Early Childhood – Geometric Cabinet

Early Childhood-Geometric Cabinet

The Geometry Cabinet is part of the Sensorial area of a Montessori classroom. It is used to further develop the child’s visual and tactile senses in the discrimination of shape and form.

There are several purposes to this work.The first is to expose the child to a variety of geometric shapes and to help him discern the differences between them. He will begin to notice the finer differences of the shapes as he compares similar figures. As the child works with this material, we find that he begins to see the world around him differently. He will start to see the geometric shapes that surround him in his everyday life! Often as the child works with the shapes, the teacher is giving him the names for each in the form of a fun language game we call the Three-Period Lesson. The names of the shapes are important because once he knows their names, he can identify them as they are spontaneously observed and he will be able to communicate about them.

Another purpose of this material is the absorption of the geometric figures. As this material is presented, the child is shown to remove and trace around each shape with his fingers. For the young child, this kind of movement is irresistible! As he repeatedly traces the shapes, he develops a muscle memory of each one. He comes to know the shape by not just sight, but by touch. In the Montessori classroom, you can find children removing and replacing six or more shapes in one sitting while wearing a blindfold.

The last purpose is that of an indirect preparation for handwriting. Each shape inset has a knob that the child engages a three finger grip to grasp. This grasp is the same used to hold a pencil. Through his repeated removal and replacement of the shape, his fingers are being prepared for the correct pencil grip. As his fingers trace the contours of the shapes, he is not only controlling the muscles of the hand, but developing a firmness of touch. This will again help him as begins to learn to write. We find that this type of indirect preparation lends to much success as the child begins working with a pencil.

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Toddler – Practical Life

Toddler - Setting the Table
The exercises in the Practical Life area reflect Montessori’s concept of “an education for life” as the child develops practical skills necessary to gain mastery over his actions and he learns to use the common objects of daily life.By engaging in real activities and using real objects with purposeful ends, the child develops real abilities, which give him independence and control of his life. It also helps the child adapt to his environment, as he must follow the social norms and culturally specific methods that govern its care. This gives the child a sense of belonging and order.
 
By engaging in these activities, the child learns to focus his attention for the entirety of an activity and upon completion, has a deep sense of fulfillment. Therefore, the aim of these activities is not only practical but also developmental. Through these activities, the child to develops concentration, independence, co-ordination of movement, inner discipline and independence. This inevitably prepares for the physical, intellectual, cultural, and social life of the individual.
 
In the first children’s houses, she observed that the children, when given an option, usually preferred real activities over imaginary ones. They liked making a real contribution to the care of their environment.
 
Though the child may be conscious of helping, she will be unconscious of the personal growth that comes about through doing an orderly and meaningful task.
 
#handsonlearning #practicallife #preparationforlife #tma #montessori #privateschool #arlingtontx #arlington #texas #infant #nido #toddler #earlychildhood #preschool #kindergarten #elementary #education #privateeducation #themontessoriacademy #themontessoriacademyofarlington

Early Childhood: Word Building with the Moveable Alphabet

Early Childhood Language

Our Montessori classroom is rich with language, from the casual conversations children enjoy between friends and teachers to the formal lessons in decoding, reading, and writing.

Our language materials are quite simple; early materials introduce children to phonetic sounds while later materials build upon those sounds to put together simple words.

The Moveable Alphabet is an early example of word-building, supporting the child as he or she begins the arduous tasks of deconstructing ideas into the individual letters that comprise their names. Children begin with accessible, three-letter phonetic words, sounding out each comprising part, identifying the letter in the box of moveable letters, and placing it in its appropriate place on the mat or table.

By beginning with just three letter words, children are able to see patterns in their own world-building: consonants often precede vowels and vowels are usually followed by a second consonant. Building words with the moveable alphabet pieces allows children to focus on the word rather than the formation of the letter shape with a pencil, so a child’s understanding of word construction isn’t limited by his or her fine motor control. As throughout our materials, even these alphabets focus on only the skill the child is learning, isolating that concept so that it can be fully mastered.

Early Childhood Language
Early Childhood Language
Early Childhood Language
Early Childhood Language

Early Childhood – Mirror Polishing

Early Childhood Polishing
Concentration is a skill that needs practice to improve and develop. Montessori classrooms provide an environment that offers the time and opportunity to practice deep concentration. The uninterrupted work period enables the children to focus on a task for as long as they wish without an adult-imposed schedule. The adult in the environment is cautious not to interrupt and break the children’s concentration. As the ability to concentrate improves, the children also develop better self-control and self-regulation.
 
“When the children had completed an absorbing bit of work, they appeared rested and deeply pleased.”
—Maria Montessori
 
#practicallife #engaged #handsonlearning #focus #concentration #tma #privateschool #arlingtontx #arlington #texas #infant #nido #toddler #earlychildhood #preschool #kindergarten #elementary #education #privateeducation #themontessoriacademy #themontessoriacademyofarlington

Early Childhood – What are the Binomial and Trinomial Cubes?

Early Childhood Binomial Cube
The binomial cube, when first introduced to the child, is presented as a challenging, three-dimensional puzzle. The cube is made up of a number of colored blocks, which fit together in a specific way. Assembling it uses a child’s fine-motor skills and requires the ability to discriminate between the blocks based on multiple characteristics. Unlike Montessori’s iconic pink tower, for example, the binomial cube does not isolate only one quality. Some blocks have one color, others have two. Some blocks are cubes, while others are rectangular prisms. While the pink tower blocks vary only in size, the binomial cube’s blocks vary in color, size, and shape! This makes the binomial cube a more complex sensorial material, and it requires organized thinking to master. The binomial cube’s big brother, the trinomial cube, is a child’s more complex next step.
Like other sensorial materials, the binomial and trinomial cubes are self correcting: when properly assembled, the blocks form a cube that fits perfectly inside of its wooden box! Even if the cube is built outside of its box, visual cues alert the child to any errors they might have made.
 
Children return to the cubes time after time, manipulating them with a focused sense of purpose. After a child has mastered building the binomial or trinomial cube inside of the box, he may then try building it outside of the box, or building each layer separately in order to observe similarities in patterns. Over time, the child’s familiarity with the cube’s physical aspects will lead to an internalized understanding of the abstract concepts the cube represents. #concretetoabstract #handsonlearning #binomialcube #trinomialcube #sensorial #preparationformath #tma #montessori #privateschool #arlingtontx #arlington #texas #infant #nido #toddler #earlychildhood #kindergarten #elementary #education #privateeducation #themontessoriacademy #themontessoriacademyofarlington

Early Childhood – Bank Game

Early Childhood Bank Game, The Montessori Academy of Arlington, Private School Arlington TX

Early Childhood – Bank Game

The Montessori materials share certain qualities: they are hands-on, beautiful, and self-correcting. They isolate concepts to be explored and they allow children to understand independently whether they have done the work “correctly.” Many of the materials also include implicit lessons, concepts that are consistently applied in the design of the lessons such that certain relationships are internalized for children before they are ever explicitly taught.
 
For example, the materials throughout the Sensorial area are presented in series of tens, in which each cylinder or cube or prism differs from its neighbor by a value of ten and in which there are ten of any of those pieces. The Pink Tower, for example, is a series of cubes from 1cm in width to 10cms in width, with each cube 1/10th smaller than its larger neighbor. This orderly internalization of the relationships of tens is an implicit foundation for the Base Ten system, the relationships of numbers in our most commonly used number system. Children learn that units can be counted up to 9, but that once you have counted the tenth of a series, you are working with a new kind of set. Whether you are counting units or tens or hundreds or thousands, you can only count 9 of those things before you have to bump up to the next kind. Nine units plus one equals one ten. Nine tens plus one ten equals one hundred, and so on.
 
Working with larger numbers, then, is far more manageable for young children in our classrooms. We know they are motivated to operate large numbers (just ask your child how many jelly beans he or she thinks are appropriate for dessert- you are likely to hear something like, “One majillion and eighteen.”) The Golden Beads, then, allow children to combine their internalized understanding of the Base Ten system with materials that let them count very very high. The result is work with naturally motivating materials that supports their developing understanding of numeracy and mathematical operations.
#sensorial #math #handsonlearning #alwayslearning #tma #montessori #privateschool #arlingtontx #arlington #texas #infant #nido #toddler #earlychildhood #preschool #kindergarten #elementary #education #privateeducation

Education for parents too!

Learning about the oceans

Does this sound familiar?

Parent, “What did you do in school today?”

Child, “I don’t remember.” or, “Nothing.”

If you are like most parents, you have had this same conversation with your child day after day. Try using one of these “lead-ins” instead and see if you receive a more informative response.

  • What was the best/worst thing that happened at school today?
  • Tell me something that made you laugh today.
  • How did you help someone today?
  • How did somebody help you today?
  • When were you the happiest/saddest today?
  • Tell me one thing that you learned today.
  • Who would you like to play with at recess that you’ve never played with before?
  • Tell me something good that happened today.
  • What word did your teacher say the most today?
  • What do you think you should get to do more of at school?
  • What do you think you should do less of at school?
  • Who in your class do you think you could be nicer to?
  • Where (what) do you play the most at recess?
  • Who is the funniest person in your class? Why is he/she so funny?
  • What was your favorite part of lunch (or snack)?
  • If you got to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you do?
  • Tell me about 2 different times that you used a pencil (paint brush, crayon, etc.) today?

If you ask questions like these, you may hear about great work like this!

Phonograms, The Montessori Academy of Arlington, Private School Arlington TX