Did you know that movement is an important part of a Montessori environment? At Kidoz Montessori children are encouraged to move around and be completely in sync with their environment.
One of the biggest misconceptions about the Montessori enviroment is that it does not involve enough movement or physical activity; in fact, every aspect of the curriculum is tied in with movement. Research finds that traditional classrooms lack this one crucial element.
A recent study by the Loughborough University found that following a daily movement program will greatly improve a child’s physical development. This will better her chances in tasks like holding a pencil right, tying shoes, reading and writing.
5 Ways Kidoz’ Montessori environment enhances movement
1. Daily Movement Programme
This doesn’t necessarily involve running, jumping or being yelled at by a gym coach. It includes more concentrated and intelligent movements like drawing large letters in the air, skipping and articulating sounds more clearly. These skills prime the brain for learning.
When Maria Montessori envisioned an ideal learning environment, she wanted it to facilitate the exact same physical skills, movement that combines both physical and mental development. Today, children are entering grade school with poor fine and gross motor skills. A good Montessori, on the other hand, equips a child with all these skills.
Like any true Montessori, Kidoz Montessori in Banashankari uses movement very seamlessly and beautifully in its environment.
2. Freedom and choice
The biggest gift that movement affords is freedom. Savitha K Premachandra is the Principal of Kidoz Montessori. She has more than 15 years of experience as a Montessori directress, trainer and special educator. She says, “Our learning environment does not assign a seat or space to a child. Children do not need permission to move about or choose their activity, although a Montessori adult is around to guide when they need direction. Children exercise choice. They choose a material, pick it up, take it to a corner and work on it on a table or a mat. A lot of work is done on mats on the floor and this facilitates precise and definite movements and postures too.”
In fact, many mainstream schools observed that by rearranging their classrooms to allow for more seamless movement between tasks or tables, children who were otherwise labelled fidgety or restless began paying more attention and were deeply invested in their learning. Ever heard of kinesthetic learning? It does wonders for us all, because as humans our bodies were built for movement and exploration.
3. Movement in curriculum
Did you know that Steve Jobs loved walking meetings? He found it to be a great way to think creatively. The beauty of a Montessori curriculum is that movement is built into every material and activity.
Says Savitha, “One of the very popular activities in our environment at Kidoz is the number rods activity. The amazing thing about this activity is that children don’t use it only to learn numbers. They associate numbers with quantity. They learn to recognize numbers and their minds are also prepared to understand the concept of addition, basic combinations, arithmetic and so much more. You are using physical movement to achieve both the explicit and implicit aim of the material.”
Long story short, movement when used mindfully can lead to the child developing high order thinking skills!
4. Movement that awakens the senses
Ever noticed that when you stop restricting your child’s movement and allowed them to go downstairs or outside all on their own, their sense of motor planning, hand eye coordination and grasp of spatial relations is so much better? Mastering these skills helps a child read, write and to understand the world around them.
In a Montessori, reaching for a material, moving it in a certain direction, and touching letters, these are physical acts that trigger learning. Many children are extremely visual and spatial learners. This form of understanding does great for motor planning and coordination.
Says Savitha, “When a teacher draws a circle on a blackboard, she is creating movement and is experiencing the idea but the child doesn’t experience it. The child uses only her eyes and not her hands. In a Montessori, children use all their seven senses to learn.”
Stereognostic sense, for instance, is the capacity to understand the nature of an object by feeling it. Movement is so closely linked to this sensory experience.
5. Montessori and the working memory
Many children with simple learning difficulties find sequencing and executive functions to be very difficult. This is where movement in Montessori is used very beautifully.
Savitha asserts, “A work cycle in a Montessori setting is a fantastic way to get a child to sequence right and to get attuned to a particular rhythm of learning. The child takes the material from the shelf, places it on the chowki or the floor, work with the activity, complete it and place it back in its proper place. The movement involved in a work cycle is important for a child to establish order while also developing cognitive abilities.”
Remember when you were a kid, sitting still was rewarded as ‘good behavior,’ even though you wanted to walk around the classroom to learn and explore? It’s different in a Montessori.
At Kidoz Montessori, learning happens everywhere.
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Image courtesy: Designed by Freepik
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