Everyone likes to be welcomed, so we greet each child with a bright smile as he/she enters the class in the morning. This gesture makes them feel wanted. Learning surely gets a head start when children are at ease and feel as if they belong to the group.
Children are not expert users of language like adults. Hence, allowing children to work their way with the help of crayons, pencils or crafts provides an outlet to their inner feelings and emotions. That is why we permit children to experiment with art. This is our child version of art therapy!
Meeting with the entire school is possible in the morning during the prayer and assembly time. We take this opportunity to practice group actions before we break for attendance. Practicing motor sequences in synchrony with the others help solidify bonds between schoolmates and promote empathetic understanding. So much for solidarity!
Children learn better around themes. We divide our lessons and group them. Chunking or grouping lessons, in this manner, helps develop expectations. Children know what to expect in a lesson and consequently they can mentally prepare themselves. When they know what to expect, they become active participants in their own learning.
There is no better way to learn about personal hygiene and table manners than the snack time. We coach children about the correct usage of cutlery and motivate children to share their snacks. This works wonderfully as children understand the taste and preferences of their friends and develop table etiquettes.
Research shows that exposure to music can improve children’s ability to learn. Deploying a multi-sensory approach, we assist children in learning the sounds and meanings of words without evoking boredom! Combining music with dance is beneficial for strengthening fine motor skills. This holistic approach also works well for children with delayed developmental milestones.
Discussing something as usual as the morning news helps children enhance their social skills and improve their attention span. We encourage our tiny tots to interact with each other, so that they gradually perfect the art of turn-taking and appreciate the importance of working towards a shared vision.
Playing outdoors is important because our children develop good fitness levels and build strong bones. Outdoor play activities make them feel happier and calmer. Importantly, as outdoor play area and equipment carries a little more risk than that associated with toys, playing outside makes children adept at risk assessment.
Reading out to children in an interactive manner plays an instrumental role in stirring up their creative thought processes. Sharing age appropriate stories can help children learn the difference between ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’ characters, aid them in understanding frightening events and manage associated emotions within a safe shared space with teachers/parents.
Children need quite time for consolidating their new learning. It is not a good idea to overwhelm their developing brains with loads of information. That is why they need to take some time off and either sit quietly or simply rest. We regularly conduct relaxation exercises that have a calming effect.
When children use toys where they create things, using clay and moulds, they are able to build and refine their fine motor skills. They can also learn about different colors and shapes. That is why our school has an exquisite toy library that is generally housed with a variety of toys. The collection includes toys which enable children to develop visual thinking, spatial awareness, social skills, reasoning skills, quick thinking, problem solving, language skills, imagination, higher order thinking, hand eye co-ordination, cognitive development, motor skills and concentration.
The experience of cooking meals, albeit with dummy utensils, can help build children’s self-confidence and lay the foundation for healthy eating habits. Hence, we like to pick up on notoriously picky eaters and bring them into the kitchen area in order to encourage an adventurous palate that opens them up to new tastes!
It’s a great idea to immerse children in creative play and one of this is the market place. Children can learn valuable lessons as far as money exchange is concerned. Furthermore, they can develop an understanding about mathematical operations (e.g. subtraction and addition), which can be easily transferred to the classroom.
The early years lay a strong foundation for the rest of the life. Following a Montessori curriculum can enhance learning as the curriculum focuses on making children independent learners who take charge of their own learning process. Children are not passive absorbers of information as they create ‘knowledge’ by actively working in their classrooms.