Practical Life Introduction
The Practical Life area is the foundation of a Montessori classroom. It contains a range of activities that allow a child to develop their control and coordination of movement, concentration, independence, patience, awareness of their environment, social skills, and an orderly way of thinking. A child will also gain self-confidence through learning to independently complete tasks that they will use in everyday life. The Practical Life area is the first area that many children explore because they are familiar with many of the materials and activities. Well-known items such as spoons, cups, pitchers, bowls, tongs, brooms, and other common household items that resemble everyday activities can all be found in the Practical Life area. Because the child is learning through activities of daily life, it is important that the tools are recognizable to the child, as well as breakable, real, and functional. These teacher created materials help a child develop the fine and gross motor skills that are needed to succeed in other areas of the classroom. The main areas of the Practical Life area include, Grace and Courtesy, Preliminary Skills, Physical Skills which include; pouring, scooping, squeezing, twisting, and lacing, Care of Self, Care of the Environment, and Food Preparation.
The direct aims of the Practical Life area are the development of concentration, coordination, independence, and order, which are the basis for later learning in a Montessori classroom. While children often have difficulty focusing on any one activity for a long period of time, they must learn to resist the distractions around them to succeed in the Practical Life area. It is through these repeated activities that they develop the concentration needed to accomplish the more academic activities found in the Math and Language areas. The Practical Life area provides numerous materials to assist in the development of strong motor skills. Children seem to...
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