We had a wonderful end to the semester at COLCMS. Our Christmas play was a lot of fun and the children did a great job learning their lines and songs. They loved being able to share with you the story of Christ's birth.
Back in November, we hosted our annual Family Day celebration. This is a special day at school when family and friends are invited into the classroom to see what the children have been working on. The children also help put on a simple Thanksgiving chapel and make soup to share afterwards. The soup was delicious as always! With the help of COL Church, we also collected 2 huge buckets of food for our neighbors through MUST ministires. We also had a book fair with Usborne Books, which helped us get over $500 of new books for our library.
Fall was a busy time, but of course we were also working on so many areas of development in the classrooms! Pictured below are some activities form the Math area. The first picture is of an activity that introduces the pattern of odd and even numbers. The second picture is forming large numbers with golden beads, and the last picture is making sums of 10 using the number rods. All of these materials allow the child to experience a concrete number before using the symbol for the number.
The photos below show children using materials from the Sensorial area of the classroom. From birth, the brain takes in thousands of impressions of color, size, depth, shape, etc. The purpose of this area is to organize those impressions to make them more clear to the child's mind. Many activities are also an indirect preparation for later math work.
The first row shows the trinomial cube, which is a 3D puzzle that allows the child to sensorially experience the trinomial equation. (Intrigued? Check out this video on YouTube) The second photo shows the Color Box 2, where the child is working with matching and naming colors.
In the next row, you see the Pink Tower, a classic Montessori material. What appears to be simple to an adult is surprisingly challenging the first time it's introduced to a three year old! The boy working with the triangles is experiencing that all linear shapes are made from triangles.
In the last row, H. is working with the Geometry Cabinet. He is experiencing the shapes by tracing them. Finally, J. is exploring relationships between height, width, and depth with the knobless cylinders.
The children pictured below are working in the Practical Life area. This is the place that all the work in the Montessori classroom begins. Here, children learn life skills including how to care for self and how to care for the environment.
There is so much that goes into these seemingly simple exercises: muscle strength, concentration, problem solving, sequencing, language, and development of will. All of these skills are vital to building a strong foundation for later academic work.
We have had a lot of Geography work going on in the Primary classroom as well. The material used for this activity is called 'Puzzle Maps' and we have one map that is for all the continents, then one map for each continent, and one for the United States.
Once the child has mastered putting the map together, they start to make their own maps by tracing the pieces and filling them in with paint. What a great way to blend Language and Geography. Who knows, the teacher might even tell some cultural stories to really bring these countries to life...
Finally, there has been a lot of important work happening in the Language area. The first two photos are phonetic reading done with flashcards and matching small objects to corresponding labels.
Three students are shown using the moveable alphabet, which is a material that allows the child to 'write' before her hand is physically ready. This is perhaps the first time the child has experienced putting her thoughts into words! It's very exciting and fascinating what the children choose to write. Spelling the words correctly is not the goal here, but rather to hear the different sounds that make up words. You will see lots of phonetic spelling.
The girl in the third picture is working with Language Cards. She is playing a game where she names many different types of insects.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into our school over the past few months! Thank you for taking the time to read it. We hope you had a wonderful Christmas season and wish you a very Happy New Year!
We are an AMI accredited Montessori school growing daily in spirit & intellect!