Casa North This Week: May 12-16, 2014

CN WkMay12 2014 IN

Figuring out if “invention” or “innovation” is the correct word to use.

This week, Dylan and the young chap pictured above imagined a grocery store with an airport style moving sidewalk or escalator that brings you through each section of the store. There was some debate about whether or not this was an “invention” or an “innovation.” We settled on it being an innovation, but feel free to weigh in by leaving a comment below. 

CN WkMay12 2014 BT

Parts of a Fish and Parts of a Turtle.

Some other fun work this week was one child’s work with the Parts of a Bird and Parts of a Fish material. This material is attractive to the children’s natural, intrinsic interest in animals, and allows them to further practice pencil control while recreating the images and colouring them, teaches them some basic biological nomenlature, and is a part of their language/writing education as they label the different parts, which they also have to read.

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Another big part of Casa language and literacy education is the Montessori Moveable Alphabet material. Above, you can see two uses of the material. In one instance, the children identify images on cards and use the Moveable Alphabet to construct the nouns represented on the cards. Remember, Montessori teaches the phonetic sounds of the alphabet first, so children learn that joining together symbols that represent sounds is the process behind learning to read and write. In the other picture, Laura is working with two boys and the Moveable Alphabet to see how many words they can construct using the letters laid out on the mat.

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We have also been continuing to take advantage of the opportunity to get outside into our outdoor Montessori environment. Not only are we still working on getting it back into shape after winter — watering and such — we can now also bring some of our work and materials outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and offer a little diversity to our learning spaces.

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As the rains came this week, we also took advantage of the great gym at DVMS to enjoy a great game of multi-ball, multi-goalie, indoor soccer. Exercise and physical activity is essential to children’s learning and development. A good bout of running and sweating allows children to experience greater degrees of concentration when they move back into more academic-type activities.

CN WkMay12 2014 challenge

Having fun without realizing assessment is happening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we move to the end of the year, we also make time to do some assessment in order to determine what skills and activities the children have mastered and which need a little more work. As you know, there are no tests or grades in Montessori, and Dylan assesses the children by having them engage in various challenges — fun, group games that allow children to demonstrate what they know and what they can do without realizing that they are being assessed. Keeping education stress- and anxiety-free for children is such an important part of ensuring children develop and maintain a lifelong love of learning.

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