One of the things that happens at all levels in Montessori, when it comes to math, is children doing increasingly long math problems. Whether it’s very long addition questions at the Casa and early Lower Elementary levels, or long, long division questions at the Upper level, the children love to challenge themselves (Casa South kids have been obsessed with writing numbers to ever-higher amounts lately). Allowing children to progress through their learning at their own pace lets them develop the confidence that comes with mastery.
This week, Upper East began welcoming Lower Elementary students who will be moving to Upper in September. It’s a tough move from top of the heap back to the bottom of the pile, so we give them the opportunity to visit the Upper environments during the last weeks of school. They get to see how things work on a day-to-day basis and get an idea of the expectations and types of materials available so that the first days in a new environment in September aren’t so scary.
Manga-style art has been a popular pursuit in Upper East this year. It’s not at all uncommon to find sketches such as the one above sitting on a table. The child who did this sketch obviously has talent, and the great thing about Montessori is that it allows the children engage with such interests during their school day. We just love the image above, with the juxtaposition of the art and the text.
A big event for both Upper environments this past week was the release of our butterflies. As you’ve seen over the past few weeks, we have watched them move through the entire transformation process from caterpillars to chrysalids to butterflies. It was a great opportunity for the children to see something they learn about take place in real life. Thank you to Anna for coordinating and overseeing this great project.
Finally, as many of you know, Upper East adopted a chinchilla as our classroom pet this year. April is one cute little critter who is looking for a loving vacation home or two for the summer. If your Upper East child just can’t imagine spending the summer without April in their life, not to worry, we’re here for you. If your family would like to look after her over the summer months, please talk to Terrence. In the past, a number of families have worked out a schedule to share classroom pets between households over the summer.