The Afternoon Class is an extended learning period for our children ages 5 and 6 years. During the time after lunch, the children are able to delve deeper into some of the classroom work. On this day, they were doing a special activity learning about the differences between mammals and reptiles.
The children enjoy working in small groups. Working together provides plenty of opportunity for practicing social skills and navigating relationships. Problem solving with others is a skill that will be needed throughout the one's life.
The children also worked on Geography using the puzzle map of Europe. We have one map for each continent and one for the United States. The puzzle maps are a great example of how a material can be expanded upon. The younger child might do the puzzle and compare it to the globe, an older child can write the names of the countries and read and write about them.
The afternoon children work with math materials, moving from the concrete beads to more abstract activities. We say the child has abstracted the concept when she has memorized it and can apply it to other ideas. The earliest math materials work with numbers 1-10, and the later activities allow the child to manipulate large numbers and understand the hierarchy and mathematical language of numbers.
Very rich language work takes place in the afternoon class. In addition to practicing writing and reading, the children study the way our language works. They learn about the word that tells you 'what' (the adjective), 'the action word' (verb), and 'how' (adverb). They cut apart sentences and read them out of order and in order to understand sentence structure. For example 'The children laughed' can be moved out of order to say 'Laughed the children'. We talk about which sentence makes sense, and which sentence means the same thing. It is very interesting to experience language this way, and it leads to a deeper understanding of spoken and written word.
More in depth studies of art, music, and geography may also take place in the afternoon. It is a wonderful time to learn more about any subject!
"Free the child's potential and you will free the world" -Maria Montessori
Many thanks to Meg Porter of Meg Porter Photography and Meg and Kate Weddings for the images in this post.
We are an AMI accredited Montessori school growing daily in spirit & intellect!