We are always surrounded by mathematics in our daily life. From the design of buildings to architecture, from flowers in nature to the rhythmic meter in songs, from time in a day to the days in the week and seasons, all have mathematics naturally built into them. There is a universal human need to calculate and convey quantitative information. How can we explain this idea that we need to calculate? It’s part of our human nature. It’s our “mathematical mind.” The mathematical mind is characterized by these abilities: curiosity that leads to investigation, accurate observation, reason and judgments, the ability to create order, the development of language and to be able to use that to classify things, repetition leading to exactness and abstraction and new constructions.
There are 6 Groups of Mathematics Exercises in the Montessori classroom:
1. Numbers 0-10: In this area the child is introduced to quantities and their corresponding symbols. One example of this work would be the Number Rods. This work helps the child to learn the names and sequence of the numbers 1 to 10 by using ten rods alternately painted red and blue in sections to represent each quantity starting from 1-10.
2. The Decimal System: This section is when the child is introduced to quantities of the base 10 number system (think ones, tens, hundreds, thousands) and their corresponding written symbols. The child also gets introduced to the 4 basic math operations during this period. The Change Game is a fun, interactive way to help familiarize the child with the concept of 10 of one category equals one of the next category. (10 tens = 100)
3. Continuation of Counting: This bit is when the child gets an opportunity to count up through 1000! Very Exciting! One infamous work that demonstrates this is our 1000 Chain that is a chain of… yep you guessed is…1000 Golden Beads! The children love to count this chain and placing the numbered labels pointing to each corresponding bead. This work is so enticing as it can stretch completely across the classroom floor!
4. Memorization Work: During this time, the child engages in work that helps him to memorize math facts or essential combinations as we refer to them in a Montessori environment. One particularly fun work for memorization is the Addition Snake Game. In this game, the child becomes familiar with all the possible number combinations that might make 10 by building a snake out of beautiful colored beads and then using his knowledge from the Change Game to exchange them for a golden 10 bead.
5. Passage to Abstraction: This allows the child to experience math in a more abstract way and this is also when he will be introduced to even larger quantities such as 10000, 100000, 1000000!
6. Fractions: At this point in time, the child is introduced to the concept that a unit can be divided into parts and that those parts (fractions) can be applied through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Truly remarkable work for a 5½-6 year old!
A Peek Inside our Children's House Classrooms
Dear Bobcat families~
Wow! Spring time is here and we are very busy getting back into our classroom routine after our Spring Break. Spring has definitely brought some beautiful 6 foot tall sunflowers to our garden and we see a few more popping up. Our delicious herbs are thriving as well. Especially our mint. Yum!
On another very exciting note, we have noticed that our female bird has laid three eggs. We are anxiously awaiting to see when they hatch. A few children have done research to learn about the finch incubation period and have made a list to hang next to their cage predicting the hatching date. We've also taken a poll for possible names. Needless to say the children are VERY EXCITED!
Ms. Carmen and Ms. Liz
Dear Gray Fox families,
We’re (March)ing right along toward the end of the school year. This is such an enjoyable time in the Children’s House as the children have reached their maximum level of “normalization.” This is a term that Dr. Maria Montessori used to describe the child’s love of work, concentration, self-discipline and sociability. We have been observing a great deal of confidence and pure happiness radiating throughout the environment.
The children have been creating salads and various concoctions from our garden, many inspired from looking through our cookbooks. We’ve had the pleasure of supporting two Student Teacher’s in the environment so far this year. The children have been impressively welcoming, well-mannered and eager to receive lessons from our guests. We welcomed Maverick into our class toward the end of the month and our classroom is officially at capacity!
April is sure to bring as many smiles as March did; Spring has arrived!
Love and light,
Ms. Lauren and Ms. Yadira
Hello Cactus Wren families,
I hope everyone had a peaceful spring break. As the weather starts to warm up, the mosquitos will be making an appearance. Please apply bug spray and sunscreen before school. If your child will need extra applications throughout the school day, stop by the office and drop off the bottles and fill out the medical release form.
This month we have been discussing Cultural Story Telling. How these stories are part of a family’s history. They are often verbally shared from one generation to the next. Sometimes, they are written down. They are meant to tell a cautionary tale, moral lesson, or the history of the family tree. Depending on the culture, the main characters in the story can take the form of an animal, nature, or any other form that is relevant to the culture. I have share with the children a couple of stories from my culture both in written form and verbal story telling.
I look forward to seeing everyone at next month’s parent night. I have also sent out through Schoolcues a classroom update. Please share the update information with your spouse if they are not on the email list.
Ms. Johna and Miss Eugenia
Happy Spring dear Jackrabbit families! Hard to believe an entire school year has almost gone by. We have grown so much this year and I am so thankful for all your trust and support. The children are thriving and it is very fun to see their growth. We have finally seen some growth in our gardens too. We have beautiful flowers and even some vegetables. The children got to taste some sweet red peppers and radishes. It’s amazing to see how willing they are to try new things. During our last refresher course we attended we learned that a human being must taste the same food about seventeen times before we can’t certainly say that we don’t like it. Try to be adventurous with the foods you offer your children. Lunch time is a great opportunity to try new foods. Pack things that they haven’t tried before. Little bites of different foods they can bring to school might be the key of success. Also remember to please pack these items in small glass containers that they can open by themselves to promote their independence.
We would like to thank CaliAnn and her family for taking care of our birds, Charlie and Lucy, during spring break. Also thank you to Rose's mom for coming to our classroom to share with us their Persian New Year traditions, it was very fun! We are looking forward to the next couple of months!
Miss Marcela and Miss Dinora