That’s it, you are determined to implement Montessori pedagogy with your child. If the equipment and the various workshops are ready, we will have to get down to business and start the first presentations of Montessori activity. And there, you are probably wondering how to make your child pay attention and concentrate on what you are showing him. What are the mistakes to avoid ? How to react if he does not understand or if he poorly reproduces the gestures? There can be many concerns for the parent or the Montessori educator, because it is known that a failed demonstration can hinder the smooth running of the workshop. So, sweep away your doubts and follow all our advice to achieve a presentation of successful Montessori activity.
Prepare the environment and choose the right time to present a new Montessori workshop
Even before present a Montessori activity, make sure of two essential things. First, make sure that the material is easily accessible and transportable by the child and try to choose a time of the day conducive to concentration and availability (both yours and hers).
To do this, check that all the equipment is at the correct height and that it is tidy. Toddlers must be able to take on activities adapted to their age and put them away on their own. We forget the stacks. If we risk dropping everything by taking an object or if the arrangement is too complex, it starts badly!
The ideal is to place the workshops on shelves next to each other in increasing order of difficulty, from left to right and top to bottom. Also sort by field of activity.
To promote concentration, avoid presentations just before meal times or after a prolonged period of work. Choose areas of activity that interest the child. If your child keeps trying to read words or asks you what is written on the signs, aim for language activities, for example.
Train upstream to successfully present the Montessori activity on D-Day
After checking that the equipment is easy to access and that the child is able to transport it independently, practice presenting the activity for better success on the big day. One thing is certain, you don’t become a Montessori educator overnight. This is as true for professionals who work in Montessori schools as it is for parents who teach at home. It is therefore good to practice alone beforehand.
Pretend your child is by your side. Repeat everything you say and what you do. You will be able to better anticipate certain difficulties and check that everything is linked together smoothly.
Set up correctly to start the presentation in the best conditions
Now let’s get to the heart of the matter. When your child is available, that is to say that he is fit enough but not being excited, tell him that you are going to show him a new activity. Go get it together (you wear it at first) and sit down so that it has good visibility. If you are right handed, stand to their right. The important thing is that your arms are not an embarrassment for him and that he can observe everything in the right direction.
For pass the presentation, plan sufficient space. If objects are at risk of falling because the table is too small, use a mat instead to delimit the workspace and sit directly on the floor.
Successfully complete a Montessori presentation in 3 steps
Traditionally, Montessori workshops are accompanied by a 3-step presentation. The objective is to give the child the vocabulary related to the activity so that he is able to name what he is using.
To succeed in this step, you must therefore be effective by avoiding any unnecessary words or phrases. First of all, very concisely name each object used for the activity and have the child repeat. You point your finger and say, for example, “a spoon, a bowl, etc.” “. Then ask the child to show, “Show me a spoon, show me a glass”. Finish by pointing at the objects and ask the child for each, “What is this? “.
If the child does not remember everything, name for him and repeat the activity next time noting what went wrong in terms of vocabulary.
Make a successful presentation of a Montessori activity by making slow and precise gestures
The successful presentation of a Montessori activity is based in part on the gestures you will use to demonstrate how to use the equipment. Whether it is for a hands-on workshop with dishes or for a language activity with rough letters, you will have to pay the utmost attention to your movements.
Train for be as precise as possible. Keep one thing in mind: every gesture is scrutinized by your child. He will therefore try to faithfully reproduce everything he sees, including clumsiness and errors.
Pay particular attention to the placement of your fingers and hands, especially for fine motor activities and for holding the pencil. If you do it too fast or the wrong way, it will be amplified by your child!
Do not interrupt the child while he is doing the activity
Once the demonstration is over, it is the child’s turn to complete the activity. For a presentation of successful Montessori activity to the end, do not judge the success or failure of the child while exercising.
Whether for good or for bad, it is best not to express a value judgment. But why not encourage my child if he succeeds or point out his mistake if he is wrong you will say? Whether rewarding or not, any interruptions can be distracting. A simple remark during a time of concentration can cause a stop or a refusal to complete the activity.
When he has finished, even if the child has not gone to the end of the workshop, observe and value what has been accomplished by saying for example: “I see that you have succeeded in […] “, Or” You tried to […] “
Humans naturally like to please those they love. By giving systematic encouragement, the child may be doing the activity only to get a compliment or may put pressure on himself to get it. It is also because of this that for fear of failure, some people refuse activities. On the contrary, if you only observe without saying whether it is good or not, the child will gain self-confidence, without aiming for perfection. In short, stay as objective as possible.
Last point : stay available, without intervening or helping in an unsolicited way. Unless the safety of the child or the equipment is in danger, maintain your observant posture.
What to do when a Montessori activity was not successful?
It may happen that a presentation of successful Montessori activity causes failure for the child. Maybe it’s still too difficult or it requires too fine handling and he’s not physically ready. Faced with a refusal, we can also find a lack of interest, quite simply. In this case, don’t panic. This is simply not the time to present the activity. Keep it in reserve and represent it several times several days, weeks or months apart if necessary. No need to force or insist if your child is pointing. Montessori pedagogy is above all about respecting the child’s rhythm. If he fails or refuses, he might as well be interested in and even succeed later in certain workshops that were once shunned. In any case, it is much more productive to postpone a presentation rather than forcing and hoping to arouse interest, what do you say?