Working with peers is a big part of Montessori education. The multi-age groupings at each level allow children to experience a variety of benefits. Shy first-year kids have the opportunity to observe older children working with the materials to get an idea of what’s expected and what’s to come. Third-year kids have the chance to give presentations to the younger children and to model leadership behaviour that allows a continuity of culture in the environment. Plus, it offers a diversity of friends to sit outside with on a sunny day. Continue reading
One of the great things about Montessori is the degree to which it encourages concentration without any external pressure from adults. When children are permitted to follow their interests, their levels of engagement soar. The boys above are very interested in writing recently, which is evident by the focus they are bringing to their work. Continue reading
The Sandpaper Letters are one of the more well known Montessori materials for early literacy development. Above, Pat is using the material with a young girl who is learning about initial sounds at the beginning of words. The child is given a small object and figures out which letter represents the sound at the beginning of the word. The rough texture of the letters on the boards provides a multi-sensory experience as the child traces the letters with her finger; they experience each letter visually, by sound, and by touch.
A Montessori Casa environment always has a wide variety of activity and learning taking place at the same time. Above, you can see children of different ages and levels working with a wide variety of Montessori materials. The red, blue, black, and yellow material is the Trinomial Cube, which helps children to work in three dimensions (it is also a physical representation of (a+b+c)³ which will come up later in Upper Elementary); the other child at the table is working with the Multiplication Board to further her understanding of the times tables. Behind the table two students are taking out materials to work with: the girl is taking out a puzzle map, which introduces children to world geography and the shapes/borders of the countries and continents; the boy is taking out a mat, upon which a number of jobs are done on the floor. The mats are part of learning to follow an orderly sequence, and to lay out and work with the materials in orderly manner. Continue reading
The Metal Inset (not “insect”) material shown above is a Montessori favourite. It teaches children pencil control by helping them hone their fine motor skills in preparation for learning to write. Children start with one shape and one colour, and when they have mastered the control to colour inside the lines they move on to two, overlapping shapes, which creates a number of different sections that need to be coloured differently. Consisting of ten presentations in all, the activity demands concentration through its attention to detail and encourages children to slow down and take their time.
This week, Casa South has seen an abundance of evidence that our third year Montessori Casa children are ready for their big move to Elementary next year. There has been a great deal of collaboration amongst them, and an equal amount of leadership in the environment.
Above, two of our older children are pushing the Knobless Cylinder material to it’s limits by extending the possibilities for exploration of diameter and equivalency. Continue reading
The Stamp Game is a material used to visualize the four mathematics operations. Each column represents a decimal system progression, from single units to tens, hundreds, and thousands. Once ten is reached in a column, it shifts to the next, allowing children to see the movement of and relationships between numbers, and it assists helping them make the move into a more abstract knowledge and understanding of math. Continue reading
Welcome to the first venture into our new weekly updates for each Montessori environment at DVMS. As we noted in our April Parent Newsletter, we will be sharing glimpses into each environment and letting you know of important news for each room through these postings. You will still receive the monthly Parent Newsletter on the first of each month, but it will contain only school-wide event and information details.
Our hope is that this new format will reduce the amount of information in the monthly newsletter to make it easier to digest, while also providing more regular and more detailed looks into each Montessori environment at DVMS. We recommend you bookmark this page so you can easily check in whenever you like.