The Montessori Classroom uses the phonics approach to teach reading. Outline the graded phonics sequence and state the reading skills required at each stage.
Language is the origin of human civilization. Humans’ capability to express and to communicate an idea by means of speech and words lead the human race to greater discoveries. Building a word by combining sounds and building a sentence which represents an idea by combining words, then integrating sounds into symbols and presenting in a written language was the revolutionary transformation amongst human beings.
“…written word, the greatest triumph of civilization”
Montessori M. - The Discovery of the Child: pg 239
The continuation of language plays a key role. The responsibility of this important process lies on the hands of the future generation. However it is the responsibility of the present generation to prepare their next generation, for this key role. Dr. Maria Montessori the revolutionary explorer of early childhood education discovered that every child acquires the sensitivity for language during a certain period time in their childhood. In these blocks of time child’s absorbent mind allows him to absorb characteristics of language from his surrounding environment through his sensory organs and directly store in his psychic life which aids in his natural development. As an infant these impressions are absorbed unconsciously but gradually when the child has a conscious mind, which he acquires around the age of 3, he absorbs characteristics of language consciously. So it is important to provide the child with a resourceful environment, lead by freedom which allows him to explore and experience his surroundings.
“…the means for preserving the continuity of language are the new beings who keep on arriving in the world. Whatever is formed at that time at the child’s mind has the power to become eternal.” Montessori M. - The Absorbent Mind, pg 120
The role of the language, within a social group is another form of communication. It is made through speech, listening, writing and reading. As a result people have invented many interesting ways to communicate, in order to express their thoughts and emotions. For example singing, narrating poems, fictions, writing on personal diaries are some ways to express ideas. Furthermore Montessori introduced methods from concrete to abstract in which the child learns to read and write. She introduced three types of schemes,they are the pink scheme,blue and green scheme.These are the 4 stages in the acquisition of language in Montessori.
Maria Montessori introduced an effective method to help the child in achieving the skill of reading, and to achieve it faster during his childhood. Dr. Montessori also revealed that to achieve the skill of reading, first the child needs to be assisted in acquiring the skill of writing. Because,
“…writing prepares the way for reading so that the difficulties are almost unnoticeable.” Montessori M. - The Discovery of the Child: Chapter XVI, pg 229
In the Montessori classroom we first teach the child reading of symbols, which are letters of the alphabet, combined with the sound it represent. This is the phonics approach for written language, which emphasis on the sound. In this process we also make use of child’s sensitivity for learning through sense of touch, because,
“…muscular memory is the most tenacious in a small child and is also the readiest.” Montessori M. - The Discovery of the Child:, pg 212
Tracing sandpaper letters helps the child absorb the muscular impression of the letter along with the auditory impression which makes a lasting memory in the child’s mind. After learning about introducing the alphabet using sandpaper letters I came home that day and made sandpaper letter cards to teach my 2 years old niece the sounds of the alphabet. In order to absorb the characteristics of a letter effectively, the capability of the child to discriminate muscular and...
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