Three Period Lesson and Help me to Do it Myself

” I do it!!” It is a common phrase among the two and three year olds. They have such a fierce determination to do everything themselves. I have pictures (somewhere) of my own middle child so determined to learn to put her own shirt on that she put on no less than 5 shirts, one over the other until she cried with frustration because she couldn’t move. So take the time, teach them the skills. In the classroom we do demonstrations. We will isolate a task like pouring. The exercise is on a tray to be taken to a table. We show this at circle. No language necessary, this only distracts… you can hear a pin as they observe me hold the pitcher with two hands and oh so slowly pour the beans into the other glass container. They listen to each one as it falls and hits the glass. They are wondering what will happen if one spills out. They feel the satisfaction of seeing the work completed and put back on the shelf.
Growing up is serious business! There is a sensitive period during which the child is obsessed with learning these practical life skills. Buy them a broom that actually works and fits their hands instead of just a toy to pretend with. A real rake just their size to actually rake the leaves. Set your preschooler up a small bucket with a spray bottle with vinegar and water, a towel and a squeegie to REALLY learn to wash the windows. Montessori Services sells kid sized tools and educational materials, look them up online. The power of competence and confidence are a perfect basis for success in life and education.

Maria Montessori also taught us a super way to teach vocabulary called the Three Period Lesson. It goes like this:

Three Period Lesson

This is a great way to teach vocabulary, names of just about anything from adjectives or colors or letters and numbers, etc It is good to start with 3 objects to contrast.

First Period: “This is _____”

The teacher supplies the name of the object, and points out the object—“this is red, this is blue, this is yellow”

Second Period: “Where is _____?”
The teacher supplies the name and child points out the object. This can go on a long time, until it seems the child has mastered the names, You can play games during this period, give me the yellow, where is blue? (if they point to the wrong one just say: that is yellow, where is blue?) put the yellow here, give me the blue, where is red? Put red next to yellow etc etc

Third Period: “What is this?”
The child provides both the name of the object and also points it out.
If they cannot answer correctly, go back to Second Period

It is easier to point out something when someone else gives you the name than to come up with the name of it out of thin air. This can be used to teach anything from colors, letters, names of flowers, shapes, and on and on
Give them a hand— teach them to do it themselves!

montessori fun

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