More new presentations in Casa East this week. The school year may be drawing to an end, but the enthusiasm for new work sure isn’t. Above, a young girl is receiving a presentation on working with the Numerals and Counters Montessori material. This is an indirect introduction to odd and even numbers. Notice the one extra counter/dot below each odd number. This makes it easier for the child to distinguish between the two different sets of numbers and to read them out separately. This material also gives Elizabeth a chance to assess the child’s mastery of earlier materials and knowledge, in this case mastery of number sequencing.
Stef is presenting the Broken Sentences material above. This is the child’s first awareness of capital letters and periods; they serve as clues to indicate which words may come at the beginning and end of each sentence that the child must build. The back of the cards are numbered so that the children can self-correct their work when they think they’ve got it right.
The two children above are different ages, at different degrees of development, and are consequently working with different paint materials. The older boy is using the watercolour material, which is more delicate and requires a greater degree of developed fine motor control. The younger girl is using the tempera paint material. The multi-age groupings in a Montessori environment allow the younger children to observe what comes next, and what they are working towards.
Two of the youngest Casa East children are working here with materials that help to develop fine motor control — preparation for writing/pencil control — and are a a part of learning to care for oneself. The Buckle Dressing Frame and Threading Cards both require hand eye coordination and control, and both help children learn skills that help them to buckle belts and lace shoes.
As you can tell, Casa East is always a busy place.