March and April 2014
Age 4, matching colors and learning corresponding color names. This is the first of three 'color boxes.' Color boxes are part of the Sensorial Area of the curriculum. From birth, the child has been taking in thousands of impressions. Certainly, she has seen these colors before, but the beauty of the Sensorial Area is that it isolates particular qualities of the impressions the child absorbs. Color, size, depth, width, height, tone, weight and temperature are all qualities isolated by the materials in the Sensorial Area.
Age 3, practicing fine motor skills and making patterns with bead stringing.
These girls are 5 years old and are playing 'the addition game' with Ms. Claire. They each get a specifc number of beads (the teacher gives them special cards so they know how many to get), then the beads are all combined in the blanket to give the idea that addition results from putting numbers together. The new number of combined beads is re-counted and a new set of cards is placed on the rug. The teacher finishes the game by telling a little story of what they just did. 'Sally got 1,242 lollipops and Jenny got 2,321 lollipops. They put them all together and they had 3,563 lollipops! They had to make sure they brushed their teeth that night!' She tells this story with drama, humor and flourish. The children love it and at the same time are getting a concrete example of what addition is!
These 4 year old friends are working on a puzzle map of South America. They are learning the geography of the country with the puzzle pieces, and the control map (black and white) helps them learn the names. It's a little known fact that on the Neinhuis puzzles, the knob of each piece is in the capitol of that particular country or state.
Embroidery has been very popular lately, and the children have discovered they can combine their embroidery squares to make a pillow! These girls are almost 6 and 5 1/2.
Someone asked if boys were allowed to sew. The answer is a rebounding 'yes'! Sewing is for everyone! The hand strength, concentration, attention to detail, and focus that children build through embroidery will aid them throughout their school years.
Working with the button frame, this 3 year old is not only learning to care for himself, but is refining fine motor skills and working independently after making a free choice. Choice in the Montessori classroom is within a frame of limits - children can choose what they will work on from a repertoire of activities they have been shown how to use by the teacher. He is free to work as that material as long as he wishes, helping to build concentration and self-reliance.
This 3 year old is making a collage from various papers, textures, and string. Throughout the year, the teacher shares 'art folders' with the children. Each folder has a selection of various artists, styles of art, and periods of art. Along with the art pictured, the teacher will often weave in a cultural story and perhaps even a Geography lesson!
Age 4.5, working on Metal Insects. Even though this material allows children to make intricate and beautiful artistic designs, it is actually part of the Language Area. The practice children get holding a pencil, tracing, and refining their writing skills helps to prepare the hand for hand writing. Control, lightness of touch, and ability to adjust the writing to the size of the available paper are all skills honed with Metal Insets.
Age 5 1/2, this boy has traced each puzzle piece of the USA Puzzle Map and colored every state. As the final step, he is writing the name of each state using the control map. This exercise combines geography, language, handwriting and art.
Polishing is an important part of the Practical Life area of the classroom. Practical Life is essential to preparing the children for later academic work. Through these exercises they learn logical thought, the sequence of a successful exercise, left to right motion, independence, and self-reliance. Additionally, they strengthen their hand, refine their movements, and make a positive contribution to the community.
Age 4 1/2, this girl is working on the phonetic object box. An early reading exercise, this activity is about matching labels to corresponding phonetic objects. The objects aid the child in sounding out the label.
Age 4 1/2 this girl is working with some flash cards. Each one has a phonetic word and she can't believe how many she knows!
There are so many different areas of the Primary Montessori curriculum. It is wonderful to see how they all inter-connect and help lead the child to independence!
We are an AMI accredited Montessori school growing daily in spirit & intellect!