Monday, May 31, 2021

Montessori and Experiential Learning

"He (the student) does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man's intelligence." Maria Montessori

                                                                                        image : www.pixabay.com

Montessori Method of education is a philosophy by Dr. Maria Montessori.  The essence of Montessori education is that it is based on Experiential Learning. In simple terms, experiential learning is nothing but learning by doing. It is the process of learning through experience. She strongly believed that what a hand does, a mind always remembers. The concepts that the children learn by doing and observing are more rooted in their memories than the ones which are learnt through memorization.

Experiential Learning can be started when a child is a baby. One doesn't need fancy materials to teach a baby about the different concepts. Give them different materials. Let them explore and feel the texture. This sharpens their sensory skills. It also helps them to strengthen their finger muscles as they hold and grasp different materials in their hands.

 In the recent years, all over the world, in most schools kindergarten classrooms have been restructured. They no longer have rows of desks with a teacher teaching the concepts on a white board. They have been restructured to small seating groups, called "table groups" or "flexible seating". The children are given the freedom to choose where ever they want to sit and work in the classroom.  This gives them the freedom of space and movement. they are not bound to sit at one place throughout the day. 

Experiential Learning does not only apply to schools and classrooms. 

Using hands is the core of the Montessori curriculum. All subjects like languages, math, science and art can be taught by using hands.

  •  Abacus is a great way to teach addition to children.
  • The concept of velocity can be taught by using marshmallow on a spoon.
  •  Literacy can be taught by showing pictures and flash cards. 
  • The children are taught use pick up their toys and clean the space after they have finished the task. This helps them to take care of the environment and also strengthens their hand muscles to write.
  • Building a tower with blocks, helps in improving the precision skills of the children.

This can be implemented at home too. One needs to provide different materials for the child to explore, understand and use the different materials with their hands to observe the results.

Involve them in the kitchen. Give them the simple tasks of setting the table , peeling boiled potatoes, filling water glasses for everyone in the family, watering the plants.

These activities not only help them learn various life skills but also makes them happy, confident and responsible. 

It is never too late to start. One can start from today itself. No fancy materials are required to teach children by learning through doing. The only materials that they require is their hands and your support!.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Books on Environment for Children



From a very young age, children need to be taught to take care of the planet they live on. I had shared a few tips to teach children to protect the environment . Children love listening to stories. Another excellent way to teach children about the environment is to read books to them about the environment, earth , recycling and how to conserve it. When they see pictures, they understand better.

Sharing a few books on how to conserve the environment for children up to the age of 8 years.

TREES : A LIFT THE FLAP ECO BOOK :




This book is from Ladybird series of books. This lift-the-flap book uses plant-based inks, glues with minimal plastic content and is made from recycled board.

Teaching children all about why trees are important and how we can help save them, this eco-friendly book is the perfect introduction to an important topic. With flaps to lift and facts to learn, this book also includes a section on how you can help.


UNEARTHED - THE ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY OF INDEPENDENT INDIA by Meghaa Gupta



Protesting against dams, protecting tigers, hugging trees, saving seeds, making room for elephants, battling mountains of waste, fighting air pollution, coping with soaring temperatures-India and its people have shared a remarkable relationship with the environment.
From the Green Revolution to the National Action Plan on Climate Change, Unearthed: An Environmental History of Independent India chronicles the country's historical movements and significant green missions since 1947. Interspersed with lots of trivia, tales of eco-heroes and humorous cartoons, this easy-to-read account uncovers the story of a past with the hope that we will rewrite India's future.


MY GULMOHAR TREE by Ekta Ohri




“Fascinated by the flower, Abdu went running to his mother STOMP STOMP STOMP and asked excitedly, "Mumma, which flower is this? His mom replied, "Abdu, this is the flower of the most beautiful tree in the world - the Gulmohar tree. When I was a child, I would gaze at its deep red flowers for hours together from my bedroom window... You know Abdu, this tree has many names. It is known as the Flame tree as its bright orange-red flowers resemble the colour of fire. It is also called the Peacock Flower tree as 'Gul' means flower and 'Mohr' means peacock. Isn't that interesting?” My Gulmohar tree is a real-life story with photographs that will make children fall in love with trees and greens (vegetables)  and inculcate values of respecting nature and protecting our environment.Children will also become observant of Nature and learn about other concepts, such as Nurture, Living, Giving, Seasons and Greens while reading the story.


KIDS FIGHT PLASTIC : HOW TO BE A  #TWOMINUTESSUPERHERO by Martin Dorey




Have you got 2 minutes? That's all the time it takes to become a #2minutesuperhero. Plastic is everywhere. It is in the rivers and it is in the sea. We need superheroes to fight plastic and help save our oceans.

Read this essential book and find out how you can become a #2minutesuperhero by completing 50 missions to fight plastic at home, school and on your days out.

Informative, practical and positive, this guide for children is written by Martin Dorey, anti-plastic campaigner and author of the bestselling No. More. Plastic. Martin is the founder of the Beach Clean Network and the #2minutebeachclean movement and believes that small actions add up to make a big difference.


THE CHILDREN'S BOOK OF GREEN HABITS  :



Help your child to discover that the world is a happier and more sustainable place if they have green habits! Great re-usable stickers bring extra fun to every topic and encourage children to look at the pictures carefully, learn from the characters and see how good green habits are important in their own lives. Use the gold stickers to praise and encourage your child's healthy habits, and the special wipe-clean reward chart to record their successes.


HOW TO MAKE A BETTER WORLD  by Keily Swift  :




Full of positive encouragement to find something you're passionate about and how to get started on making a big difference through small actions, this brilliant fact book for kids is a treasure trove of information and great advice.


There's a lot that can be changed by just one person, if you know what to do.

If you are a kid with big dreams and a passion for what is right, you just might be a world-changer in the making! Through ideas as small as creating a neighbourhood lending library to as important as public speaking and how to talk about politics, How to Make a Better World is a practical guide to activism for children.

Well-written and divided into sections on You, Community, Environment and more, this educational book helps children to look at what they might like to achieve, and the logical approach makes it easy to navigate if you want to tie topics up with school projects.

Brightly illustrated inclusive art makes this fact book as visually appealing as its message. You can easily jump around without any loss of comprehension and dip in for short or longer periods. Learn about tricky social interactions like friendship fallouts, or bullying and how to manoeuvre them, or find out how to go about creating activist campaigns to tackle climate change or social injustice.

If kids are to think positive thoughts and be part of movements for positive change, they need to be encouraged to do it. This book is full of wonderful facts about the world, presenting such positivity as cool, sensible, exciting, and achievable. The perfect starter book to activism for kids.

PEPPA PIG - RECYCLING FUN 




Who doesn't love Peppa Pig ?Peppa and George are learning all about recycling, and so they pay Miss Rabbit a visit. She loves to recycle everything . . . even cars!


PEEP INSIDE HOW A RECYCLING TRUCK WORKS , by Lara Bryon . 



A must have Usborne book in your child's library Beep, Beep! The recycling truck has arrived! Peep under flaps and through holes to find out how it works, as it trundles around town collecting recycling and taking it to the sorting factory. This friendly introduction to the topic of recycling is perfect for little hands and curious minds.

Books always create a huge impact on children's minds. Start them young and see what a huge difference it makes on their thinking.Children are our future for tomorrow. We need to inculcate good habits in them in order for them to take care of the planet they live on. 

This article is a part of Blogchatter's cause a chatter


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Montessori and Discipline


Montessori and Discipline


image - www.pexpels.com

Discipline plays an integral part in one's life, whether education or daily life. But Montessori has a very different approach towards discipline.

According to Maria Montessori, " Discipline must come through freedom". According to her, discipline should come from within. The children should be given the freedom to make their own choices and learn from their mistakes.

Tips for a Montessori approach to discipline:

Respectful communication:
Treating the child as an individual is one of the most important elements of a Montessori curriculum. The children should be able to talk to the parents and teachers without any fear.This gives them the confidence that they are valued. If you says no to  children without any reason, they will ignore and disrespect you. The children imitate and imbibe what they see around them. If  you shout and scream, they will learn to do the same. If you sit and listen patiently, the children will also be patient.

Inner Discipline:
In a Montessori curriculum, the parents or the teachers follow the principle that discipline does not follow authority. It has to come from within. There is no rule book for good behaviour. The children are raised in such a way that they understand what is the correct thing to do. This boosts their confidence. They become more independent and responsible citizens.

Freedom within limits :
Giving freedom to children does not mean that they can do anything  they want. The freedom is there but it is within limits. There are certain limits which  children have to follow to keep them, their peers and their surroundings safe.
“The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self. Adults work to finish a task, but the child works in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be.” When the children are given the freedom to work independently. This gives them inner joy, peace and satisfaction. Even if they  make a mistake, they are given the freedom to correct the mistakes.

Teacher acts a guide:
A Montessori teacher does not play the role of a strict disciplinarian. She is present in the classroom but only as a guide. She does not dictate or give instructions to do a particular thing. The workstations are there in the classroom. The children choose    what  they want to do. If they get stuck somewhere, the teacher gives them options to rectify it. The children have to choose which option they think is correct.

No to rewards or  punishments :
Montessori observed that neither reward nor punishment were effective motivators for the children. Instead she found that purposeful, meaningful activity provided intrinsic motivation for the children, in other words, the children became inspired! 
Instead of bribing children to do something, one can find ways to work together.The aim is to teach children the importance of each task and not bribe them for every task. Let them make mistakes. Give them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.

Patience:
All children throw tantrums. It is our job to be patient and calm the child. If one gets angry, irritated or impatient, the child's emotions will be further triggered. Our goal here is to raise  calm children. When they have a meltdown, we should listen to them patiently. At this point of time, it is impossible to give options to the child. Listen patiently and calm them down. This might take time but once they are calm, they will definitely listen to you. This will also help in making them patient citizens for the future.

However, it should be noted that it takes continuous effort to make children self disciplined. One should remember that children are capable, loving and unique individuals who can be taught everything with love, affection and patience.

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