Montessori Environment for 3 year olds
At this stage children need to be given more independence as they grow up. This can be shown in the environment. How one arranges it such that the child can independently accomplish things for himself. This then gives him/her the sense of accomplishment and in turn develops a high self esteem.
The key is to set up the environment in which he can succeed to be able to do things by himself safely. For young child things may have to be set up step by step, which may be slow and tedious for adults but is indispensable for a child who is learning.
Montessori observed that children wanted to help in the upkeep of their own environment. She then developed practical life activities. This can be activities that adults do every day that children see and may want to imitate. It can be as simple as sweeping, mopping and dusting, or as complex as washing dishes, or clothes. For the home one can have a child sized broom and dustpan and mop. Children like to clean up. As soon as they may see a mess, direct them to where you may logically keep the mop and show them how one does it properly, if they do not already know from watching the adult. When showing children a particular activity always exaggerate your actions so they will not miss details of performing that simple task that we as adults may take for granted. Ask your child to help with the smallest tasks as putting the clothes in the wash, wiping up their own table after themselves, putting dishes in the dishwasher, mopping, sweeping, and dressing themselves.
Language explosion often happens at around the age of 2. This is when children almost miraculously starts to talk in sentences and has increased their vocabulary by tenfold. One should then support this by teaching the child more vocabulary and becoming a good language model. The child will start parroting words that you will say, so be careful with what you say and how you say it. The child also does not need to have baby talk and changing to a high pitched voice when you talk to your child is unnecessary. Talk to them like you would to another person. Speak to them clearly so they can absorb what you are saying to them.
When children at this age misarticulate some words, do not correct them. This may make the child fearful of trying new words but instead model it. Say it again after them when you reply. This will let them know of their mistake without being shamed.
Talk to children about things in complete sentences. Try to explain why things are so they will understand. The best language model they can have is the adult.
Montessori 3 Period Lesson
Maria Montessori had a method to teach vocabulary to children; she called it The 3 period lesson. This is best done with real objects, for example have 3 types of fruit in season, vegetables, clothing or utensils. Other can be realistic objects (miniatures of animals) that can be found in any toy shop. Have a mat on the floor to lay out he objects on, or sit with the child at their table. One may put these objects on a tray or basket for easy handling.
Fist period is the introduction of the object. Show the object to the child and say” This is a (name of the object)”. Then lay it on the mat or let the child touch and hold it, even smell it if possible, then repeat the name of the object. Repeat the process with the other objects. By allowing the child to feel and smell the object it makes a more concrete memory for them.
Second period is to ask the child to point to the object that you have named. “Can you point to me the (name of the object)?” Then move the object to another place so you know the child remembers the name and not the placement of the object. This period makes the lesson more alive and interesting. You may also ask the child to move the objects to different spots on the mat.
This stage can be extended for under 3’s by asking the children to place the object that you have named ( another way of identifying if they know the name of the object) to a different area of the mat, or removing or putting it in the basket, or handing it to you. You can incorporate vocabulary words for placement such as ‘first’, ‘in front’, ‘behind’, ‘at the back’, etc.
Third period is to ask the child to name the object as you point to it. This is mostly done with older children who can fluently talk.
The number of items may be increased depending on the challenge your child needs.