“As he masters each new skill, his self-confidence increases.”
The three period lesson is the technique Montessori Teachers use to give new lessons. It is different from other methods of learning, as each step or period of the lesson can be repeated to mastery at the pace of the child’s need. It’s commonly used for building vocabulary, but I find it is also useful in many learning situations.
To explain the three period lesson, please imagine giving a lesson on the names of primary colors – using objects that are red, yellow, and blue. All three periods may not happen in one sitting. The beauty of the three period lesson is that the child is given a chance to succeed at each period, and that they are given the language and the time to finish.
Period One: Naming. “This is red.” Be sure to isolate just the red.
Period Two: Recognition and association. “Show me red.” To help the child succeed, name red last in the rod of primary colors. If the child does not find red, repeat period one as many times as necessary. The child would not be considered incorrect, they just receive the lesson again. Once this period is done with mastery, even when red is moved around or featured on another object, it is time for period three.
Period Three: Recall. “What is this?” In this period, the child will need to name red. If the child cannot, repeat the first two periods. To introduce all three colors, repeat the process with yellow and blue.
The main idea with the three period lesson is ensuring the child feels success, and that the child never is given a task for which he/she is not prepared. Instead of being asked to name something without previous knowledge, they are given the skills to answer. Through these lessons children gain confidence and experience.
Jessie is a mother of three beautiful daughters (twin tots & a preschooler), an AMS trained Montessori teacher of 40 students, and a wife to one. Jessie has a background in dance, a yoga certification, and a Masters in Early Childhood Education. Jessie has a childhood education blog at http://educationofours.blogspot.com/.