Montessori Brown Stairs – Learning one step at a time!

Here we go again! It’s time for Springdale Academy’s Learning Series. In our previous learning series post, we focused on the iconic Pink Tower. Those who have read it should recall that once children master the Pink Tower activity, we encourage them to try out the pink tower and brown stairs extension activity. Those of you who are new to our website should check it out. Springdale Academy’s learning series is written to show parents the materials that facilitate their child’s holistic development.
The star of the show: Brown Stairs, a.k.a. Broad Stairs

Introduction to Montessori Brown Stairs

Found in the sensory area of Springdale Academy classrooms, the Brown Stairs (or Broad Stairs) are a set of ten wooden blocks or prisms of the same length (20 cm) but of varying thickness (1–10 cm), which when put together from thickest to thinnest make an even staircase.
At Springdale Academy, a Montessori preschool located at 133 Stryker Lane, Hillsborough, New Jersey, the Brown Stairs are introduced to children once they have mastered Knobbed Cylinders and the Pink Tower. Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori herself, the Brown Stairs are a crucial tool in early math and sensory training. They promote spatial awareness, reasoning, foundational geometry skills, sequencing, fine and gross motor skills, and muscle memory. Brown Stairs, like other Montessori materials, has a control of error that is the child’s visual sense.

Montessori Brown Stairs Purpose

When Springdale Academy’s students work with Brown Stairs, a tactile, hands-on material, their muscular coordination and motor control get refined, but they also learn vocabulary during the activity. By isolating children’s visual sense, Brown Stairs helps them enhance their hand-eye coordination.

How to use Brown Stairs Montessori for Sensorial Lesson

To start the activity, Springdale Academy’s teachers show students the correct way to hold the broad stair—one hand on each side of the stair—and bring them to the workplace one by one. Letting the kids move the prisms from the sensorial area to their workplaces themselves helps them get a feel for the weight of each prism. The prisms are arranged randomly. Following that, the teacher will take the biggest prism and place it on the far-left side. The teacher continues to look for the next biggest prism and places it next to the one placed earlier. This process is repeated until all prisms have been positioned. Then, the teacher uses the smallest prism and fits it after each step. The reason behind this is that if the brown stairs are built correctly, the small prism will fit in at the perfect height for each step.

Once the alignment is confirmed, the brown stairs are deconstructed, and the child is invited to try them. In their first few tries; it is natural for the child to be unable to build it correctly. However, the teacher refrains from correcting them because they can identify the error themselves by using the small prism. After completing the activity, they are asked to dismantle the stairs and return them to the shelves in the same manner as they had brought them: one by one, with hands placed on both sides. Once the child has successfully mastered the activity, they are encouraged to use their imagination to create other variations and patterns. This nurtures their creativity while building a strong foundation for future learning.

Springdale Academy’s Montessori education empowers kids to be independent and develop a love of learning. This is possible thanks to Dr. Montessori’s materials and principles. For more information about our educational philosophy and programs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the school. If you get a chance, fill out the contact form and request a tour. This is because the joy of seeing Montessori education in action is truly magical. There is a reason why Springdale Academy is the best preschool in New Jersey. Come and find out why!

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