The first two weeks in a Montessori Elementary Classroom are typically spent sharing time between working and team building. As many of you have seen in your own children, the Second Plane of Development (ages 6-12) is a time of great interest in social interaction. Dr. Montessori recognized this time as a crucial period for learning how to interact with others personally and professionally, and believed this should be valued and nurtured just as much as academic development. This first week we have explored Montessori’s Great Lessons about the coming of the universe, life, humans, and language. We have reviewed some of our skills from last year, have had returning students explain new Elementary work to first year students, and have learned how to communicate as a team!
This student is working to read numbers on our Checkerboard. The Checkerboard is a Montessori Math Material that allows students to multiply up to a nine-digit multiplicand by up to a four-digit multiplier. Each square on the Checkerboard represents a certain place value. After this student is comfortable reading numbers into the hundred millions, he will beginning multiplying using our Montessori Bead Bars. The Checkerboard will allow him to practice his multiplication facts and feel confident in place value before abstractly multiplying on paper.
Montessori designed the Great Lessons to capture the imagination of the Elementary child. These lessons give a broad introduction to the concepts students will study in detail throughout their time in Elementary. We begin with the largest idea (the universe) and move into stories about the beginning of language and numbers. It is a right of passage for Upper Elementary students to take part in presenting this information to their younger peers.
These students are demonstrating a playground conflict. Students split into three groups and shared the right and wrong way to handle different situations in the classroom, on the playground, or at home. We practiced using our Conflict Resolution Card which helps students independently work through disagreements at school by using “I-Messages” and coming up with a solution together. Using student skits and teacher modeling is a large part of introducing and reminding students of rules and routines.
One of our team building activities was called “Perimeter Pass.” Students had to pass a ball, using only their legs, to the child on their right. Once a child passed the ball, they had to run to the end of the line to wait for their next turn. Students had to communicate to the person next to them in order to be successful. These activities build community and leadership skills that are necessary at school and at home. Our students made it completely around the gym!
A Peek into Next Week
Next week we will be finishing up our Great Lessons and learning about their supplementary lessons like “The Story of Geometry,” which discusses how the rope stretchers of Ancient Egypt used right-angled triangles to section off property around the Nile. We will be diving into new lessons and Reading Group. Students will also have their Spelling Assessment.
Reminder: There is NO SCHOOL Monday for Labor Day.