The Lower Elementary Montessori environments are very vibrant places, even this early in the school year. The students above are reviewing some geometry.
“We were talking about all the lines that they knew; they came up with all the lines as a group. From that, we wrote them down and they drew the particular lines that correlated with what we had written down,” said Lower North Montessori guide Rob.
“It wasn’t necessarily me giving them a lesson, it was a linkage,” Rob continued, “and this month is all about linkages from the previous year and going into more complex presentations.”
“It’s about exploration,” Rob said of the first year Lower Elementary student working on a science experiment with Sylvia, and then by herself. “She’s having an opportunity to — not necessarily understanding everything the experiment shows — but reading instructions, experimenting with the materials, and then, on her own, going back and trying to understand it.”
Rob also noted that the steps and process involved in this activity are the beginnings of preparing the children for their future days in Lower and Upper Elementary when the scientific method is introduced.
The Montessori child above is focused on learning the Large Bead Frame.
“Right now, she’s only working with thousands,” said Rob, “but we’ve talked about families of numbers and she’s had an introduction to the Chequerboard up to the millions — actually up to the billions; I showed them on the side of the Chequerboard.” She is learning a different method of how to add and/or subtract, and the Montessori materials are designed to help the students visualize the mathematical concepts.
Rob also emphasized that this is work the child chose to do because it is a material she wants to work with: “Being free to choose what she wants to do and going from there. You can see that she is engaged. She’s not looking at the photographer or the other activity around her; she’s focused on what she’s doing.”
Finally, we would like to point out what a great addition Catherine Warne has been to the Lower Elementary environments this year after moving up herself from a Casa role.
“With the Casa children coming into year one, they might not be familiar with the jobs, or the lack of jobs they are used to — the Sensorial and the Practical Life — they used to have, having Catherine here and linking them is great,”said Rob. “Also, just having another ear and the children asking Catherine things rather than just Carol or myself — she’s been a great linkage, and a great person to have in the environment. She is learning Elementary herself, and she’s enjoying it.”
Remember, Lower elementary students will continue adventure running with Janice on Fridays in September. In October they will start karate, at DVMS, on Friday mornings with Gord Waddell from United Family Martial Arts. All DVMS Elementary students will be attending a cross country running event on October 1st at LaSalle Park in Burlington with Montessori students from Fairview Glen and Dearcroft Montessori schools. We will bus them to and from the event, which runs from 10:00 – 1:00. Please send a packed lunch and water bottle that day, along with appropriate running attire. Parents are welcome to attend to observe, or to help out guiding students along the route.