Even in the age of Google and Yahoo, when I want a definition for a word, I still turn to Merriam-Webster. I like the hardback dictionary; I feel like I am learning something. My father built a shelf in our house to hold the family dictionary – the one he received when he graduated from college, circa 1936! The shelf was strong and mounted to the wall at an angle. The dictionary itself was large and heavy. The thin, almost see through pages had yellowed around the edges over the years. The black alphabet tabs were indented, embossed with gold printed letters. It felt very special to walk up, stand and thumb through the pages. I felt smart, almost regal. I remember I had to be extremely careful to not tear the pages as I turned them. I never looked at just one word. My curiosity was sparked by the text, sketches or diagrams across the two pages in front of me and I became absorbed. I spent a great deal of time at that shelf, over many years. It was delicious, a total learning experience; all my senses were firing.
This is what our students experience each day with the numerous Montessori materials offered in our rich and dynamic learning environments. These sensorial experiences connect the students more deeply to their learning. With their senses fully employed, they are active learners. Their experience is not limited to passively receiving information (i.e., screens); they are experiencing the information. Big difference!
Take time to observe how you learn, what you enjoy and why, and how much of it directly connects to your experience.