Montessori Newsletter 15
This newsletter is brought to you by the bug of the month, classroom ideas, baby’s first classroom, “Music for Moppets” and your questions answered-
Hello Everyone, School started last week in Colorado. If you are homeschooling, I am sure the learning never stops! Here a great homeschooling site you might want to check out
It covers everything from “A to Z”.
The bug of the month-The Great Grasshopper-
Grasshoppers are plentiful this time of year. By catching a few grasshoppers you can study their special adaptations for living in your ecosystem. We live in sandy/desert area and the grasshoppers have special adaptive shovel like “feet”. The grasshoppers used these adaptive shovels to cover themselves with sand during the heat of the day. Also, we noticed their eye’s popping out of the sand. These grasshoppers had eyes on the top of their heads so they could cover up their bodies completely to keep cool in the scorching heat and sun.
Here are some facts and links about grasshoppers:
Five Facts about grasshoppers-
- Grasshoppers have an exoskeleton-it’s like their bones are on the outside of their body.
- They have 6 legs.
- Their body is divided into 3 sections.
- Some grasshoppers spit.
- They make sounds by rubbing their legs or their wings together.
Here is a simple and easy to make bug barn-
Preparing your classroom
It’s easy to start off with a little corner in the kitchen as you child becomes a toddler
You can grow into more space as your child develops. It’s also important to cycle your child’s toys and activities as they outgrow them. Less is more when you provide a Montessori classroom. The stimulation comes from the child’s curiosity and desire to learn and having the materials for them to learn and explore.
“Music for Moppets”-
The piano is a great way to introduce music to your child. We used the Robert Pace method
This approach is very hands on, and also teaches music theory and concepts. My children started the program between the ages of 4 and 5. It was easy to use and the children were encouraged to create music as well. The Pace Method is very in touch with the development and potential of the preschool child, very Montessori in its approach. I highly recommend it. It’s wonderful for grade school children too.
Baby’s first classroom-
Actually, your baby’s first classroom is his/her crib, playpen or play area. After the first month, your baby will
enjoy looking at something as simple as a red balloon. Adding mobiles and/or wind chimes will give your baby pleasure as he/she grows. I used a musical mobile and the sound was very soothing for my babies. Next provide a play center or busy box with knobs, bells, levers, and so on. Babies even love a nearby mirror to look at themselves. Your baby’s blankets can be made of different textures, or you can rotate different textured blankets. Even a terry cloth towel gives a different tactile experience. Use your baby book to jot down observations of your baby and provide safe and stimulating experiences for your dynamic little friend.
“What did Dr. Montessori do with new students when they were past the sensorial age? Did she start from the beginning or skip the sensorial education?”
Dr. Montessori writes in “The Advanced Montessori Method, Volume 1” that she had a 5 year old boy who started in her class several years later than her other students. What she noticed is that this child participated in classroom activities at his particular level of development. In this case, he did the number rods first, however, Montessori observed that the student then did the red rods, brown stair and pink tower. She noted that older children did work on the sensorial material, only in an inverse order to the normal pattern. I found this to be true when I had older children join the classroom. They worked at their level in the beginning, but later on worked backwards with the sensorial and practical life activities.
“How does the child progress in mathematics from concrete to abstract?”
Concrete math uses apparatus or manipulatives to teach math in a sensory way. Differentiating between large and small objects, sorting from small to large and large to small, learning about patterns and sequence, geometric shapes, counting, and so on are learned at the concrete level. The sensorial equipment also leads to concrete math apparatus, such as the number rods, spindle
boxes, and numerals and counters. The Golden Bead Material
is then introduced to bridge the concrete level of math to the abstract level math.
After going through this concrete process, a child starts to do mental math. Some children may be able to apply what they have learned to other problem solving situations as well. They can add numbers in their head, understand the basic concepts of math; they understand that numerals represent quantities.
If a child is given concrete math readiness materials during the sensitive preschool years, the ability for math abstraction is even greater when a child starts to think at this higher level. This abstract age often begins around the age of 6.
Here are some math concepts children can do when they can abstract:
- Negative Numbers
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Dinosaurs and Rocks