Sensorial Montessori

Two sensations, tactile and muscular are mixed together and give rise to that sense which psychologist call the stereognostic sense. Explain what stereognostic education is? And how sensorial materials in the classroom develop the stereognostic perception of young children SENSORIAL ESSAY The child is introduced to the Sensorial area of the Montessori classroom after he has worked in practical life, become familiar with classroom rules and correct handling of materials, and is used to the idea of a full cycle of activity Your Essay Will Be Done Easily! – check over here  .

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While the sensorial exercises no longer involve familiar objects, they are working with skills the child uses every day- his senses. The child’s senses are his link with the world around him and his only means of exploring his environment. The formative years, from birth to six, are a time of great sensory exploration for the child. Since birth, the child has been absorbing impressions from his senses. Now, through the Sensorial materials, the child is given the tools needed to sharpen and refine his senses, as well as to understand, order, name and classify the various sensations he receives.

The child passes through a sensitive period for the refinement of the senses between the ages of 2 ? and 6 years old. The Sensorial area assists the child to educate his senses. While much of this type of education occurs naturally in the child’s life, the didactic materials in the Sensorial area help to isolate and further refine specific sensory impressions in an ordered and methodical way ‘No one can be free unless he is independent. Therefore, the first active manifestations of the child’s individual liberty must be so guided that through this activity he may arrive at independence. Dr Maria Montessori Once the child is introduced to the sensorial activities in the classroom, he starts working with the material, which grabs his attention and develops a sense of judgment and comparison, as to how to use the material. When he further repeats the activities on daily basis, he goes into the depth and starts understanding the activity much better, for example if he has worked with all the stereognostic material in the Montessori environment, like ouch tablets, touch fabrics, stereognostic bag, feeling geometrical solids, he can then go back to the previous activities (knobbed cylinders, pink tower, broad stairs and knobless cylinders, etc) and use the stereognostic sense to perform them. Once he has worked with the material several times, the power of concentration develops in the child, so now he is able to do the activity better and understand the details, which will further help him in concentrating in other aspects of life.

The concentration further develops a power of observation in the child, which also means that when the child is using his full concentration in performing an activity, he acutely observes the material and this is when he starts thinking of using the given material in different ways, he will think of different variations in the activity itself, thus making him understand the concept of the activity in a better way.

The exercises carried out in order to make the senses more refined in their perception, also do something for the education of character. It forms the basic discipline in the child which will make him more orderly in his life in future. If a person is disorderly in his life, never puts back things in their places and does not finish what he has started. This further builds the concept of the child thoroughly and now he starts giving words to the concept which is formed in his mind, for example heavy, light, thin, thick, etc.

The language building, majorly starts developing when the child is been given the three period name lesson, beginning with the color tablets, where the child is being introduced to the 3 primary colors (red, blue, yellow), then presentation tray, geometrical solids, etc. He can also go back to the previous activities and learn the language for them as well, as it would be simpler to grasp the language now. The child has become knowledgeable or what line should we use? In a way that he can now apply this knowledge some where else in the environment.

This would be called sensorial education. Montessori subdivided the five basic senses to provide an opportunity for more detailed refinement of them. Through the child’s work in the Sensorial area, he will then put them all together to interpret and appreciate his world much differently, first is the visual sense which is interpreted by the eyes. It is what you can see. Exercises develop this sense by requiring the eye to perceive differences in size, form, and color(which perceives size, shape, composition, pattern and colour): Cylinder Blocks (alas Knobless Cylinders), Pink Tower, Brown

Stairs, Red Rods, Montessori isolates the chromatic sense with her color tablet activities. Children first distinguish between primary colors, then secondary, and finally the various gradations of each. These exercises allow the child to look at a tree and see the many variations of green found in the leaves or the blues and purples of the ocean, tactile sense is interpreted through the skin. It is your perception of that which you touch. Montessori activities have the child start with touching different grades of sandpaper, then move on to different materials in the environment.

Prior to handling the different materials, the fingertips are “sensitized” either by vigorously rubbing them on the carpet or dunking them in tepid water. The sensitization heightens the perception of differences between extra-fine and super-fine sandpaper, and between silk and linens, thermic sense takes the tactile sense a step further and teaches the child to distinguish temperature. He determines hot and cold by holding metal bottles in his hand or by touching different kinds of stones and other materials to his cheeks.

Knowledge of the thermic sense protects the child from harm, baric sense is feeling different weights, the child again uses the whole arm in conjunction with the hands and the tactile sense to determine light vs. heavy. This is done through weighted tablets in the classroom and can translate into other objects in the environment as the child becomes a sort of human balance or scale, auditory sense is interpreting the world through the ears. In order to understand sound, children must first be introduced to silence, then they can be introduced to matching and grading sounds.

Games can be played in which the child is blindfolded and has to identify a person’s voice, or from where in the room a sound is coming, olfactory sense is interpreting the world through the nose by smelling. Children match different herbs or other smells in the smelling bottles. Eventually more abstract activities take place that match the scent to a picture, gustatory sense is interpreting the world through the tongue by tasting. The child learns to distinguish between sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. Tasting activities can be done in a group, as an individual work, or through food preparation activities.

The works of Montessori add to the traditional five senses a sixth sense called stereognostic. The word “stereognostic” comes from two Greek words: stereos for “solid” and gnosis for “knowledge” and it is the ability to recognize objects by the combined sense of touch and movement. The stereognostic sensorial Montessori exercises are first done with eyes open, but after practice shapes are recognized and sorted with eyes closed. The stereognostic sense gives the child “solid knowledge” to perceive and understand the size, form, shape, and nature of a solid object.

Margaret Humphrey of Montessori World has an excellent online video lesson called stereognostic sense, children can be given some cylinders blocks and three pairs of the cubes of pink tower. The exercise is to find identical ones and put them together two by two, or build up three small towers using these three objects with eyes closed. We may begin the exercise of the stereognostic sense, by finding identical forms. The greatest guide is, to find the identities, by feeling if two objects are alike.

This one may begin with closed eyes, to feel the objects, and to find the differences between the series recognizing the grading merely by the stereognotic sense. It is not difficult to induce the child to do this kind of exercise, and once when they are started, all of them begin to do all the exercises with closed eyes. They even use the geometrical insets and cylinder blocks with closed eyes. In order to satisfy the evident need of children to exercise the stereognostic sense we should give them special material with which they can work.

One of the exercises is to put the hand into a bag of objects with eyes closed, recognize the object and name it, the objects are basically geometrical solid forms, so this kind of exercise would help him in understanding their shapes. There are exercises of the same kind which require greater concentration, with objects that are more difficult to feel, more difficult to describe. “The senses are the keys to the doors of knowledge” Dr Maria Montessori In the words of the child: “I Hear and I forget, I See and I remember, I Do and I understand. ” Dr. M. Montessori

All materials and exercises require manual handling and movement. The activities in the sensorial area promote both gross motor and fine motor skills and coordination. The child is actively involved in exploring the materials. By observing, comparing, judging and categorising the concrete materials, the child refines and heightens his senses. By using his senses in many various ways he also broadens his range of sensorial impressions. He is able to order and name the impressions he is receiving and this is the basis for his understanding of himself and the world around him.

The concrete exercises and experiences lead the child into the formation of abstract concepts. Concepts and shapes in the sensorial area are presented by the directress using the correct and precise language e. g. a narrow prism, an isosceles triangle. This enriches the child’s language development, and is an aid to precise, ordered and detailed thought. The sensory input a child receives is vital to his intellectual and mental development. The impressions and experiences that the child is exposed to in his environment help to form and develop his mental abilities.

As his mental abilities increase, the child uses these same sensory impressions and experiences to build up his mental representations of the world around him and to develop concepts. A limited sensory environment has a negative impact on the child’s ability to develop fully. Through the sensorial area, the child is methodically exposed to the variety of stimuli needed to fully develop his senses. Sensorial education enables the child to make sense of what he is experiencing, not only in the classroom, but in his wider world.

Sensorial education in the Montessori classroom occurs as part of a total activity which involves both intelligence and movement. Both neurological and physical development rely on the ability to learn in an orderly manner, as well as the balanced education and use of all the child’s available senses. The prepared environment for sensorial education includes love, security and consistency. The orderly arrangement and careful design of the materials, the precision and consistency of the directress’ actions, and her deep love and concern for the child provides the ideal environment for the refinement and education of the senses.

The child feels secure and can work at their own pace, finding the right level of challenge in the graded activities available. Every child is unique, with a unique way of perceiving and understanding the world. The Montessori sensorial equipment and area, through the methodical and thorough approach to sensory education, allows the child to fulfil his individual sensory needs, and to develop a solid sensory foundation and framework for life. . This experience of a single uality occurs because each object in the set is identical in all respects except that one quality. , Colour Tablets, Geometric Cabinet, Constructive Triangles, Binomial and Trinomial Cubes, the tactile sense (perceiving texture):, the baric sense (perceiving weight): Baric Tablets, the auditory sense (perceiving loudness and pitch): Sound Boxes, Bells, The gustatory sense (perceiving tastes): Tasting Cups, the olfactory sense (perceiving scents and odours): Smelling Boxes. the stereognostic sense (which perceives through tactile and muscular impression, combined with movement): Geometric Solids, Stereognostic Bags, Mystery Bag, Sorting Grains, the thermic sense (perceiving temperature and heat absorption potential): Thermic Bottles,Thermic Tablets. It is in the sensorial area that math concepts are first introduced and internalized.

The sensorial activities provide the child with basic skills needed for mathematics work, including, calculation of amount or degree, exactness in perception and dexterity, discrimination among similarities, repetition, set recognition, algebraic analysis, and recognition of progression in a series. Most of the sensorial materials provide the child with experiences in more than one of these skills. Activities in this area also indirectly prepare the child for writing and reading.

For example, through the manipulation of the Cylinder Blocks, the child develops the muscles in his fingers as well as his coordination, which are critical for proper pencil grip and manipulation. Through the use of the rough and smooth boards, the child develops light touch for writing. The child also becomes familiar with the shape and curves of letters in writing through learning the different shapes in Geometrical Cabinet. ‘The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge.

Our apparatus for educating the senses offers the child a key to guide his explorations of the world…’ Dr Maria Montessori The importance of sensorial training is that it aids the natural development of the child and gives him a sense of security within the learning environment. Every child has at least one sense they can rely on, it provides a basis for learning in an orderly manner that is needed for the neurological and physiological development, it prepares the child for ntellectual development, the discrimination leads from concrete to abstract, it fosters the concentration and thinking skills, which develop the mathematical mind,, prepares the child for logical learning sequence, develops power of observation, offers the child the key to the nature of things, provides opportunities for language development and strengthening fine motor skills for future writing. , promotes auto education or self learning, frequency of activity heightens the sensesprovides aesthetic enjoyment,

It is necessary to begin the education of senses in the formative period, if we wish to perfect this sense of development of the education which is to follow. The education of the senses would begin methodically in infancy, and should continue during the entire period of instruction which is to prepare the individual for life in society. ” – Dr Maria Montessori Bibliography : Course manual Jmjpublishing. com/infosensorial. html Creative development of child


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