Montessori materials really are amazing. The students above are working with geometric shape materials to further their understanding of volume. Using sand, they fill a hollow pyramid to the top. The sand is then transferred to a prism, of which they already know how to find the volume, until it is full (it takes three pyramids to fill the prism). Doing so allows them to physically and materially understand the ratio between the volume of the two objects, allowing them to determine the formula for calculating the volume of a pyramid on their own, rather than simply being told.
Besides the more academic work, a number of Upper Elementary students also rehearsed and performed for the grandparents this week. Their performances added a lovely atmosphere to the extended Strata Montessori cafe, where the grandparents enjoyed some lovely conversation both before and after their visits.
Speaking of which, having the grandparents in the Upper East environment offered some lovely moments as the students had the opportunity to show off some of the work they are most proud of. It is also a chance for them to explain a little bit about how Montessori education works.
The Montessori elementary years, and especially the third term, are a time when students engage in and learn how to undertake some big projects. The topics of the projects are of secondary importance to learning the various procedures required to plan, research, and present. They are welcome and encouraged to choose topics of interest to them, which makes the project tasks more meaningful.