We spent a lot of time outdoors this week. After a lot of Practical Life work caring for our indoor environment over the winter, we finally got the chance to put some love and care into our outdoor space: weeding, trimming, exploring, and lounging on the deck were all on the agenda.
Back inside, we continued lots of work with a variety of Montessori materials. In the sequence above, Dylan is working with the children using the Mystery Bag. First, Dylan introduces a geometric shape; the child then takes the bag and tries to find the same shape using only the sense of touch. Once successful, the child has undergone a multi-sensory exploration of the various shapes, a great way to entrench knowledge.
Work on numeracy and the beginnings of math is also a big part of each week. Above, Dylan is using the Large Number Cards material to help the children develop an understanding of the decimal system. The cards represent single units, tens, hundreds, and thousands and can be laid on top of each other to create numbers.
Once the activity with the group is finished, individual students have the opportunity to work with the material, laying them out in columns that make clear the distinction between the different categories of numbers in our decimal system.
The math materials in Casa also provide an opportunity for the older children to begin learning mathematical operations and facts. The girl above will be well prepared for Lower Elementary as she has already started working on subtraction using the Strip Board material. Materials that offer concrete visualizations of math operations have been shown to do an exceptional job of cementing a deep understanding of concepts that can be drawn on in later years.
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