|Location||Gachibowli and Tellapur Campus|
|Classes||Nursery, PP1, PP2|
|Age Group||2 1/2 – 6 years|
|Age for Admission||2 – 3 years|
|Transition to the next Level||At 6 years of age the child is transitioned to the Elementary Environment – 6 – 12 years ( 1st – 6th Grade)|
The Self-interpretive environment(Nursery, PP1, PP2) caters to the age group between 2 1/2 to 6 years of age. Children in this age group are highly interested in developing spoken language and doing every activity which they are surrounded by. This is also the time when their social self begins to develop and they experience the need of a Peer Group.
In the self-interpretive environment, we cater to the following 5 areas of development:
The child has 5 sense organs but 10 senses. The ‘Sensorial Activities’ offered to children in the self-interpretive environment have to do with the child understanding his environment.
In our environment, we have material which helps the child in refining his 9 senses.
1 Tactile sense -The sense of touch.
2 Visual sense -The sense of sight
3 Gustatory sense -The sense of taste
4 Auditory sense -The sense of hearing
5 Olfactory sense -The sense of smell
6 Baric sense -The sense of weight
7 Thermic sense -The sense of hot / cold
8 Muscular (Kinesthetic)sense -The sense of muscles (Ex – The sense that helps you find the right step when the electricity has gone)
10 Stereognostic sense -The sense of knowledge of form (Ex – The sense which helps in searching for a key in a bag without looking)
We work on each sense taking one at a time and getting the child interested. After this he gains experience doing several activities and then we confirm that he knows it.
The child can learn up to 7 languages in first six years of life
By 2 ½ years of age, the child establishes his spoken Language. To broaden what he already knows we give him precise terminology when he comes to our classroom. We also make it a point to speak perfectly to the child and to the other adults around. This helps the child when he is imitating us and learning from us.
Once the child has a lot of self expression, his own thoughts sort of just explode in writing. We only give him guidance on ways to express himself. Writing is spontaneous and we do not at this point make corrections to his spelling and kill this joy.
In the process of writing, we begin with something that we know and then translate into symbols.
The help that we give the children for writing is
1 Mental Abilities (Intellectual Aspects) – direct and indirect
2 Manual Dexterity (Motor technical skills) – direct and indirect
Unlike what we are made to believe, Montessori said that reading came after writing. Reading is about understanding someone else’s thoughts; whereas writing is about expressing your own.
‘Total Reading’ was a term Dr. Montessori gave to reading with understanding and appreciation. To get to this stage one had to pass through 3 stages:
Mechanical Reading– the mechanical skill to be able to read the word
Interpretive Reading – to be able to read and interpret the word
Dramatic Reading – to appreciate the richness of the language, the feeling of the style and structure of the language, and to help the child relate to his language.
Each activity for reading, in our classroom, helps the child on one of these 3 levels. From the day the child comes to the environment, we read books, tell realistic stories, sing various types of songs and support him in appreciating language.
There is a variety of reading material introduced to the child, when he is 4 1/2 – 5 years of age. These are in the form of reading cards with names, pictures, reading phrases, sentences with pictures, small description with cards and booklets.
Innumerable activities in the self-interpretive environment (Nursery, PP1, PP2) support the child’s language at the spoken level, written level and progress him to the reading level becoming a total reader.
The Mathematical Mind of a young child begins to awaken around 4 years of age.
Mathematics is all around the child from the moment he is born. Age, groups, judgements, relationships between objects are all what mathematics is about. Mathematics is defined as the abstract science of number,quantity, and space , either as abstract concepts or applied to some field such as physics or Engineering.
To the young child Mathematics is just abstract. It is something that is not real nor visible. So the Montessori material helps him see all the mathematical concepts in a concrete way before moving on to the abstraction. We use the Montessori principle of presenting ‘one difficulty at a time’. In this way we start with concrete tangible concepts, give him lots of experience as we move towards abstraction. Finally in this process we help him see that he has understood!
The concepts of Mathematics that we cover are divided into 6 groups:
Group 1 – Concept of Numeration
Group 2 – The Decimal system of Numeration
Group 3 – Teens and Tens
Group 4 – Memorizing Basic Combinations
Group 5 – Passage to abstraction
Group 6 – Fractions
All items of Human Culture need to be offered to the child at the sensorial and intellectual levels within the first 6 years of life
The child requires all aspects of human ‘culture’ to become an integral part of society. By culture, we mean all the aspects of human creation that we can touch and feel.
Why do we offer all this to a child at 6? Dr Montessori believed that it is the child who is going to carry forward all of the ideas of culture and help people of the next generation to build on it. Our world consists of language, mathematics, plants, animals, art, music etc. Each of these cultural area is integrated, thus we give him the whole picture all of these as a whole and not isolated subjects.
When we offer culture to the child, we give him knowledge from various different areas.
Geography: Land and water forms, country flags, maps and continent information.
The activities in this area help to create an interest in the child in the natural Geographical forms around him. It gives the child an awareness of the ways of the other people of the world.
Zoology : The child is introduced to animals through various activities. His understanding is then extended viewing animals from the physical, social, geographic and functional points of view.
Botany : The child takes delight and interest in the natural forms of plants that exist for man’s enjoyment. Various classifications both from the scientific point of view and point of utility are introduced.
Geometry : Each shape is offered to the child’s senses and hands. These activities are offered to the child at the age when he has a sensitivity for refinement of senses. Thus it serves as a psychical nutrient rather than a subject for study.
Arts and Crafts – In order to participate in one’s culture, one’s society, one needs to have appreciation and understanding of the basic forms of art which have evolved through civilizations.
Music, drawing, writing, painting are all forms of communication and art. The area of creativity has a basis, a constitution, a form and on the other side there are techniques which are necessary in any area of creative expression.
Music – In the Montessori environment a lot of opportunities are provided for the children to learn songs and listen to various kinds of music and sounds. They learn to distinguish and appreciate these differences. It helps them build their own vocabulary, stimulates imagination and builds confidence.
Practical Life Skills
Practical Life Skills help the child develop Concentration, Will Power, Attention Span and become Independent. There are many activities that the child sees being done around him. From when he is born he sees his mother fold clothes, his father fill a bottle with water and so on. These activities are grouped as exercises of Practical life. We take these activities and break them into individual moments and give it to the child as soon as he enters the class at 2 ½ years.
Then we give him time to do them and allow him to begin development of concentration, coordination of movements and become a part of society around him. Being able to do these activities, initially, gives him a strong sense of acceptance into his family and people around him.
The activities in this area are classified into 3 groups:
Care of self: This helps the child do things for himself. For example we help the child button clothes.
Care of environment: The child performs these activities so he can contribute to the environment he lives in. For example watering plants.
Social behavior : Grace and Courtesy Activities : This is to establish, maintain and restore conditions with regard to social relationships with the members of the society. For example how to shake hands.
After 6 years
At around 6 years, the child is ready to go to the Elementary Environment (1st – 6th Grade) or 1st Grade in any school.
By the time the child completes 3 years in the Self-interpretive environment (classroom), he reaches the end of what this environment has to offer and is then ready to move to the Elementary Environment or 1st Grade in any other school.
Academically, the child is aware of all the basic concepts which he would need to know to be able to get admission in Class I of any school. His understanding in terms of Language, Mathematics, Environmental Sciences, Social Behaviour and Group Interaction is at a much higher level, as he has been introduced to various levels in the self-interpretive environment, through activities and scientifically designed materials.
1 Language – The child will communicate, write and read basic English, Hindi and to some extent Telugu be able to identify the Telugu alphabet.
2 Mathematics – The child will comfortably be able to perform all four Arithmetic Operations statically and dynamically as well with and without exchanging and carry forwards.
3 Environmental Sciences – The child will have basic knowledge and experience in Geometry, Geography, Zoology, Botany, Music, Arts and Crafts
4 Social Behaviour and Group Interaction – The Mixed age group fosters positive social behaviour and confident group interaction among all the children
Transition to Traditional School
For any reason if a child cannot continue in the Montessori Elementary environment at Blue Blocks (or any other Montessori school) and has to move to a traditional school, there is certain preparation and transition required at the psychological level to help the child have a healthy separation and settlement at the new school. To help the child settle down in the traditional system at the psychological level, during the last few months of his 3rd year, the child is exposed to the traditional way of learning, through a black board, note books and text books. We also give them short tests and dictations to prepare them for the traditional system.