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MONTESSORI MONDAY XVI 2018-2019

Added Jan 14, 2019

Singular and Plural 

The Montessori language curriculum includes initial and advanced presentations on letter recognition, sounds, word building and reading. Satisfying their intrinsic desire to communicate and to use the tools of reading and writing, children choose these lessons early and often, building their skills in isolation as they quickly become proficient early readers. 

We know, though, that children are not only interested in reading and writing as tools, but in understanding the rules of reading and writing for their own sake. You may be surprised to see initial grammar lessons in the early childhood classroom. Indeed, if we taught grammar by rote memorization and repeated rules, children this young would be unlikely to show any real interest in it. In our classrooms, though, grammar rules are introduced as games that often include other qualities that are highly motivating to young children. 

Consider, for example, the "Singular and Plurals" lesson, within which children are able to practice reading cards, learn the nomenclature of singular and plural, and explore the small objects we know they love to move about. For each item, the lesson includes a label for its singular noun, a label for its group noun, and a collection of small objects to match that label. Children sort an individual example of that object under the "Singular," label and a small group of those objects under the "Plural," label. Children enjoy the order and organization of the lesson. They enjoy learning new, applicable words to describe how grammar works, and they enjoy practicing reading cards and building their vocabulary. Children read the labels, organize their space, and learn about the rules of grammar that overarch all their reading and writing.  A seemingly simple lesson, indeed, but a chance for children to build on what they've already mastered as they practice new skills in an application they may not have previously considered. 

Catherine McTamaney, Ed.D.
Christopher Academy Alumna

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