You may recognize this as a familiar scene from our Facebook page. Her Montessori Sandpaper Letters presentations to a young friend are ongoing.
This week, we got our Casa South update from Michael Rode, who is completing the practical teaching aspect of his Montessori training in the Casa South environment at DVMS.
Michael had the chance to witness the lovely scene above, which regular visitors to our Facebook page may recognize (our current cover photo is of the same two children working with the same material during the first term).
“Sandpaper letters are usually done by first year children into second year,” said Michael. “It’s a sensorial impression of all the different letters, because all kids that age, between 3 – 6, that’s how they learn. They learn sensorially and they need to be able to move and to touch and to feel to really absorb something, and they really have a want to learn this at this time.”
Michael also explained how the ongoing peer interaction evident here is not only a method of instruction for both children, but also an important part of building community in a Montessori environment.
“It’s a great example of community and the multi-age classroom,” Michael explained. “She’s had that work, maybe somebody gave it to her 2 or 3 years ago and now she’s taking that and giving it to the first year boy. It really helps the community come together in the classroom. Pat was saying that when the third years help the first years — in past years when they haven’t wanted to help the third years as much, sometimes they might not even know some of the first years’ names — because they are working so intimately together every day they get a good sense of each other and who they are.”
Michael touched on the repetitive nature of work with the Sandpaper Letters in a Casa environment:
“This happened in first term, it’s happening in second term, and it won’t stop. It’s going to keep going for them because you can’t just get an impression of a letter once and know it; you have to keep doing it and keep doing it. It’s as much muscle memory as it is absorption.”