The initial lesson presentation is critical in a Montessori environment. So, what makes for a successful Montessori presentation? Beyond the aims, the prerequisites, the steps to the lesson, and so on, there are specific practical steps we can take to optimize for success. The child learns from her work with the materials. The teacher's role is to remove all obstacles to the child's work. As one of my instructor's put it, “Cast a ray of light and then move on.” Yes. Yes. Yes.
“These lessons, exact and fascinating, given in an intimate way to each child separately, are the teacher’s offering to the child’s soul.” ~ The Absorbent Mind, Dr. Montessori
12 Characteristics of a Successful Montessori Presentation
- Always consider the child. What drives him? What are his physical traits? For example, is he left handed or right handed? Are his fine motor skills weak or strong?
- Check the environment
- Check the material
- Consider yourself
- Be clear about putting the material back on the shelf. Model completing the work cycle.
- Observe the child, the environment, the process, the results of the lesson, and yourself.
- Be focused in your presentation using economy of words and limited movement.
- Be simple. Be clear.
- Be precise in your movements.
- Allow child to get involved in the presentation.
- Don't coerce the child.
- Observe. Yes, I am going to mention this one again.
The classic Montessori presentation is the original hook. This introduction is the starting point with Montessori materials to rouse the attention of the child toward a particular material or object. Through careful observation, you will learn a great deal about the child during the initial presentation. You will also learn next steps in guiding the child's development. Remember that each of these lessons is not necessarily presenting new information to the child but instead helping the child organize the stimulus already within him.