Lessons are presented individually or in small groupings and offer the most logical, sequential means to an end. Top to bottom and left to right are always reinforced as an indirect means for later reading and writing. These colourful, appealing materials that offer interaction with size, shape, weight and colour, appeal to the child’s inherent sense of order and excites their creativity.
As with all areas of the classroom respect for the materials, the environment and each other are supported. As children move through the independent execution of gradation, colour comparisons, tower creation and maze making, the sensorial materials encourage sensory explorations and begins the journey in the recognition of each child’s best learning strategies. Do I need to touch and manipulate to remember or does hearing something help me to retain – am I a visual learner, does printing or documentation work best for me? Foundations are created at young ages for further establishment at the Elementary level.
Sensorial materials are aptly named. Materials that allow for sensory recognition – the fact that we can intake information in so many different ways. They encourage visual discernment, tactile manipulation, sound creation and matching stimulation of smelling and tasting instincts but most importantly – as with all Montessori materials – they encourage “helping me to help myself” in my journey through all that a Montessori classroom has to offer.