Children learn and develop by using their five senses and experiencing the world around them. They are constantly using their five senses and refining them as they grow and learn. The early years of the child are spent using all of his powers of observation and Dr. Montessori felt that this was the ideal period in the child’s life to introduce him to equipment that would sharpen his senses and facilitate his comprehension of the many impressions he receives through them. Sensorial lessons give to a child enable him to learn by using his hands and his mind. Dr. Benjamin Franklin once said “tell me and I forget. Teach me and remember. Involve me and learn”. Dr. Montessori believed in the same ideal and with her development of Sensorial teaching brought a new concept to the teaching world throughout her Sensorial materials. The Sensorial materials in the Montessori classroom enable the child to become aware of details by revealing to him strongly contrasting sensations like black and white and progressing to various gradations of this sensation such as the many different shades of red. The materials, color tablets in the example, facilitate his knowledge of colors and eventually his understanding of the abstraction of a certain color and finally the abstraction of color itself. Adult perceptions of these exercises may mistakenly perceive them to very simple, as indeed they are when first presented to a child. The Montessori teacher gradually introduces new concepts and gives the child opportunities to sharpen his intellect and control in preparation for the more advanced exercises.
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