Our Montessori students in Lower Elementary South have been as busy as ever in the new year. Here’s what their Montessori guides shared.
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 Lower South lately.
We’re going in a circle this week for Lower Elementary South at DVMS, from language to math and back again. We’ll look at the language scene above to start.
“On Tuesdays, we often focus on a writing period, so the children either do free writing or we’ll do formal presentations,” Noeleen explained. “In formal presentations right now we’re still doing expository writing — how to write directions — and we focus on time words like ‘first,’ ‘second,’ ‘then,’ ‘finally,’ ‘next,’ and then they have materials on the shelf where there’s a slip of paper with instructions they have to follow to do a writing activity. There’s ‘How to Brush Your Teeth,’ ‘How to Pet a Lion,’ How to Get to the Office,’ whatever it may be, and they work on it and then find a guinea pig — a student that has to read and follow the directions the student has written. It’s a good collaborative activity; they enjoy it.
“These boys [above] are doing free writing where they have collaborated on a story. Two started the story together and the other was asked if he could join in. They love story-writing at this age. It’s different ages mixed together. They come up with the idea and they write as a group, so they all have the same thing written in the book they’re working in. They check each other’s work too; one will say, ‘You’re spelling the word said wrong.’ There’s a lot of auto-correcting — self-correcting — going on there.”
Congratulations to Sylvia, the Montessori French Specialist for DVMS Lower Elementary and Strata: Montessori Adolescent School, who is now an official Canadian, eh!
This week in Lower Elementary South saw an important presentation for one young boy.
“This is the next level for division,” Noeleen explained. “It’s introduced with the Golden Bead material, then they work with the Stamp Game, then they work with the individual unit Division Board, and now he’s moved on to Racks and Tubes, which are the higher level of materials for division in a Montessori environment. He’s having his first lesson here, which he was able to work on up to the millions, to his excitement. He’s dividing by a single digit, a unit. The next step he will work on is how to share with a two-digit divisor, then a three-digit divisor, and then we look at long division, and then he’ll figure out how to do it in his head.”
“The children are sewing special, secret little holiday crafts,” said Noeleen about some busy activity in Lower Elementary South recently. “It’s a concept most of them learned in Casa when they learned to sew on a button, so they already know how to do this, which is great because they can thread a needle better than I can with my old lady eyes. It’s activities that they found; they have two to choose from. Each one is a little bit different. What’s nice is it’s all three ages helping each other out. Just like any Montessori material, they can go to the shelf and take it out whenever they want. It’s very collaborative; there’s always two or three working together so it’s been great.”
There were a couple of lovely scenes in Lower Elementary South this week that demonstrated Montessori Elementary students’ progression from working with concrete materials to working in the abstract. The first-year Elementary boy above is using the Montessori Multiplication Finger Chart to master his math skills.
“The material allows the children work through the process, towards memorization,” said Lower South guide Noeleen. “If you go to the next picture, those two girls are working with flash cards and you can see that they are working in the abstract.”