//A Natural Tendency

A Natural Tendency



The tour guide showing Maria Montessori the children’s home just outside Rome pointed to the two year-olds. “Look how greedy those little ones are, picking up the crumbs from the floor!”


“No! Look at their fingers.  Look what they are doing,” she quickly responded.  “The children are using precision to pick up the pieces and turn them over in their hands.”


Montessori noted that the tendency to pursue exactness and precision is seen throughout a child’s development.  The desire to feel the edges, fit the pieces together, weigh and measure things in our hands helps us learn about number, quantity and helps us order our world.



Here are some ways we use our hands at school as we develop balance, vocabulary, musical skill, mathematical awareness and so much that will help us achieve independence and joy.



From the Primary classes, the classes for children three to six years old:


At three years, balancing a large bag of oranges and deciding whether both hands will be needed to place it safely on the Kwanza table.


Using a pincer grasp to pick up just the right cylinder for the space that comes first in the Cylinder Block.


Controlling the movement of the cylinder until it can clearly be seen to be the one that fits exactly in this space.


Preparing to trace a triangle with just the amount of pressure on the inset to make it stay still during the tracing.


Placing one of ten counters in one of two rows of five under the numerals for the quantity "10" leaving just enough space for the rest.


Sliding two rows of wooden stamps together in preparation for counting and changing ten of one category for one of the next in a process showing how addition with carrying (or "changing" as we call it) works.


Touching each bead in the process of counting to the cube of five, or 125. When each set of five is labelled, the beads can be counted by fives aloud, a favorite activity for a small group.


From the Elementary classes, the classes for children six to twelve years of age:


Elementary children placing the capitals exactly on the right place on a map---and talking about how this can best be managed.


Drying a clay tablet created with a stick in the windowsill after hearing the Story of Communication with Signs.


Representing a fraction addition by tracing metal fourths in a circle.


Graphing some favorite basketball players' statistics.


Making a commitment to place pins for the capitals and the names of major land forms before pins for the names of the countries of Africa.


Following a recipe.


Labeling a map with care.


Balancing a stack of seven four squares to build a cube of seven plus four.


Why would it be important to use natural human tendencies in creating ways to learn certain processes or facts at school?


Can you think of any other natural tendencies?  Do you use these to learn?


Thank you for reading our blog.  We hope it gives you a window on what we are doing.  Please feel free to leave a comment or question we can answer in future blog entries!



2017-11-14T22:22:49+00:00By |Early Education|