Sequencing Your Activities- More on Montessori

The goal of this post is to provide you with some type of a framework for teaching Montessori.

One thing that I crave is order… I think most of us appreciate a schedule or some consistency! While reading about fabulous Montessori activities, and that there is a proper time for each of them, my mind was spinning trying to figure out what the best order would be! Of course every child is different and will accelerate at different subjects at different times… I just needed a simple guideline of how to implement Montessori.
And then I read Basic Montessori. The author of the book,David Gettman, divided Montessori teaching into the 7 periods- period 1 being the first set of activities. It is pointed out that you need to follow your child’s inclinations. Gettman states in regards to following the 7 time periods strictly: (I love this quote)

You should not lead the child down these corridors, but rather follow closely behind the child, so that whichever direction the child turns, you can reach out and open a door.

Isn’t that beautiful? It reminds me to put the checklist of completed activities away and focus more on what activities my little one is drawn to.
I will take you through 4 of the 7 periods focusing in on 5 of the Montessori subjects. I won’t write everything that Gettman suggests in his book (a little motivation for you to read it for yourself!) Remember that this might not work for you, I am not sure that it will work for me 100%, but it’s a great start in organizing your teaching sequentially.

Period One

  1. Practical Activities- pouring beans between two jugs, opening and closing containers, buttoning, buckling, other simple dressing frames, carrying and laying out floor and table mats, saying please and thank you, carrying a tray, lifting, carrying, and putting down a chair, sitting down and getting up from a chair at a table, climbing up and down stairs, walking on the line, folding, hanging clothes on a hook, brushing hair, dusting
  2. Sensorial- Cylinder blocks, pink tower, box 1 of the color tablets, presentation tray of the geometric cabinet, sensitizing the fingers,touch boards, presentation of Geometric solids, stereognostic bags presentation
  3. Language- Classified pictures exercises, book corner, library
  4. Math- none
  5. Culture- land and water presentation

Period Two

  1. Practical- pouring water from a jug, medium difficulty dressing frames, simple braiding, setting the table, polishing brass- glass surfaces- shoes- or furniture, washing hands, washing cloths, scrubbing a table top, sweeping sawdust, brushing clothes, folding clothes, hanging clothes on a hanger, handling a book, greeting people, kindness to visitors, being silent ( I am confused on this last one!)
  2. Sensorial- advanced cylinder blocks exercises, brown stair, red rods, boxes 2 and 3 of color tablets, more geometric cabinet exercises 1-4, binomial cube, blindfold, tactile tablets, stereognostic bags exercises, sorting grains, sound boxes, preliminary presentation of bells
  3. Language- classified picture exercises 3 and 4, stage 4 of I Spy, single letter sandpaper letters, metal insets, frequent speech questioning
  4. Math- none ( I find this interesting! As I said earlier- this is a guideline…)
  5. Culture- Land and water exercises, first maps, places classified pictures, preliminary work for classification of a leaf.

Period Three

  1. Practical- pouring water from a jug, pouring water through a funnel, difficult dressing frames such a bows and laces, advanced braiding, tying a tie, simple cooking chores, ironing (YIKES!!!), making beds
  2. Sensorial- Geometric Cabinet exercises 5 through 8, constructive triangles, square of pythagoras, trinomial cube, fabrics, thermic bottles, baric tablets, presentation of bells
  3. language- exercise 1 with the double letter sandpaper letters, stages 5 and 6 of I spy, exercise 2 with all sandpaper letters
  4. Math- Number rod exercise 1
  5. Culture- all maps, places picture folders, past and present, stories about the past, air, water, magnetism, classifying animals, classification by leaf, parts of animals, parts of plants

Period Four

  1. Practical- responsibility for certain daily care of environment, helping and advising younger ones in a group
  2. Sensorial- Geometric cabinet exercises 9 and 10, thermic tablets, mystery bag, visual work with blindfolds, bell exercises 1-3, tasting cups, smelling bottles
  3. Language- movable alphabet, writing individual letters, writing families of letters, positioning letters on lines, sandpaper Capitals, box one and two of object boxes, action cards, reading folders exercise 1
  4. Math- number rods exercise 2, sandpaper numbers, number tablets, spindles, numbers and counters, memory play, limited bead material, number cards, function of the decimal system, fractions
  5. Culture- gravity, sound, optics, places artificats

There are 3 more periods… you will just have to read Basic Montessori to learn more! I hope that this gives you some type of a framework when starting Montessori. I would love to learn more about setting up the framework- if you have any other ideas or suggestions I welcome them with open arms!!! 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Sequencing Your Activities- More on Montessori

  1. Keri

    the periods are the learning levels- the child will go through the activities at their own speed. however, i do remember reading somewhere that your child could be in period 4 math but period 2 everything else! you just let your child take the steering wheel and let them go to the new activities at their own rate (and of course start with period one because these activities build on each other) hope this helps!

  2. K, @ Heart

    Yes that does help I think I get it now 🙂
    When reading this post I completely did the same thing as far as trying to find the perfect order of activities. I spent HOURS racking my brain to put things in what seemed to be the best order that made sense to me. I noticed my son is drawn to certain activities but likes most of them he just doesn’t remember them.
    When you talk about letting your child “take the steering wheel” I think it’s wonderful! But how can I effectively do that when there are so any activities or variations that I couldn’t possibly keep them all out for him. What are you doing with regards to that? Feel free to just link me over to another post if I missed it.
    Let me also add that I am not doing Montessori specific just activities that lend themselves to it.

  3. Keri

    I wrote a post with a checklist of all activities under montessori’s period one:

    this is to allow me to check off when i see that my daughter has mastered different activities. she is only 18 months now and i am not in a big rush to move her through the stages. but i am starting to use this list with her… it is divided into montessori categories such as sensorial, practical life, science,etc. i left some blank lines under each category so i could write in other activities that i liked.
    once i see that there is mastery (she has completed the task three different times) then i will look into moving her to the next period for that subject.
    if you would find it useful i will post the checklists for periods 2, 3, and 4….. let me know! i didn’t think anyone was interested!

    and as far as keeping out all of the of activities-
    I am not sure if this will answer your question, but I would try and have a few different activities that he has mastered available and switch them out once or twice a month. keep out his favorites for free play and those that give him the right amount of challenge and fun. i am typing up monthly curriculum calendars so I know a month in advance what manipulatives i will need to set out and prepare. my poor closets are just stashed with plastic containers containing anything and everything!
    sorry so long!!! hope this helps!

  4. anjum

    My daugher is 19 months and I was pulling my hair because i did not how to put the activities in to different levels (period). I was looking for the book that will help me out. I have been on internet for hours looking for something that would help me and guide me to my first step to the montessori and here you are my saver. I am so happy that I found you and your website. Your contribution will stay with me and my daughter for the reminder of our life. I want to appreciate what you are doing and your help to others and not asking anything in return tells me you have beautiful soul. bless you.

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