A Montessori Casa environment always has a wide variety of activity and learning taking place at the same time. Above, you can see children of different ages and levels working with a wide variety of Montessori materials. The red, blue, black, and yellow material is the Trinomial Cube, which helps children to work in three dimensions (it is also a physical representation of (a+b+c)³ which will come up later in Upper Elementary); the other child at the table is working with the Multiplication Board to further her understanding of the times tables. Behind the table two students are taking out materials to work with: the girl is taking out a puzzle map, which introduces children to world geography and the shapes/borders of the countries and continents; the boy is taking out a mat, upon which a number of jobs are done on the floor. The mats are part of learning to follow an orderly sequence, and to lay out and work with the materials in orderly manner.
In our outdoor environment, the young girl above is walking our Mandala Labyrinth. The Labyrinth is a beautiful outdoor feature, and it functions like the Walking an Ellipse activity in every Montessori Casa environment. Both activities are designed to have the children experience the focus and concentration necessary to successfully navigate the shape (the type of focus and concentration required to work with and master Montessori materials and activities).
Writing Numbers to One Hundred continues to be a daily activity in Casa South. Last week you saw children working together to count to a thousand. This week, two boys tried their luck at counting backwards from one hundred, and at laying out the numbers in different sequences on the sheets of paper.
The group of girls above worked with the Geometry Cabinet Cards this week. This material helps children learn to recognize different geometric shapes, and it helps them develop and use their working memories as need to both recognize and retrieve specific shapes. There are numerous presentations we give with this material, each offering the child less information to work with, requiring them to do more and more abstract cognitive work and to use the language of geometry.