในตัว
มัวขอ, ไม่ทำ, น่าหัว
ขอดี ให้ตัว 
ที่ไม่ รู้จัก ทำดี
ทำดี พรมี ทันที
ไม่ขอ ก็มี 
พรที่ แท้อยู่ ในตน

ความดี ที่ใคร ขวายขวน 
นั่นคือ พรล้น
ไหลอาบ อยู่ที่ กายใจ,
ดังนั้น ใครหวัง พรชัย 
รีบทำ ดี,ให้
เป็นชัย เป็นพร ก่อนอื่น,
เป็นพร จริงจัง ยั่งยืน
พรที่ ใครยื่น 
ยกให้ นั้นไม่ จีรัง,
พรดี มีพลัง ฉมัง
กุศล หนุนหลัง
ใครทำ ใครมี ดีจริง.
                                                         สิริวยาส (พุทธทาสภิกขุ)
พรจริง-พรลม
ทำดี ดีแล้ว เป็นพร
ไม่ต้อง อ้อนวอน
ขอพร กะใคร ให้กวน
พรที่ ให้กัน ผันผวน
เป็นเหมือนลมหวน
อวลไป อวลมา อย่าหลง 
พรทำ ดีเอง มั่นคง
วันคืน ยืนยง
ซื่อตรง ต่อผู้ รู้ทำ
อยากเพียบ ด้วยพร เพียรบำ-
เพ็ญบุญกุศลนำ
ให้ถูก ให้พอ ต่อตน
ทุกคน เกิดมา เป็นคน 
ชั่วดี มีจน
เป็นผล แห่งกรรม ทำเอง
ถือธรรม เชื่อกรรม ยำเยง
บาปชั่วกลัวเกรง
ทำแต่ กรรมดี ทวีพร ฯ
                                                        สิริวยาส (พุทธทาสภิกขุ)
เราดี ดีกว่า ดวงดี.
* เราดี ดีกว่า ดวงดี เพราะดี นั้น,มี ที่เรา ดีกว่า ที่ดวง
ทำดี นั่นแหละ เราหน่วง เอาดีทั้งปวง มาทำให้ดวง มันดี,
* ดวงชั่ว ไม่ได้ เลยนี่ ถ้าเรา ขยันมี ความดี(กุศลกรรม) ทำไว้ เป็นคุณ
อยู่ดี ตายดี เพราะบุญ ทำไว้ เจือจุน ตลอดชีวิต ติดมา,
* ดวงดี มีอยู่ อัตรา ก็เพราะ เหตุว่า เราทำ ดีเป็น ; เห็นไหม
เหตุนั้น เราท่าน ใดใคร ทำดี เสมอไป ดวงดี ก็มี สมบูรณ์ ฯ
   เราดี ดีกว่า ดวงดี ฮ้า ฮา              
                                                      สิริวยาส (พุทธทาสภิกขุ)
กรรมดี ดีกว่า มงคล.
กรรมดี ดีกว่า มงคล : 
สืบสร้างกุศล
ดีกว่า นั่งเคล้า ของขลัง
พระเครื่อง ตะกรุด อุทกัง
 ปลุกเสกแสนฉมัง
คาดมั่งแขวนมั่งรังรุง
ขี้ขลาด หวาดกลั หัวยุ่ง 
เป็นเรื่อง อุทลุม 
นอนตายกก่ายเครื่องรางกอง
ธรรมะ ต่างหาก เป็นของ
เป็นเครื่องคุ้มครอง
เพราะว่าเป็นพระองค์จริง
มีธรรม ฤามี, ใครยิง; 
ไร้ธรรม ผีสิง
ไม่ยิง ก็ตาย เกินตาย
เหตุนั้น เราท่าน หญิงชาย
เร่งขวน เร่งขวายล
กุศลกรรมมาแทนมงคล
กระทั่ง บรรลุ มรรคผล 
หมดตัวหมดตน
ก็พ้น เกิดแก่ เจ็บตาย
บริสุทธิ์ ผุดผ่อง ใจกาย
อุปัททวะทั้งหลาย
ไม่พ้องไม่พานสถานใด
เหนือโลก เหนือกรรม อำไพ
กิเลาสาสวะไหน
ไม่อาจ ย่ำยี บีฑา ฯ                                         สิริวยาส (พุทธทาสภิกขุ)

ดี-เด่น-ดัง
เขาอยากดี เท่าไร ให้เขาเถิด
ไม่ต้องเกิด แข่งดี มีแต่เสีย
ฤษยากัน ทุรกรรม ทำให้เพลีย
ทั้งลูกเมีย พลอยลำบาก มันมากความ ฯ
เขาอยากเด่น เท่าไร ให้เขาเถิด
จะไม่เกิด กรรมกลี ที่ซ่ำสาม
มุทิตา สาธุกรรม ทำให้งาม
สมานความ รักใคร เป็นไม่ตรี ฯ
เขาอยากดัง เท่าไร ให้เขาเถิด 
ช่วยชูเชิด ให้ประจักษ์ ด้วยศักดิ์ศรี
ให้ดังก้อง ท้องฟ้า อย่างอสุนี
ต่างฝ่ายมี ผลงาม ตามเรื่องตน ฯ
อันความดี -เด่น-ดัง ถ้าฝังใจ
ยึดมั่นไว้ ย่อมจะต้อง ได้หมองหม่น
เหมือนแบกของ หนักไว้ ในใจตน
หยุดหลงกล ดี-เด่น-ดัง นั่งสบาย ฯ                        สิริวยาส (พุทธทาสภิกขุ)

เขาจะดีกว่าเรา (ให้เขาเถิด.)
เขาจะดี กว่าเรา ช่วยเขาเถิด
มันจะเกิด ผลดี กว่าที่หวง-
ไว้ดีเด่น แต่เรา เฝ้าประท้วง,
โลกยิ่งกลวง จากความดี, คืออะไร? ฯ
รีบช่วยให้ แต่ละคน ดีกว่าเรา
โลกจะเพระา เพริศพริ้ง และยิ่งใหญ่ :
ตาดด้วยธรรม, อุปัททวะ ก็ละไกล ;
ริษยาใคร เท่ากับขุด โลกทุรดลง ฯ
จงเมตตา มุทิตา อารีเถิด
จะไม่เกิด กิเลสผา เราเป็นผล
เห็นแก่โลก ยิ่งกว่าตน, นั่นคนตรง; 
คนคด หลง- ดีแต่ตัว มัวข่มคน ฯ
                                                                               สิริวยาส (พุทธทาสภิกขุ)
ผู้มิได้ ทำอะไร.
* ทั้งวัน ฉันมิได้ ทำอะไร
แต่สุข สนุกใจ
เกินเปรียบ เกิดกล่าว เล่ากัน!
ความสุข พิเศษ เช่นนั้น
ไม่ต้อง รำพัน ;
พูดกัน แต่จะทำ ฉันใด-
* จึงจะเป็น "ผู้ไม่ ทำอะไร"
ทั้งวัน, อยู่ได้
ทั้งสุข ทั้งสนุก เหลือประมาณ.
เงื่อนงำ คือทำ จิตง่าน 
อยู่แต่ ในงาน
ที่ทำ, จนกระทั่ง ลืมไป-
* ว่ามี "ฉัน" ผู้ ทำอะไร; 
จิตไม่ มีใจ
หลงไป ว่า"กู" ทำงาน :
สมาธิ ดิ่งเดี่ยว ที่การ-
กระทำ ชำนาญ ;
ไม่ตู่ กูทำ เพื่อกู ฯ 
                                                                     สิริวยาส (พุทธทาสภิกขุ)
ดี คู่ กับ ชั่ว.
ดี, ดี เพราะชั่วตั้ง
คู่เทียบ อยู่นา
ชั่วห่อนมี ดีเงียบ
: ค่าไร้
มีชั่ว เฉกคู่เปรียบ, 
ดีเด่น เสมอแล
เลิกชั่ว-ดี เสียได้
หมดสิ้นสงสา
โลกนี้ ดีมีค่า
เพราะมีชั่ว เป็นเครื่องเทียบ
ชั่วมี เพราะดีเปรียบ
ด้านค่าอยู่ คู่กันไป
ถ้าชั่ว เกิดไม่มี
แล้วส่วนดี มีค่ากะใคร
ทั้งคู่ ดูเถอะ, ไม่ไหว
พ้นชั่ว-ดี มีนิพพาน ฯ  
                                                                 สิริวยาส (พุทธทาสภิกขุ)
เลิกกำไร - ไม่ขาดทุน.
ชอบกำไร ไม่ชอบข้าง 
ขาดทุน
เอาเปรียบ : ไม่ดูดุลย์
เพื่อนบ้าง ;
ขาดทุน นั่น คือบุญ
เพราะเพื่อน กำไร แล
ดีเลิศคือ เมลิกล้าง
กำไรทั้งขาดทุน ฯ
ใครๆ ก็ชอบกำไร
ชังสุดใจ เรื่องขาดทุน 
คิดใหม่ ให้สมดุลย์
กำไรทุกคน ได้อย่างไร?
ต้องมี ฝ่ายขาดทุน
เหมือนทำบุญ ให้เพื่อนไป,
ถ้าเห็น ว่ากวนใจ
เลิกกำไร เลิกขาดทุนฯ
                                                             สิริวยาส (พุทธทาสภิกขุ)
อัตฺตา หิ อตฺตโน นตฺถิ (ตัวกู ของกู ไม่ มี แน่.)
อัน "ตัวกู" ดูให้ดี ไม่มีแน่
ถูกต้องแท้ ตามพระพุท- ธ บรรหาร
"อตฺตา หิ อตฺตโน นตฺถิ" ประทาน-
เป็นหลักฐาน ไว้ให้เรา เอามาตรอง :
ว่า "ตัวตน" ของตน มิได้มี
บุตรภรรยา ทาสี (สินทั้งผอง) ทรัพย์สินผอง
เป็นของตน ได้แค่ไหน ไม่ยิมมอง
ให้ถูกต้อง ธรรมสัจจ์ ถนัดจริง.
ข้างคนเขลา เมาดี มีพาลพล
ยึดว่าตน ว่าของตน กลผีสิง
ว่ากูๆ ว่าของกู ดูเหมือนลิง
ได้เที่ยววิ่ง คว้าไขว่ ยึดไม่วาง ฯ
                                                                สิริวยาส (พุทธทาสภิกขุ)
สำคัญ ที่ วิธี.
ผิดวิธี! ดีก็หาย กลายเป็นบ้า
สมน้ำหน้า ค้าดี จนดีหาย :
เรื่องดีๆ คนโง่จับ ก็กลับกลาย
เป็นเรื่องร้าย อยู่ถมไป ไยมิดู ฯ
ถูกวิธี ! บ้าก็หาย กลายเป็นดี
กลายจากผี เป็นมนุษย์ สุดสวยหรู
เรื่องร้ายๆ คนดีจับ กลับเหลี่ยมคู-
เป็นเรื่องดี ก็มีอยู่, ดูให้ดี ฯ
หาวิธี! อย่าท้อใจ, ที่ไม่อาจ
เพราะความโง่ ความขลาด นำวิถี ;
ถ้าสะสาง อย่างสูงสุด พุทธวิธี
พลิกโลกีย์ เป็นโลกุตร์ ทุกข์หยุดเองฯ
                                                                               สิริวยาส (พุทธทาสภิกขุ)



Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Using Montessori at home

     The return on your investment in Montessori will be enhanced if there is a consistency between your home and your child's classroom. This does not mean putting Montessori materials in your living room. It means taking the Montessori perspective. With this perspective your attitudes, your pace, your expectations and the limits you establish for your child will be in keeping with the principles that came from her lifelong observation of the nature of children. To gain this perspective you can attend parent information sessions at your child's school, and read related books and articles such as Montessori Insights for Parents of Young Children by Aline D. Wolf.
What Happens After Montessori?
   Many parents ask how their child can make a successful transfer from Montessori to a traditional school. This is a very common parental concern whether the child transfers at age six, age nine or age twelve.
     To facilitate the transfer, good communications between the Montessori school to the traditional schools in a community must be maintained. Montessori parents and teachers can visit the traditional school and prepare the child for whether will be different. Teachers from traditional schools can be encouraged to visit the Montessori classes to observe the level of academic work.
    Any good teacher will meet a child at that child at that child's own level of development and make t necessary allowances for what has already been achieved. It is important for parents to monitor their child's work in the new academic situation and to keep in close contact with their child's teachers. Parents and teachers working together can insure that the child will continue the love of learning acquired in Montessori.
    The habits and skills that a child develops in a Montessori class are good for a lifetime. They will help him to work more efficiently, to observe more carefully and to concentrate more effectively, no matter where he goes. If he is in a stimulating environment, whether at home or at school, his self-education-which is the only real education-will continue.

The Elementary Program

    As Montessori pre-school programs have proliferated, there has been a great demand for Montessori elementary classes for both six to nine-year-old and nine to twelve-year-old. In these classes, children who have completed the Montessori program for three to six-year-old can continue learning individually or in small groups at their own pace. Long blocks of time encourage extended spans of concentration, uninterrupted by bells indicating a sudden change of subject.
     Compared to the period preceding it, and tat which follows it, Montessori believed that the second stage of development, ages six through twelve, is one of great stability. Growth without major change marks this period as the children exhibit fairly constant styles of learning and relatively even emotional behavior. During these more serene years, students are capable of accomplishing a great deal of mental work. As E.M. Standing writes, in Maria Montessori, Her Life and Work, "It is their 'years of plenty;' and if given the right opportunity and the right means, they will lay up a great store of cultural information."
     The integrated curriculum of the Montessori elementary classes encourages children to see the critical relationship among all subjects and, indeed, among all aspects of life. The elementary teachers follow Dr. Montessori's plan for Cosmic Education-presenting the universe first and then reading subsequent learning to its place in the cosmos. For example, the history of the earth, beginning billions of year ago, is made vivid to the students when they work with a magnificent timeline on which the era of human beings is only a tiny segment at the end.
    The elementary curriculum more than covers the mathematics, language, science, history and geography taught in traditional schools. Drill in these basic subjects is replaced by a variety of creative activities, thus avoiding boredom that often leads children to withdrawal of interest or rebellion.
    No two elementary classes are alike. Each reflects the interests and strengths of teachers and students. In all these classrooms, however, you will find children working comfortably at tables or on the floor in a relaxed but mature manner. At any one time, you will see a variety of educational activities in process because each child will be working at his or her own level of interest and ability.
     In their individualized work the children learn to set goals, to manage time, to organize projects and to use a variety of resources. In addition to using the advanced Montessori materials for math, grammar and science they read and discuss children's classics, and express themselves in art, music, drama and poetry. Creative writing is a daily activity. A foreign language, physical education and field trips are also included.
    Montessori elementary programs give youngsters basic learning skills, confidence, self-esteem, and appreciation of other cultures and peaceful techniques for conflict resolution-qualities that will serve them well in any future learning situations.

The Toddler Program

     Many Montessori schools have initiated toddler classes for children 18 months to three years. The toddler classroom is simpler and slower paced than the classroom for three-to six-year-old. Tables and chairs are smaller and the teacher-child ratio is lower.
     However this program is neither a watered down version of the three to six program nor is it academic preparation for subsequent years of Montessori education. The toddler program offers very young children a unique year of self-development in a tender atmosphere of special understanding respect and support.
    Of fundamental importance is the gradual separation of each child from his or her primary caretaker, usually the mother. The Montessori toddler program protects this fragile stage of development by creating a very gentle and slow parting of each adult-child couple. As the toddlers gradually become comfortable in their new environment they learn to trust the teachers and the other children around them.
     Simple sensorial activities in the classroom respond to the toddlers'urge to use all their senses-indeed their whole bodies- to explore everything around them.
     The toddler program also appropriately accommodates the very young child's sensitive period for language by offering creative and intriguing concepts to expand their growing vocabularies. Joining conversations, listening to stories, classifying objects and learning songs and poems all nurture their budding language skills. To help smooth their initial social interactions, the toddlers also learn to use words for the feelings they experience in themselves and others.
     Many of the activities in the toddler program highlight the self-help skills that lead to independence. Children are gently urged to hang up their own coats and aprons and to problem-solve rather than sat,"I can'." Since this is and age of very strong imitation, the teachers constantly model appropriate social skills, good manners and consideration of others.
    Through song, dance and freedom of choice, the toddlers have access to a variety of large muscle activities that offer them opportunities to jump, climb, balance, crawl or skip. These exercises as well as creative art activities are offered for each child to choose. This freedom in a safe space is crucial to the toddler program. However, it is always tempered by two important limits that will be beneficial for a lifetime-respect for others and respect for the environment.

Group Activities and Art

WALKING ON THE LINE
     One of the group activities in a Montessori class is walking slowly around a circular or elliptical line taped on the floor. This exercise helps the children to develop balance and control as they carefully put one foot in front of the other, heel to toe. There are many ways of increasing the difficulty of the activity and challenging the children to perfect the control of their motions while walking. The children carry flags; they balance baskets on their heads; they carry glasses of water without spilling them; they carry little bells without ringing them as they walk. The activity helps them to develop coordination and grace.
THE SILENCE GAME
     Another group activity in the Montessori classroom is the Silence Game. Dr. Montessori devised this exercise to help the youngsters develop self-control. The teacher begins the game by hanging up a card with the word "Silence"on it. As each child notices the card, he tries to be as quiet as possible. The children not only refrain from speaking but they also close their eyes and try to remain motionless so that there is no noise at all in the classroom. After the children have been quiet for some minutes, the teacher often whispers the names of the students one by one. As each child hears his name he tiptoes very quickly to the teacher's side. This exercise helps the children to listen attentively and to move noiselessly in the classroom. Their stillness during the Silence Game makes the children aware of sounds that they do not ordinarily hear in the environment. For a few minutes of the day they become intensely concious of the quality of silence.
WHAT ELSE IS IN A MONTESSORI CLASSROOM?
     The materials described in this booklet are the basic ones used in Montessori classrooms for children ages 3 through 6. Some of the parallel exercises that reinforce these learning activities are not described here because of space limitations. The use of all these materials naturally depends on whether or not they are available in each individual school.
     Although equipment is similar, no two Montessori classrooms are exactly alike. Each reflects the individual characteristics of the teacher and children. Some teachers use only the materials that have been developed by Dr. Montessori. Others develop new materials themselves or adapt other educational equipment to the Montessori classroom. If this new equipment implements the Montessori principles of learning, it can enrich the classroom environment, but it should never supercede the Montessori materials.
     Individual work with the Montessori materials is nearly always supplemented with other activities. Group singing, music appreciation, creative art, crafts, a second language, poetry and games can all be coordinated with the Montessori program according to the interests and talents of the teacher.
USING ART CARDS
     An example of material added to many Montessori classes is Art Cards. These enable a child to become familiar with the details of beautiful art while refining her visual discrimination. Eliminating the "Don't touch"admonition that usually accompanies a child's first experience with fine art, this cultural activity invites a child to hold postcard-size reproductions of beautiful paintings in her hands and to work with them. She can match identical paintings; pair two non-identical paintings by the same artist; and sort a group of paintings by forming rows of four paintings by each artist.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Geography, Grammar, Botany

THE PUZZLE MAPS
     A Montessori classroom offers many opportunities for young children to expand their knowledge during the times when they are motivated by spontaneous interest. The large wooden puzzle maps are among the most popular activities in the classroom. The child can move each puzzle piece by grasping a little knob on its flat, shiny surface. The introductory map of the world has a separate puzzle piece for each continent. After working with the world map, the child can do one of six puzzle maps of continents in which each country is represented by a separate puzzle piece. Finally, there is a map of the United States with a separate piece for each state.
     At first the children use the maps simply as puzzles. Gradually they learn the names of many of the countries as well as information about climate and products. The maps illustrate many geographical facts concretely. The children can see the great size of Russia and the positions of Great Britain, Japan and Iceland as islands.
LAND AND WATER FORMATIONS
     The common land formations - island, peninsula, and isthmus - are made with floral clay and set in pans that are painted blue. The children can pour water around the island, on three sides of the peninsula, and on both sides of the isthmus. Other pans contain formations in which the land surrounds a lake, the land borders a gulf, and the land borders a strait. The children can pour water into the pans to actually form these bodies of water. They often put miniature trees or houses on the land and little boats on the water. As a follow-up, they locate similar bodies of land and water on a large map.
THE GRAMMAR MATERIALS
     In a Montessori class, children are introduced to grammar by little games with a piece of equipment called The Farm, complete with a barn, silo and animals. During the first lesson, the teacher says playfully to the child, "I am going to write something down that I want you to get from The Farm." She writes the horse, and the child eagerly brings her a horse. The teacher than says, "Oh! This is a very fine horse, but it is not the horse that I want. I will have to use an adjective." She writes the black horse and suddenly the child knows exactly which horse to bring her. In this way the child begins to understand the descriptive nature of the adjective.
     Because children are such sensorial learners, colors and shapes are introduced in written work to denote the different parts of speech. Black triangles are used for nouns. Adjectives and articles are also triangles, but smaller because their job is to modify the noun. Later, with The Farm, the child is introduced to conjunctions (pink rectangles) and prepositions (green crescents). Verbs-the action words- are denoted by red circles. The adverbs that modify the verbs are smaller orange circles. When verbs and adverbs are introduced the child can do the actions as the teacher writes them-sing softly or walk slowly. Later the children can continue grammatical work on their own with The Farm and other exercises that the teacher has prepared.
INTRODUCTION TO HISTORY
     To introduce young children to the concept that history is a series of sequential events that occurred before the present time, Montessori used Time Lines. In the three to six classroom a child begins with a short Time Line marked with the dates of the five or six years of her life. Beside the earliest date she places a picture taken shortly after she was born. Next, a picture when she was one year old. Then at two, perhaps with a favorite toy or pet. Then at three, possibly with a new sibling; then four perhaps with a photo taken at school, etc.
     After age six, children use other longer Time Lines on which they can place pictures or cards representing historical times or events
BOTANY
     Many Montessori classrooms have beautiful wooden puzzles or sets of nature cards that illustrate in color the parts of a tree, the shapes of leaves and the parts of a flower. The children match these illustrations with the corresponding names. Working with these cards or puzzles helps the youngsters to become more observant of the characteristics of things which grow in their own environment. They frequently have plants, flowers, or vegetables growing in the classroom; or they bring in samples that they can coordinate with the materials.
    Most of the Grammar and Science Materials in a Montessori classroom are made by the teacher or by persons working under her supervision. These materials vary from classroom to classroom, often reflecting the interests of the teacher and the level of work for which the children are ready. In general, however, these attractive materials demonstrate Dr. Montessori's theory that youngsters can learn all kinds of information if it is made accessible and inviting. Children are stimulated by natural curiosity; the materials are fun to manipulate, and learning by discovery rather than by being told gives children a particular satisfaction.
WHY EARLY LEARNING?
     You may wonder why Montessori introduces grammar, geography and geometry to children between the ages of three and six. At this age youngsters can joyfully absorb many abstract concepts- the usual stumbling blocks of the elementary grades - if they meet them in materials that they can manipulate. In a Montessori classroom children can hold units, cylinders, spheres, nouns, or fractions in their hands. When adding, they can actually carry beads to the next column; when subtracting they can take away beads with their hands; when dividing they can share the beads representing the dividend. It is fun for them to act out verbs; pour water around an island or on three sides of a peninsula. They like to form a square with five rows of five beads each or to put together fractions. The materials that demonstrate these concepts serve as touchstones in their memories for many years- touchstones that will clarify these difficult abstract terms whenever they meet them in future learning situations.

MATERIALS FOR FURTHER PRACTICE

     Parallel activities for addition and/or subtraction are always ready for the child who is eager to use different material. These include the Strip Boards, the Snake Game, the Dot Game and the Stamp Game. Various boards are also available for square root and factoring whenever the child is ready and interested.
     The child can do simple addition with the Strip Board which features red and blue rulers of graduated lengths representing the quantities 1 through 9.
     And also to the large square board, a child can place the numbers 1 through 100 in sequential order.

Mathematical Operations

     A child in a Montessori class learns mathematical facts by actually performing the operations which concrete materials. When the child wants to do arithmetic, she is given a sheet of paper containing simple problems. She works these problems with appropriate materials and records her results. Similar operations can be performed with a variety of materials. This variety maintains can be performed with a variety of materials. This variety maintains the child's interest while giving her many opportunities for the necessary repetition. As she commits the addition facts and the multiplication tables to memory, she gains a real understanding of what each operation means. In a Montessori classroom there are many materials that can be used for adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.
THE SHORT BEAD STAIR
     The Short Bead Stair represents the quantities One through Ten in easily recognized colors. A single red bead represents 1. A bar of two green beads represents 2. A bar of three pink beads represents 3, and so forth, with the bar of ten golden beads representing 10. If a child wishes to do the sum 4+6, she places the of four yellow beads beside the bar of six purple beads, counts the total number of beads and records her results; 4 + 6 = 10.
THE SQUARING AND CUBING MATERIAL
     This same color scheme is used for the beads that make up the squares and the cubes of the number 1 through 10. For example, 52 is represented by 25 blue beads fastened together in a square. 53 is made up of 125 blue beads fastened together as a cube. The square of 5 is also represented by a chain of five bars of 5 blue beads, the cube by a chain of twenty-five 5 bars. The chains are used for skip counting (in this case counting by fives) and for learning the squares and cubes of the numbers 1 through 10.
MULTIPLICATION
     The colored bead bars are also used for multiplication. If a child wants to multiply 3 x 5, he takes three of the blue bars with five beads on each and places them on a small mat. Then he counts the total number of beads and records his result: 3 x 5 = 15. Working with this equipment gives him a real understanding of what the term multiplication means; in this case the quantity of 5 is actually taken three times.
SUBTRACTION
     The child can use Unit beads for simple subtraction. To do the problem 9 - 3, she puts nine Units on a small felt mat, and then removes three of the Units. She counts the remaining Units and records her result: 9 - 3 = 6.
     Quite often a child will learn subtraction facts by simply reversing the addition combinations 4 + 4 = 8; therefore 8 - 4 = 4.
THE DIVISION BOARD
     A square board with green skittles and beads is used for simple division. The skittles represent the divisor or the number of people who are sharing the quantity. To do the example 12 divided by 3,  the child puts three skittles at the top of the board. Then she carefully takes twelve beads and shares them one by one. Each skittles gets four beads. She records: 12 divided by 3 = 4, because each skittle has four beads.




The Golden Bead & Fraction Materials

     This activity shows the famous Golden Bead Material designed by Dr.Montessori to illustrate the decimal system. The single bead on the right represents a Unit. The bar made up of 10 Units in a row represents a Ten. Ten of the Ten Bars fastened together to form a square represent One Hundred, and a pile of 10 Hundred Squares forms the cube on the left which represents One Thousand. The children already know the terms square and cube from their work with the geometric materials.
     The teacher explains to the children that to count large quantities of Units is awkward and time consuming. Therefore, whenever they have 10 Units they exchange them for a Ten Bar. When they have 10 Ten Bars they replace them with a Hundred Square, and whenever they have 10 Hundred Squaes they exchange them for a Thousand Cube.
    The picture also shows the corresponding numerals cards printed in different colors to indicate the columns of the decimal system. The Units are printed in green again (because Thousands are actually Units of Thousands, followed by Tens of Thousands, etc.)
     The children are introduced to the decimal system with three basic exercises. First they build quantities with the bead materials. The teacher starts with simple numbers. She says, e.g., "Bring me 3 Units." Soon she can combine numbers in different columns: "Bring me 5 Tens and 7 Units."Eventually the children enjoy accumulating large quantities on a tray, such as 8 Thousands, 4 Hundreds, 3 Tens, and 7 Units.
    In the second exercise, the children find cads to represent the numbers the teacher gives them orally, such as 8 Tens and 3 Units. Finally they learn to combine the numerals on the cards with the corresponding quantity of bead materials. With the Seguuin Boards the children learn to translate the numbers, such as 7 Tens and 1 Units, into 71.
    The Numeral cards may be combined in an interesting way. When the figure 1 is placed on top of 10, it will be read 11. When the 11 is placed on top of the 100, it will be read 111, and 111 placed on top of 1000 reads 1111, the total quantity illustrated by the material in the preceding photograph.
THE THOUSAND CHAIN
     The Thousand Chain shows how the Thousand Cube would look if all its beads were laid in a single row. The chain, which is actually made up of 100 Ten Bars, is used as an exercise in counting by ten up to 1000. The numbers 10, 20, 30, etc. up to 990 and 1000, are written on small cards that the child in the photograph is placing in order beside the chain. Because the chain is 27 feet long, the child is impressed with the great size of 1000.
THE BANK GAME
     Any exercise involving the exchange of the Golden Beads (or duplications of them) is usually called the Bank Game. The large quantity of material, that the children use as a source for the game, is referred to as The Bank. The children use The Bank whenever they want to change Units to Tens, Tens to Hundreds, Hundreds to Thousands, or vice versa. Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing four place numbers can all be done with the quantities in the Bank.
     If two children wish to add, each one puts a quantity of bead material on a small tray and selects the corresponding cards to represent the quantity. They then combine the two quantities on a larger tray and select larger cards to represent their total.
     For subtraction, the teacher places a large quantity of bead material with the corresponding large cards on a large tray. She then gives the child a smaller tray with a number printed on a smaller card. The child "takes away"this quantity of bead materials from the larger tray is the answer. The child then finds the numeral cards to represent this remainder. With this process the children learn that subtraction is the breaking up of one large quantity into two smaller ones.
    When learning division, the child is taught that division means sharing and that the answer (quotient) is always what one person receives. If he has the problem 1294 divided by 3, he, serving as the Banker, asks three other children to get empty trays while he gets materials to represent the quantity 1294. He wants to share this amount equally among the three children, beginning with the One Thousand Cube.
     Since he obviously cannot divide the single cube, he changes it at The Bank for 10 Hundred Squares. He now has 12 Hundred Squares-these 10 plus the original 2 in the number 1294-and he begins to share them among the 3 children. Each child receives 4 Hundred Squares. Next he divides the 9 Ten Bars; each child receives 3. Then he divides the 4 units; each child receives 1. One unit remains which he cannot divide. The answer is what one person receives, 431, with a reminder of 1.
THE FRACTION MATERIAL
     Sometimes a child asks if the one remaining Unit can be divided. This is an ideal time to show him the Fraction Material that illustrates how the Unit can be broken down. There are 10 large red discs. The first is whole. The second disc is divided into two halves, the third disc into three thirds, and so forth, up to the last disc which is divided into ten tenths. Each fractional piece has a little knob so it can be manipulated easily.
     This material can show a child concretely that 1/4 is smaller than 1/2; or that 5/5 is the same as 10/10. If he takes the disc that is divided into two halves and removes one half, he can fit two 1/4 sections exactly into this space. He can now see that 2/4 = 1/2. Many more fraction facts can also be demonstrated. Whenever he is interested, the child learns how to write the fractions and how to do simple combinations.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Introduction to Mathematics

     A child can learn basic concepts of mathematics in either of two ways. He can learn by using concrete materials during the years when he enjoys manipulating equipment; or he can learn by abstract methods when he is in the elementary grades. Dr. Montessori demonstrated that if a child has access to mathematical  equipment in his early years, he can easily and joyfully assimilate many facts and skills of arithmetic. On the other hand, these same facts and skills may require long hours of drudgery and drill if they are introduced to him later in abstract form.
     After she observed that the child who becomes interested in counting likes to touch or move the items as he enumerates them, Dr. Montessori designed concrete materials to represent all types of quantities. In a Montessori environment, a child not only sees the symbol for 1, 10000, or 1/2, he can also hold each of the corresponding quantities in his hand.
     Later, by combining this equipment, separating it, sharing it, counting it, and comparing it, he can demonstrate to himself the basic operations of arithmetic. This activity gives him the satisfaction of learning by discovery rather than by being told. Eventually he develops an early enthusiasm for the world of numbers.
THE RED AND BLUE RODS
     In the Montessori classroom the child's first introduction to numbers is made with a set of red and blue rods representing the quantities one through ten. The teacher helps the child to count the alternating red and blue sections of each rod as he arranges them in stair-like formation. The child calls the smallest rod One, the next rod Two, and so forth. The Number Two Rod is a unit, yet it is equal to two of the Number One Rods.
     At about the same time, the child learns the corresponding figures by tracing the numerals in sandpaper. The teacher helps him to place each of these numerals beside the rod illustrating that quantity.
     Working with this equipment gives the child an opportunity to discover many mathematical facts. For example, if he places the Number One Rod end to end with the Number Two Rod it will be exactly the same length as the Number Three Rod. The child is also able to see basic multiplication and division; for example, the Number Two Rod will fit on the Number Six Rod exactly three times.
     He can also use the rods to demonstrate the various combinations that equal the Number Ten Rod. He can place the Number One Rod beside the Number Nine Rod, the Number Two Rod beside the Number Eight Rod, the Number Seven Rod beside the Number Three Rod, the Number Six Rod beside the Number Four Rod and the Number Five Rod taken twice.
    THE SPINDLE BOXES
     The Spindle Boxes represent a parallel exercise in associating the numerals with the proper quantities. This tie the numerals are in a fixed order and the quantities are loose. The Spindle Boxes have ten compartments labeled with the figures Zero through Nine. In a separate box there are forty-five spindles. The child puts one spindle in the compartment labeled 1, two spindles with the label 2, etc. The first compartment is labeled 0 and this is the child's first introduction to this symbol. He usually wants to put a spindle in this compartment but has to learn that Zero means none or nothing.
THE NUMERALS AND COUNTERS
     In this exercise both the symbols and the quantities are loose and both must be placed in order by the child doing exercise. First, he arranges the numerals in ascending order. When placing the appropriate number of red discs under each figure, the child puts the discs in row of two. Each odd number has only one disc in the bottom row. This arrangement automatically illustrates the odd ans even numbers.
THE SEGUIN BOARDS
     To learn the "teen" numbers, the child uses equipment known as the Seguin Boards, The boards have the numeral 10 printed nine times in a vertical row. On separate cards are printed the numerals 1 through 9. The child forms the number 11 by sliding the figure 1 over the 0 of the 10. This shows her concretely that the number 11  is made up of 10 plus 1. Then she forms 12 by sliding the figure 2 over the 0 of the second 10. The teacher helps her with the words eleven, twelve, thirteen and so forth.
     Another set of Seguin Boards is available for learning the numerals 21  through 99. To build the corresponding quantities in this exercise, the child uses colored bead bars. Therefore, work with the Seguin Boards usually begins after the child has been introduced to the Golden Bead Material.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sensorial Exercises (3)

Learning to Write
     To be able to write, a child must develop a two-fold skill. He must commit to memory the shape of the letters and their corresponding sounds, and he must develop the muscular skill necessary for using the pencil with control.
     To clarify this distinction, look carefully at what happens when either phase of this skill is not perfected. A child may wish to write dog. He has good control of his hand, but his perception of the shapes of the letters is hazy. He writes bog very neatly.
     On the other hand, a child may know all the letters perfectly, but his hand is not practiced. He wants to write dog but he actually puts dog on the paper.
     For a child to try to acquire both aspects of this skill at the same time is often discouraging and frustrating. It is extremely difficult for him to try to learn the path for making the letters at the same time that he is trying to learn how to move the pencil with control.
     The materials that Dr. Montessori designed offer the child the opportunity to learn the shapes and sounds of the letters in a way that is completely independent from his perfection of the motor skill. Therefore, the child in the Montessori classroom learns to write not by writing per se, but by performing a number of purposefully structured activities that prepare him both indirectly and directly for success in handwriting.
THE SANDPAPER LETTERS
     The child learns the alphabetical symbols by using the Sandpaper Letters. Each letter of the alphabet is cut out of sandpaper and mounted on an individual tablet, the vowels on blue and the consonants on red. The teacher shows the child how to trace the letter with two fingers following the same direction in which the letter is normally written.
     Use of this material gives the child a three-fold impression. He sees the shape, he feels the shape, and he hears the sound of the letter which the teacher repeats when introducing it. The fact that the letter is made of sandpaper, rather than ink, invites the child to trace its shape. This is an important step in learning to write. The repetition of this exercise fixes the path of each of the letters in the child's muscular memory.
     In a Montessori classroom the child learns the phonetic sounds of the letters before he learns their names used in the alphabetical sequence. The phonetic sounds are given first because these are the sounds he actually hears in words. For example, a child can hear sss at the beginning of the word stop. He cannot hear the alphabetical name of "s"in this word.
     The child first becomes aware of these phonetic sounds when the teacher introduces the consonants with the Sandpaper Letters. For example, when presenting the letter m, the teacher makes a humming sound rather than saying em. She suggests words like mommy or muffin that begin with this sound. The child then repeats the sound and usually adds additional words in which this sound is used, like man or mitten.
     In the first introduction of the vowels, the teacher gives the short vowel sounds such as those at the beginning of the words, apple, egg, inset, ostrich, and umbrella. As soon as the child learns a few vowels and consonants, she is ready to begin constructing three-letter words that have a short vowel sound.
THE METAL INSETS
     A child in a Montessori classroom learns to control a pencil by filling in outlines-an activity that does not weary him because he enjoys it. To make the outline, he uses equipment known as the Metal Insets. Each inset represents a different geometric shape. After selecting a figure and tracing it on paper, the child fills in the outline with a colored pencil of his own choosing.
     At first his strokes are erratic and often extend beyond the outline. By degrees they become more accurate and uniform. Progress in muscular control can be noted by comparing the child's designs from week to week and from year to year. Eventually he makes more intricate designs by superimposing two or three other shapes on the original figure. When colored, this effort resembles a stained glass window.
     The designs shown above, made by children using the Metal Insets, illustrate various stages of progress in this activity. Although work with the Metal Insets gives the child an opportunity to experiment with color and design, it is not considered creative art. Crayons and paints are not used for this activity because the purpose is always pencil control.
WRITING
     Sometime during the year when a child is in a Montessori class, an exciting thing happens. After he has worked for a while with the Metal Insets and the Sandpaper Letters, a day comes when he realizes that he is able to make words and numerals with a pencil. Montessori called this phenomenon the "explosion into writing."
     When writing begins in this spontaneous way, the child is spared many tedious hours of forced effort. Writing is fun. Because he has already learned control, the repetition necessary for developing neatness and style does not tire him.
FROM WRITING to READING

WORD BUILDING
     Dr. Montessori always pointed out that a young child has a natural sensitivity for language development which follows closely on the years when she learns to speak her native language. The child at three, four and five has a unique fascination for words, both printed and spoken. This fascination often enables her to begin reading and writing before the age at which it is traditionally taught.
     The individual presentation of language materials in a Montessori classroom allows the teacher to take advantage of each child's greatest periods of interest. Reading instruction can begin on the day when the child wants to know what a word says or when she shows interest in using the Sandpaper Letters. The construction of words with movable letters nearly always precedes reading in a Montessori environment.
THE MOVABLE ALPHABET
     After a child has learned the Sandpaper Letters, she is ready to make words with the large Movable Alphabet. For this activity the teacher prepares a bag of miniature objects representing three words with the short vowel sound, such as a bed, a lid, a fan and a cup. First the child selects an object, such as the bed, and says the name of it very slowly so she can hear each sound-b...e...d. She then selects the letter to represent the first sound and places it beside the object on a mat. Next she selects the letter for the second and finally the third.
    Dr.Montessori called this activity "word building." The fact that the child is manipulating material at this stage is important because she still concentrates best on something she is doing with her hands.
     The child usually continues the word building process for a long period of time. The classroom offers a wide variety of small toy-like figures and pictures for which she can build the names. Gradually the difficulty of the nouns increases from three-letter words like pig. to four-letter words containing a consonant blend, such as flag.
MATCHING WORDS AND PICTURES
     Reading very naturally follows the word building exercises. After making lists of words for several days, or even weeks, a child gradually realizes that he can go back over the list and pronounce the words he constructed.  However, pronouncing words that he has constructed himself is not really else has constructed. The opportunity to take this step comes when he matches a set of objects with a set of cards on which the names of the objects are already printed. To place the correct card with each object he must read the word on the card. Later he matches pictures and words-still using his hands while doing a reading exercise. 
THE COMMAND CARDS
     Verbs are introduced to the children with a set of red cards that have an action words printed on each one. The children enjoy these because, as they read each Command Cad, they must perform the appropriate action. Words such as run, hop, skip, clap and jump appear in the beginning set. Later the children follow directions that tell them to "Set the map on the desk"or "Sit on the red mat." The teacher increases the difficulty of the commands according to the progress of each child.
PHONOGRAMS
     Two different colored Moveable Alphabets are used for building words containing phonograms. A phonogram is a special combination of two or more letters that produces a single sound different from the regular sequence of sounds of these letters. Examples of phonograms are oy as in toy, ch as in chin, and tion as in action. The particular phonogram that the child is learning is constructed in a color different from the rest of the word.
     For example, when learning sh, the child can make words like ship, shell, and fish. Each time, he puts the sh in one color such as red, and the remainder of the word in another color, such as black. The teacher then uses two colors to print small phonogram and has a different word printed on each page. For example, the booklet illustrating the phonogram oa might have coat on the first page, boat on the second page, road on the third page and so forth. On each page, the phonogram oa is emphasized by a color different from the rest of the word.
READING DEVELOPMENT
     Gradually the child learns words with tow and three syllables by doing reading exercises that offer variety than monotonous repetition. Also introduced at this time are the Puzzle Words (usually called Sight Words) such as one, does, sure, and the, that do not follow the phonetic rules and must be memorized. Because his skill in phonics gives him the means of attacking almost any new word, each child is encouraged to read about things that interest him. This introduces him to the longterm pleasures of reading.
    Some children read at four, some at five, and some at six. The actual age is not as important as the right moment of readiness. If a child begins too early, he will be discouraged. If he is forced to wait until he has passed his initial period of interest, then he will miss that golden opportunity when he is propelled by his own natural enthusiasm. The freedom of the Montessori classroom allows each child's own interest to determine his progress.
The child's interest in reading is never stifled by monotony. Rather, it is cultivated as the most important key to future learning. He is not asked, "Why did Jane run"" which may not interest him at the moment. He is encouraged to explore books for answers to his own questions, whether they are about frogs, rockets, stars, or fire engines.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sensorials Exercises(2)

THE ART OF LISTENING
     The art of listening carefully is a quality worth cultivating for a life time of use. Many youngsters in today's noisy world have formed the habit of "turning off"their attention to sound. They make no effort to distinguish the many sounds that assault their ears and thus they block themselves from many learning activities.
     Listening attentively is a vital preparation for learning the sounds of the letters for reading. Montessori designed several sensorial games to help the child concentrate on particular sounds. In one game a child is blindfolded and asked to identify particular sounds in the classroom, such as the noise of opening a window, closing a door, closing a book, or pouring water. In another game, he tries to identify the voices of his classmates without looking at the students who are speaking.
THE SOUND BOXES
     To help children become more aware of the intensity of sound, Montessori designed a set of six cylinder-shaped wooden boxes with red tops. Each box contains a small amount of a different substance such as salt, rice, dried beans, buttons or pebbles. The sounds produced when the child shakes the boxes vary intensity from soft to loud. This set of boxes corresponds to a second set that produces a similar sound. The child must find the mates by listening. Later he can grade the boxes in one set from the loudest to the softest.
THE BELLS
     Another quality of sound that is interesting to children is pitch. To isolate this quality, Montessori designed a set of black and white bells corresponding to the black and white keys on the piano. The bells are alike in every detail except the pitch, that is heard when the child strikes them gently. A similar set of brown bells corresponds exactly in pitch to the black and white set. The exercise consists of pairing the bells and later grading them in the order of the musical scale.
     The teacher begins by allowing a child to use only two pairs of bells with a wide differential in pitch. When the child is able to match these successfully, she gradually increases the number of  pairs with which she can work. As the contrast between the pairs decreases, the exercise becomes more challenging. Sometimes the children build not only the scale but little melodies as well, using about nine or ten of the bells. This type of ear training is good preparation for any further pursuit in music.

THE ART OF FEELINGS
     A child loves to touch. Much of the world comes to her through her hands as she investigates everything in her environment. She can use the sense of touch in a more meaningful way if she wears a blindfold. This eliminates visual recognition of an object and challenges her to recognize something with her fingers.
     In the Montessori classroom the child begins tactile activities with the Objective Bag. This is a simple bag containing a collection of familiar objects such as a cup, lid, button, string, and ball. The child grasps each object and names it without looking at it.
     Further education of the tactile sense is accomplished when the child uses the Rough and Smooth Boards, which let her feel the difference between sand paper and smooth wood.

THE SWATCHES
     A parallel exercise for educating the tactile sense is a box containing many pairs of swatches of different materials such as wool, flannel, silk, cotton, velvet, canvas, lace, etc. In this exercise a child mixes all the swatches, puts on a blindfold and then matches the pairs by feeling them. The child can correct the exercise herself by removing the blindfold and looking to see if each pair is correctly matched. While doing this exercise, the child also learns the correct names of the materials, thus giving her an opportunity to further extend her vocabulary during the years when she is especially sensitive to language development.
THE GEOMETRIC SOLIDS
     Many of the sensorial exercises, by their nature, are remote preparation for academic learning. For example, the child who has learned to listen carefully will be able to perceive subtle differences in the sounds of the letters. Of equal importance to language skills are the geometric materials, which help the child to concentrate on different shapes.
     Since shape is the defining characteristic of each letter of the alphabet, Dr. Montessori designed several sensorial exercises to make children aware of this quality. She began with the Geometric solids This is a set of materials alike in color and texture and of approximately the same size, but differing from each other in shape. The set includes the cube, the sphere, the cone, the cylinder, the pyramid, the rectangular prism, and the triangular prism.
     The children learn to recognize these shapes by handling the solids, looking at them, and playing group games where they try to identify the shapes while wearing a blindfold. They also learn to relate the solids to common things in the environment; for example, the sphere is like a ball; the cylinder is like a drinking glass; the cone is like an ice cream cone.
     Vocabulary building is an important part of this activity. Children love a big word like "supercalifragilistic,"in the same way, they enjoy the challenge of big terms like cylinder, pyramid, and rectangular prism. It is much easier for children to learn what a pyramid or a sphere is when they can hold it in their hands, than it is for them to learn it later in abstract form. When they study geometry in future years, children who have been in a Montessori class will have their necessary vocabulary based on concrete representations.
    THE GEOMETRIC CABINET
    The Geometric Cabinet presents the plane geometric shapes to the child. This cabinet contains six drawer of flat wooden insets representing different types of triangles, different sizes of rectangles, different polygons, different sizes of circles, irregular four-sided figures and various curved figures. Each inset has a little knob by which the child can move it in and out of its wooden frame. She does this at first like a puzzle.
    Later she matches the wooden insets to similar shapes on printed cards, The first set of cards has each shape printed in solid blue. The second set has the shape represented with a thick blue outline. The third set has each shape drawn with a pencil-thin blue outline. As the child matches the wooden insets to these three sets of cards, she gradually makes the transition from a shape in solid form to a shape outlined with a pencil. This is a remote preparation for recognizing the different shapes of written letters and numerals.
THE CONSTRUCTIVE TRIANGLES
     The Constructive Triangles are brightly colored flat triangles that the child puts together like a puzzle. Each triangle has one or more edges with a black line border. By matching the black lines, a child is able to construct many of the straight-edged geometric figures. The complete figures illustrate how these shapes are actually composed of triangles. The picture shows triangles composed of one, two, three, and four triangles.
THE CYLINDER BLOCKS
     Indirect preparation for the motor technique of writing begins when a child uses the Cylinder Blocks. These are four oblong blocks of natural colored wood. Each block contains ten cylinder-shaped insets that can be handled by a knob attached to the top. The cylinders vary in graduated differences of depth and diameter.
     At first a child works with one cylinder block. She takes all the cylinders out, mixes them up, and replaces each in its corresponding socket. The exercise has a built-in control of error because each cylinder fits correctly in only one particular hole. Later, she works with two, three, and finally four blocks at the same time. Eventually, a child can perform the whole exercise while wearing a blindfold.
    Essentially this is a sensorial exercise in a discrimination of size. However, it is also an important muscular activity because the child grasps the little knobs with thumb and the same two fingers that she will later use to hold a pencil. Each time she does the exercise, she gains control of the small muscles that she will eventually use for writing. Other materials in the classroom, that require the handling of this same type of knob, are the insets in the Geometric Cabinet and the pieces in the Puzzle Maps.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sensorial Exercises(1)

Purpose
     A young child meets the world around her through the constant use of all her senses. To examine a new object, a baby will look at it, hold it in her hands to feel the texture and weight, shake it, lick it, or even try to bite it. Dr. Montessori felt that since the child quite naturally uses all her powers of observation during her early years, this was the ideal time to give her equipment that sharpens her senses and enables her to understand the many impressions she receives through it.
     The Sensorial Materials in the Montessori classroom help the child to become aware of details by offering her at first, strongly contrasted sensations, such as red and blue, and then variously graded sensations, such as the many different shades of blue. The material enables her to know what is red, what is blue, and then to understand the abstraction of blueness and finally the abstraction of color itself.
     Each of the Sensorial Materials isolates one defining quality such as color, weight, shape, texture, size, sound, smell, etc. The equipment emphasizes this one particular quality by eliminating or minimizing other differences. Thus, the Color Tablets are all the same size, the same shape, and the same texture. They differ only in color.
     The important of educating the senses can be illustrated by an example from the adult world. It is possible for men and women, as well as children, to receive any amount of sensory impressions and be none the richer. Two adults may attend a concert together. One experiences great pleasure and the other, with equally accurate hearing, feels only boredom and weariness. Sense impressions are not enough by themselves. The mind needs education and training to be able to discriminate and appreciate.
    A young child can remain unmoved by a myriad of sensory impressions in her everyday environment. What she needs is not more and more impressions bur the ability to understand what she is perceiving. The Montessori Sensorial Materials help the child to distinguish, to categorize, and to relate new information to what she already knows. Dr. Montessori believed that this process is the beginning of conscious knowledge. It is brought about by the intelligence working in a concentrated way on the impressions given by the senses.
THE PINK TOWER
     Size in three dimensions is introduced to the child by the use of the Pink Tower. This is a series of ten pink cubes graded in size from one centimeter cubed to ten centimeters cubed. All the blocks are the same color, shape, and texture. To perform the exercise, a child must recognize the gradation in size and build the tower beginning with the largest cube and finally placing the smallest cube on top. The exercise is self-correcting because a block placed in the improper order will be immediately noticeable and may cause the tower to topple.
THE BROWN STAIRS
     The Brown Stairs introduce the child to differences in size in two dimensions. This is a set of ten prisms with a constant length of twenty centimeters but whose width and height both vary from one centimeter to ten centimeters. Again, the child must place the blocks in proper gradation forming a stair-like structure. With this exercise the teacher introduces the concepts of thickness and thinness, using the terms thick, thicker, thickest and thin, thinner, thinnest, with the corresponding blocks as concrete examples.
THE RED RODS
     The Red Rods help the child to recognize differences in size in one dimension-length. Again, the child must place the rods in the proper sequence from the shortest, which is ten centimeters in length, to the longest, which is one meter in length. The exercise is similar to the preceding ones in that a mistake in the order is very evident to the child and can be corrected easily. It also offers the teacher the opportunity of introducing to the child the terms short, shorter, shortest and long, longer, longest. This equipment gives the child a sensorial basis for learning to count when she begins mathematics.
THE SMELLING JARS
     The smelling materials consists of two sets of small jars with removable caps. These jars are identical in all respects except the flavoring that they contain. One has cinnamon, another mint, another coffee, another cloves, etc. Each jar has a significant fragrance.
     The food is covered by cheesecloth or a perforated top so that the child can smell it, but she can't see or feel it. Each jar in the first set has a mate in the second set. The child combines the pairs by carefully smelling each jar. The teacher uses the exercise as an opportunity to build the child's vocabulary by teaching her the names of the foods she is smelling.
     In a parallel exercise, children smell cotton dampened with drops of liquids such as  perfume, vanilla and vinegar. Many teachers follow up this exercise by having the children carefully smell flowers in the school garden. Some children, wearing a blindfold, learn to identify many of the flowers by their fragrance.
THE COLOR TABLETS
     The child's first exercise with color is a box containing six tablets-two red, two blue and two yellow. All the tablets are the same size, shape and texture. They differ only in highly contrasting color. In this exercise, the child pairs the tablets and learns the corresponding names. This is a simple exercise used for the very youngest children in the class.
     The difficulty of the exercise can be increased by gradually adding more pairs of colors. Eventually, the child should be able to match and name eleven different pairs.
GRADING THE COLORS
     For the next step the child may use a box containing eight different shades of eight different colors. The shades of each color are graded from very light to very dark. To perform this exercise, the child must distinguish the intensity of the shades and place the tablets in order from the lightest to the darkest shade of each color. When the exercise is completed, the arrangement gives a pretty rainbow effect that is appealing to the children.
     This activity can be made more challenging by the teacher. She can select a color tablet and ask the child to go to the box and bring back the one that is just darker or just lighter than then one the teacher is holding. To do this is not easy, but many children are able to do it accurately after having worked with the colors for several months. Teaching children to be aware of fine differences in color is giving them remote preparation for all kinds of scientific observations, art, art appreciation, decorating, and many other meaningful activities.
THE BARIC TABLETS
     Another sensorial material is a box containing three sets of little blocks of wood, each set varying slightly from the other two in weight. The blocks also differ in color so the child wears a blindfold while doing the exercise. This eliminates the visual difference and enables the child to sort the blocks by weighing them on the tips of his fingers. First the child mixes two sets together and attempts to sort them into two piles corresponding to the terms light and heavy. Later he increases the difficulty by adding a third set and sorting them into light, medium, and heavy. The child can correct the exercise himself by removing the blindfold and nothing whether or not all the blocks in each pile are the same color.



Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Practical Life Exercises

The Practical Life Exercises (คัดลอกมาจาก หนังสือของ Aline D.Wolf)
 "A child's work," Dr. Montessori wrote, "is to create the man he will become. An adult works to perfect the environment but a child works to perfect himself."
This distinction can be illustrated by looking closely at two people who are shoveling sand on a beach on a hot day. One is a man who is trying to fill a large barrel with sand; the other, a little boy, who is filling a pail with sand, dumping it out, and then filling it again. If anyone offers to help the man he readily hands over she shovel; but any efforts to help the little boy are resisted. He clings to his shovel because the work he is doing can be done only by himself. By constant repetition of motions he is strengthening his muscles, perfecting his coordination an gaining confidence in a particular skill. No one tells him that he has to shovel the sand; he is guided by direction deep within his own nature.
     Using the child's natural inclinations as a point  of departure, Dr. Montessori structured several exercises for the classroom to help the child satisfy this need for meaningful activity. For these exercises she used familiar objects-buttons, brushes, dishes, pitches, water and many other things that the child recognizes from his home experience.
     For the young child there is something special about tasks that an adult considers ordinary-washing dishes, cutting celery, and polishing shoes. They are exciting to the child because they allow him to imitate adults. Imitation is one of the child's strongest urges during his early years.
     Several of the Practical Life Exercises involve the use of water with which most children naturally like to play. Carrying the water in a pitcher and pouring it into a basin helps the child to perfect his coordination. As he becomes absorbed in an activity such as scrubbing a table top, he gradually lengthens his span of concentration. He also learns to pay attention to details as he follows a regular sequence of actions. Finally, he learns good working habits as he finishes each task and puts away all his materials before beginning another activity.
     Although the Practical Life Exercises may seem simple and common place, they are actually a very important part of the Montessori program. Each of the tasks helps a child to perfect his coordination so that he will be able to work later with the more intricate academic materials. No learning takes place without concentration and attention. The child prepares to learn by performing exercises that help him to gradually lengthen the time in which he can focus his attention on a specific activity.
The Dressing Frames
     The Dressing Frames are an important component of the Practical Life Exercises. Each frame isolates one skill of dressing and offers a child the opportunity to perfect this skill by repeating the motion over and over, thus helping him to become independent in dressing himself. The frames can offer practice in any or all of the following: buttons, snaps, zipper, pins, buckles, laces, hooks and eyes, and bows to tied. In the frame that features bow-tying, Dr. Montessori felt it was significant to have two different colored ribbons so that when giving assistance the teacher can say,"Put the block one around the white one." rather than saying, "Put this one around that one."
     Since there are many opportunities for Practical Life Exercises in the home, parents can encourage each child in the skills of dressing himself as soon as he shows interest in any of them. If the child wants to wash dishes, sort objects, polish silver, or pour milk, the parents should require the same orderly procedure that is encouraged in the classroom, so that good working habits may become second nature to the child.

จุดมุ่งหมายของการสอนแบบมอนเตสซอรี่

ฉันได้เข้าทำงานที่โรงเรียนนานาชาติ จอห์นไวแอทมอนเตสซอรี เป็นเดือนแรกทำให้ต้องศึกษาเอกสารเกี่ยวกับการสอนแบบมอนเตสซอรีมากมายเลยค่ะ ต่อไปนี้คือ เรื่องที่อ่านมาแล้วนำมาสรุปเล่าสู่กันฟังนะคะ
การสอนแบบมอนเตสซอรี่ เน้นให้เด็กมีใจรักในการเรียนรู้หรือการศึกษาด้วยตนเองอย่างอิสระจากสิ่งแวดล้อมที่จัดไว้ให้อย่างมีจุดมุ่งหมาย เป็นแนวคิดของ ดร.มาเรีย มอนเตสซอรี่ (ค.ศ. 1870-1952) แพทย์หญิงชาวอิตาลี และได้เริ่มปฏิบัติจริงในโรงเรียนเมื่อปี ค.ศ. 1970 โดยเน้นว่า มือ คือ เครื่องมือการเรียนรู้ที่สำคัญของเด็ก (ฉันขอแสดงความคิดเห็นว่า คล้ายกับทฤษฎีเชิงสังคมและวัฒนธรรมของไวก็อตสกีที่่ฉันเคยศึกษาคือ ถือว่า "ภาษา คือ เครื่องมือในการจัดการเรียนรู้ สร้างองค์ความรู้) เมื่อมือของเด็กได้จับต้องบางสิ่งบางอย่างแล้ว สมองจะทำหน้าที่ตอบสนองได้ ซึ่งแนวความคิดนี้ได้รับการยอมรับอย่างแพร่หลายทั่วโลก จากผลการสอนที่มีประสิทธภาพและประสิทธิผลที่ได้รับการพิสูจน์มาเป็นเวลายาวนาน
โรงเรียนนานาชาติ จอห์น ไวแอท มอนเตสซอรี เป็นโรงเรียนที่เพิ่งก่อตั้งก็จริงแต่ว่าได้ดำเนินการสอนแบบมอนเตสซอรีอย่างเต็มรูปแบบ โดยได้เชิญอาจารย์ผู้มีความรู้ทางภาษาอังกฤษควบกับวิธีการสอนแบบมอนเตสซอรีมาทำการจัดการเรียนการสอน เปิดทำการสอนในระดับ pre-K1 และ ระดับ K-1
พระราชบัญญัติการศึกษาแห่งชาติ พุทธศักราช 2542 และฉบับปรับปรุง ได้สนับสนุนการจัดการเรียนการสอนโดยยึดเด็กเป็นหลักในการจัดการศึกษา แนวคิดการสอนแบบมอนเตสซอรี่เป็นแนวคิดหนึ่งที่สามารถสนับสนุนการจัดการเรียนการสอนในระดับปฐมวัยให้มีประสิทธิภา ตามแนวทางที่ พรบ. การศึกษาแห่งชาติมุ่งหวัง
เด็กปกติในสิ่งแวดล้อมของมอนเตสซอรี่ จะมีพัฒนาการด้านต่างๆ ดังนี้
  1. พัฒนาการเรียนรู้ในการทำงานด้วยตนเอง โดยมีความรับผิดชอบในการที่จะควบคุมตนเองให้ทำงานได้สำเร็จ
  2. พัฒนาการทางด้านสังคม โดยการเรียนรู้ในการมีชีวิตสังคมที่แท้จริงในห้องเรียน รู้บทบาทหน้าที่ในการเป็นสมาชิกของกลุ่ม รู้จัดที่จะช่วยในการดูแลสิ่งแวดล้อม ทักษะทางสังคมจะได้รับการพัฒนาตามวัยและมีวินัยในตนเอง
  3. พัฒนาการทางด้านอารมณ์ ด้วยการเป็นผู้ที่มีจิตที่สงบ มีสมาธิในการทำงาน รู้จักควบคุมตนเองในการทำงานร่วมกับผู้อื่น และรู้จัดการรอคอยโอกาสของตนเอง มีอารมณ์ที่เหมาะสม
  4. พัฒนาการทางด้านสติปัญญา ด้วยการรู้จักแยกแยะ มีความคิดริเริ่ม รู้จักตัดสินใจและแก้ปัญหา เลือกได้อย่างอิสระ
  5. พัฒนาทางด้านร่างกาย ทักษะกลไกจะได้รับการดูแลและพัฒนาทั้งกล้ามเนื้อย่อย กล้ามเนื้อใหญ่ และสมดุลของร่างกาย รวมถึงการดูแลระวังรักษาสุขภาพให้ร่างการเจริญเติบโตอย่างถูกสุขลักษณะและมีสุขนิสัยที่ดีในการทำกิจวัตรประจำวัน
ซึ่งการสอนแบบมอนเตสซอรี่ ช่วยพัฒนาบุคลิกภาพทั้งหมดของเด็กให้มีคุณภาพพื้นฐานทุกด้านเพื่อนำไปสู่การเป็นพลเมืองที่ดีต่อไป