Montessori Classroom isn’t just a classroom, but a world…a complete world with an environment of its own. An overwhelming experience for those who reside in it for a few hours everyday. It has to be a fantasy world like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. A real treat for all the five senses!
The best way of teaching preschoolers is by showing – not telling. For this you need to cater more and more visual stimulus while decorating your Montessori classroom.
An ideal Montessori teacher is a multifaceted personality. It is expected of her to be an actor, a singer, a juggler and above all an interior designer at a time. Montessori class decor is an essential part of her job. Soft boards are an essential presence in almost all the Montessori classrooms. They can very skillfully be used to create the desired environment and then change it when needed.
Following are a few effective tips on how to use these soft boards such that they become a part of a teacher’s daily class lessons and serve as active visual stimulus. Kids when look at them must relate with them and learn by themselves.
1 – Don’t Over Do The Decoration:
You might have visited a few classrooms where the teachers decorate the soft boards as if they were a wall of their drawing room. Over embellished borders, decorated with lace and floral patterns. This is of no use!!!
While planning your soft board decoration, make sure that you aim at showing off the learning contents of your class lessons. Soft boards will serve you as the visual aid when teaching in the class. They are not wall hangings where you can put anything you like to look at.
Soft board decoration is a tricky job as you need to convey a message without disturbing the symmetry. Don’t cover the whole soft board. The images and flash cards you stick on the soft boards should neither be too loud nor too small to look at.
We recommend you to chalk out a plan on paper before you start off with your soft board decoration.
Highly consider the size and font of the text you paste on your soft boards. Font should be standard, easily readable and of bright color. Use just one font for all the text you paste. Similarly the pictures should be of an adequate size. Put yourself in a child’s shoes and think what would appeal him. Bright colors and magnified pictures attract kids.
Every content – be it a picture, text or border -displayed on the soft board should make sense and must aim at learning.
2 – Consider Symmetry and Scaling:
By scaling we mean the comparative sizes of images. You must display what is realistic in size and proportion. Make sure that banana is always smaller than a water melon. Caterpillar is smaller than a lion. Moon and stars can’t be of similar size. Objects shown to be nearer look bigger than those which are far off.
As a teacher, you should know that your students are auto learning by looking at these soft boards. They must derive what is right and not what is wrong. Wrong scaling and wrong colors can disturb their learning. Once learned, it is very difficult to delete the impression formed on these little brains.
The over all look of your soft board should be symmetrical. Every corner should be utilized in a balanced way so that it doesn’t disturb the vision when looked at.
3 – Plan Realistically:
The soft board decoration needs to be changed quite frequently. So you must plan your soft board decoration realistically. You can place some transparent pockets in which you can change the flash cards on regular basis. This will practically save your effort and time. Managing soft boards should not be so tiring and fatiguing for you. The flash cards you remove after every change can be displayed on the borders so that they serve as a reinforcement content.
Try to avoid hand painted pictures as they require a lot of effort, time and materials. Printed stuff is the best, as you can easily search it, arrange it and readily paste it on your board.
We hope that these expert tips for teachers help you in your Montessori classroom decoration.