Thank you for attending our classroom meeting on Wednesday. After I briefly reviewed the first three math progressions, I lectured and demonstrated the memorization and passage to abstraction materials for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
We further discussed the process of concrete to abstract. AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) defines the concept as: "A progression both logical and developmentally appropriate. The child is first introduced to a concrete material that embodies an abstract idea such as size and color. Given hands-one experience, the child's mind grasps the idea inherent in the material and forms an abstraction. Only as the child develops, is she gradually able to comprehend the same idea in symbolic form." It is essential that the child has the concept of the operation that he is about to memorize (see previous math connection post for reference to mathematical mind/sequence of presentation of materials).
Through these didactic materials (sensorial and mathematical), which are materials intended to teach: the child is constantly called upon to concentrate, reason, repeat, explore, discover, think critically, move, challenge and create. We spoke about 'materialized abstractions' and how the child creates an ability to seek out his answers and becomes a free thinker. If the child is able to make his own discoveries, he will always find the basic principles for himself and is liberated. How ecstatic the child must feel when he is able to solve an equation that he has devised himself! Montessori math is memorization, it is concrete, it is abstract, but most of all - it is imagination on part of the child through deducing - it is driven and comprehended.
"Math is the music of reason" -James Joseph Sylvester
Each update I compose, it is always temping to say "wow, we had the two busiest weeks of the year!" However, I quickly remind myself that we are always busy. We have never-ending breakthroughs happening inside of the classroom and we are beyond fortunate to have such a fun group of parents and staff on the outside that there is regularly something in the works. With that being said, the past two weeks flew by! Thank you for all who attended our Roots and Wings Charity event, we were astounded by the generosity of the families and had a total blast!!! Each contribution will make a difference in a child's education, Ms. Yadira and I feel completely humbled to be a part of this opportunity.
"We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once." -Friedrich Nietzshe
As the year unwinds, we begin to say farewell to some of the children who will leave early for summer vacation. Also, our Kindergarteners have been visiting the Coyote Lower Elementary class to become familiarized with the routine, meet new friends and learn about the daily life in their soon to be new community. As sad as it will be for us to watch our 'big brothers and sisters' in our environment move on, it is empowering to those who upcoming third-years to fill the shoes as the elders in our class. We will miss all seven of you dearly but are comforted to know that you'll be right next door!
It has been such a pleasure to have met with some of you for conferences, I am looking forward to meeting with the rest of you over the next two weeks. Your positive feedback and questions are extremely helpful.
During our classroom meeting, I announced some delightful news regarding Ms. Yadira! She is expecting her second child! Congratulations!!!!!
"And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same." -Nelson Mandela
Miss Lauren and Ms. Yadira