Tag Archives: Casa South

Casa South Update: Week of March 30, 2015

You will notice that starting with this one, the update posts are being scaled back. Our goal was to provide a more detailed glimpse into the DVMS Montessori environments to see what your children are up to, learn a little bit more about Montessori materials, how they’re used, and their purpose, and to create a collection of posts that can be combined to offer the general public an idea of what Montessori is and how it works.

Look for some new features coming to your monthly “Events and Information” newsletter.

Read on to see what’s been going on in Casa South lately.

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Casa South Update: Week of February 2, 2014

CS WkFeb2 2015 sandpaper

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.”

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Casa South Update: Week of January 5, 2015

CS WkJan5 2015 busy

A busy morning in Casa South with some polishing and Montessori Colour Tablet work underway.

As you can see above, Casa South wasted no time getting back to work this past week.

“Everybody’s very happy to be back, happy to see their friends, to get in touch with the jobs that they know, and are getting new presentations already,” said Pat this week. “The girl is Polishing Wood and the boy is doing Colour Box 1. All the polishing jobs start out simpler and get progressively more complex. For Polishing Wood we use three different cloths — put the polish on, rub it in, and a buffing cloth. Colour Box 1 is primary colours. It involves matching and learning the names of the colours. We also play games where they can find something that’s blue and bring it to the table, then find something that’s yellow and something that’s red. If there are any issues with colour and seeing colours or recognizing colours, or in the language, then we can identify that.”

In the background, Pat is preparing a new ‘pinning’ job for the environment. It is a job that involves cutting out a shape on paper by perforating it with a large pin (like a thumbtack).

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Casa South Update: Week of Dec. 1, 2014

Thinking it’s been a while since the last Casa update? Remember, we are now distributing the update and “Events and Information” newsletters on a per week basis so that information from and about DVMS is easier to digest and keep track of. Casa updates are published on the first Friday of each month.

CS WkDec1 2014 height

Mixed-age Montessori Casa environments offer opportunities for peer learning, and for seeing how much kids grow over the course of three years.

This week we sat down with Casa South’s Serena to learn what’s been happening in Casa South lately; perhaps you got the chance to see some of the action during your parent observation.

Mixed-age peer learning continues to be a big part of Casa South.

“Here, the older girl is getting ready to give the younger girl a presentation with the Sandpaper Letters,” said Serena in explaining the scene above, “and the older boy is preparing to give it to the younger. The older children are third-years and, [as we explained in an earlier update], once they have done work in all four areas of the classroom they choose a first-year child to give a Sandpaper Letters presentation to. The first-years are getting so many Sandpaper Letters presentations that they’re really progressing learning they’re sounds now.”

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Casa South Update: Nov. 3-7 2014

CS WkNov3 2014 beads

Learning her times tables without even noticing using the Montessori 4-Square Bead Chain.

“She’s counting the 4-Square Chain,” Casa South Montessori assistant Serena explained of the image above. “She’s putting out a ticket for every four beads that she counts, so this one goes up to 16. Once she’s put them all out she comes and tells me or tells Pat what the tickets are. She will memorize them, or she can go back and check the tickets if she can’t remember. It’s a sneaky way of learning the multiplication tables, and it’s fun — these are the hardest materials for the first year students to not just touch.”

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Casa South Update: Oct 20-24 2014

CS WkOct20 2014 sandpaper

Beautiful peer learning using the Montessori Sandpaper Letters material.

“Our third year children have now begun to give Sandpaper Letter presentations to the first year,” said Casa South Montessori guide Pat. “It’s amazing to see how this simple act helps to create a caring and responsible community.”

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Casa South Update: Oct 6-10 2014

Don’t forget, the DVMS Parent Community Dinner is coming up on Saturday, October 25. Please click here for details and tickets.

CS WkOct6 2014 sun

Transferring water from one bowl to the other with a sponge.

“This is his new favourite job,” said Casa South assistant Serena, who is taking a turn providing the update this week.

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Casa South Update: Sept. 22-26 2014

“It was great meeting all the new parents and getting to talk about their children and how well they’re doing in the classroom, how well they’re adapting to all our routines, all the jobs they know,” said Casa South guide Pat. “Everybody has been very industrious, working very hard. The third years have been awesome examples for the other kids; the second years are stepping up into their new roles.”

CS WkSept22 2014 tree

The DVMS Casa South Montessori environment provides the opportunity to sit under a tree and read.

Casa South is one of the only places where you can sit under a tree indoors to read a book.

“The tree’s name is Benji,” Pat explained, “short for Ficus Benjamina, its Latin name. Children love to dust him, water him, and take care of him; and read under his lovely branches.”

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Casa South Update: Sept. 8-12 2014

CS WkSept8 2014 write

Work with many other Montessori materials prepares the child cognitively and physically for writing.

“Our children are happily getting back into the work routine,” said Casa South assistant Serena. “They are working independently, the older children are helping the younger ones. ”  Continue reading

Casa South Week 1 Update

CS WkSept2 2014 pat

A little Sandpaper Letters work with Pat; what a great way to start the Montessori school year.

“We had a great first week in Casa South,” said Pat. “No more tears!” Continue reading