Today we started learning about the development of the senses. In class we focused on tactile and visual senses. First, we learned that sensory activities help to develop the stereognostic(tactile)sense in the child. It was interesting to learn that the tactile sense is actually the first sensory system to develop in the womb. Thinking about the womb makes me feel that as educators we must work together to co-create a loving, nutrient space where children can explore. Through our readings this week it reinforced the importance of exploration/independence.
Children 3-6 are in a sensitive period for order and movement because of this it is vital to allow the children to discover and come into themselves. This connects with the prior learnings of self- awareness through the Montessori peace flower model.
"A teacher must therefore be well acquainted with the material and keep it constantly before her mind...to be acquainted with material, a teacher should not simply look at it, study it in a book, or learn it through use through explanation of another. Rather, she must exercise herself with it for a long time, trying in this way to evaluate through her own experience the difficulties of, or the interest inherent in, each piece of material that can be given to a child, trying to interpret although imperfectly, the impressions which a child himself can get from it" (Montessori, 1967 p. 151)
Afterwards we moved on to working with the tactile, dimension and chromatic materials. It was exciting for the first time to work with Montessori's "pink tower". This hands on activity's direct aim is to allow the child to refine their tactile senses. The indirect aim is to prepare children in the foundations of math and writing.
We learned that these geometric materials train the eyes to distinguish form. This reminds me of child, and how they tend to remember things with their "still" memory.
Towards the end of of day Art arrived and shared his love of chemistry and geography. "Chemistry is all around you" Art. Art discussed how once everything was Pangea. He also touched on plate tectonics and volcanos. This reminded me of when I was six and I visited Mt. Vesuvius in Italy. The lava covered structures left an impression of Mother Nature's strength.
Affirmation of the day: I focus in and discovery the joy of learning within and around me.