Tag Archives: Casa

Casa North Update: Week of January 5, 2015

CN WkJan5 2014 movable

Working with Montessori Moveable Alphabet materials.

“We have a cursive Moveable Alphabet, and this is the print Moveable Alphabet,” said Dylan in explaining the Montessori materials being used by the two Casa girls above, who wasted no time getting back to learning this week after the holiday break. “This is a reading job,” Dylan continued, “figuring out phonograms, middle sounds, using vowels. They wanted to figure out rhyming words, which is another way to use this material.”

Dylan explained that the cursive Moveable Alphabet is used for learning to write while the print Moveable Alphabet in use above is to learn and practice reading, since most text on a page is print.

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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 North 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.

CN WkDec1 2014 flow

Head down. 100% concentration and flow.

“These two boys are so focused on doing 10 Metal Insets,” explained Dylan about the concentrated work being done above. “Each is double-sided so there’s 20 different images, or collections of geometric shapes, that improve their handwriting — that’s one of the purposes of this material. They were so absorbed in it that they couldn’t look up. No matter what was going on around them they were so focused. Every now and then they would look over at each other’s, but they were always different. They had different shapes, they were sharing; it was just a really nice moment to see — they had a goal in sight and they were going to achieve it come hell or high water.”

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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 East 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.

CE WkDec1 2014 puzz

Sensorial exploration with the Tangram Puzzle.

This beautiful picture was taken by Elizabeth on a sunny morning in Casa East recently.

“She’s using the Tangram puzzle,” said Casa East assistant Stef, who sat down with us this week to talk about what’s been happening in Casa East since the last update. “We discovered it was easier for them at the beginning to have all of the lines, the control sheet, at the level of difficulty they needed, so she can look and see where each of the shapes goes. At the end, the box is also one of the controls to get it back in. They’re having to extrapolate. It’s to scale, but they’re not the same size shapes [in the box and on the control sheet]. She has to look at the control and be able to figure out which triangle it is compared to the others. They also have to be able to follow a plan and visualize how the shapes come together, and how lots of triangles can come together to make other shapes and designs. Everything’s triangles!”

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Casa North Update: Nov. 3-7 2014

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“The kids love phonetic reading, and they love a challenge,” said Casa North guide Dylan about the two boys above. “We have them read a basket of phonetic words — they’re broken up into three-letter words, four-letter words, mixed baskets, puzzle words, a wide variety. What happens, invariably, is kids want to challenge themselves. They want to have a game, a race — lets see who can read the pile faster. Since we got this new coloured oil timer, they have such fun trying to read the basket before the last drop comes down.”

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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 East Update: Nov. 3-7 2014

CE WkNov3 2014 punch

Sometimes it takes a month or two of observing, but they all get their hands on the materials eventually.

You may remember the little girl above from an update in September where Elizabeth talked about how she wasn’t engaging with the Montessori materials yet, but was observing everything happening in the environment. As you can see, she is now thoroughly engaged with her own jobs.

“She still will come and spend some time beside me in the morning,” said Elizabeth, “but this exercise has appealed to her. It’s Pinning, and you can see that her fine motor control and concentration is so complete while she’s pinning out a shape; then she’ll glue that shape down onto another piece of paper and come over and we’ll give her the vocabulary of whatever the shape is. We try to put that into the environment: ‘Can you see a rectangle anywhere else in the room?’ and we’ll look at a table, look at the doorway, the windows. There’s a few things in her repertoire now, maybe half a dozen.”

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Casa East Update: Oct 20-24 2014

CE WkOct20 2014 alph

Combining Montessori materials: Phonetic Object Box meets Moveable Alphabet.

“Instead of having me write messages for the Phonetic Object Box,” said Casa East Montessori guide Elizabeth, “she decided to write them herself using the moveable alphabet.”

Casa East assistant Stef stepped in this week to elaborate and get us all up to date on what’s been going on.

“We start with objects for their interest and then the Moveable Alphabet allows them to write a word even if they haven’t mastered being able to write using a pencil,” said Stef. “When you’re writing you are segmenting the word, so the girl above sees the mug and then she has to break it up into [the phonetic sounds] ‘m’ / ‘u’ / ‘g’ and remember each of the letter symbols. We start with short phonetic words because everything is scaffolded. Later, we can even give verbal commands for words like ‘melt’ that we can’t have a picture of.”

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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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