Grasping the concept of time can be difficult, whether it’s the time of the day, days of the week, months of the year, or the seasonal cycle. The seasons are the easiest to understand with the changes in temperature and the growth, death, and rebirth of plant life, and like everything in Montessori we work from the general to the specific. Above, two boys are developing their understanding of the tricky details of the human measurement of time.
The picture above, and the two that follow, are a wonderful example of one child’s experience with language materials. Here, Elizabeth is presenting the concept of compound words using small, visual evidence objects to clarify the concept that a compound word is two separate words brought together to create one new word with a new meaning.
Once the presentation is complete, the children work with the new materials on their own to construct their personal knowledge of the concept. You can also see a more close up view of the material and the extent to which the materials help make abstract concepts visually and materially evident.
With an ever-growing confidence developed from working with a variety of language materials, the children have the opportunity to further entrench their knowledge by teaching what they know to other students. Teaching something to someone else is one of the best ways to also improve and confirm what we know.
And since we started with time, it seems like a good place to finish. The advent of spring and the beginnings of growth makes activities like flower arranging all the more appealing. The activity involves a number of sequential steps, like many of the Casa Practical Life activities, that teach children the benefit of proceeding in an orderly manner, as well as offering the child a number of choices to make — which is the best vase to use for these flowers? how much do I need to trim? how much water should I put in the vase? how many of each type of flower and plant should I use? — which helps them to develop deductive reasoning skills.
We would also like to thank all of the grandparents that brightened up our space this morning. Between their smiles and the children’s, it was a lovely morning.