The first couple of weeks in Casa are a time for new students to learn all about their Montessori environment and all of the great materials waiting to be presented to them. The Classified Cards material contains pictures of the other materials in the classroom; they help the children learn the names of the materials and what is available. They use visual matching to place the name of the material with the relevant picture of the material (there a complete cards they have to recreate). This is also a sly introduction to the concept that words represent objects in the real world.
Montessori Casa materials that require careful work with things like tweezers help children develop their sensory-motor skills in preparation for writing. Note the developing approximation of the pincer grip as the two girls above exhibit significant levels of focus and concentration.
Each Casa Montessori environment has a small library that the children are welcome to explore throughout the day. We have books in both English and French to complement the regular French instruction the children receive at this early age.
“The children are easily drawn to vivid and definable colours and shapes,” said Casa North guide Dylan. “The materials speak to the children in a way only their developmental period calls them to. Some children will shake the sound cylinders for a half an hour just to grade from quietest to loudest. The keyboard is interesting as the kids are learning the scales and also trying to use each of their fingers to play one note at a time with one finger at a time, which is even hard for adults.”
It’s amazing how fast young children in Casa develop the comfort levels needed to make new friends and to interact with the other children. Small group activities are an important part of educating the whole child — cognitive, physical, emotional, and social learning.
Also, the weather took a turn this week. Please be sure to check the forecast each morning and send along whatever clothing and outerwear may be required. We ask that children avoid open-toed shoes on the playground and are wearing socks. The DVMS natural playground has a number of spots that stay wet and muddy for a day or two after it rains, so rubber boots and splash pants are good investment heading into fall.