Tuesday, September 30, 2008

hanging around on the playground

H.K., A.T., T.K., L.Z. (not yet in our class), M.L. and A.N having a blast on a beautiful day.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Solving division problems with the Division Board is usually a popular activity. With this material a child can divide one and two digit dividends by up to nine divisors. Skittles are used for the divisors and beads are used for the dividends. It is easy and entertaining for a child to see when the beads are shared equally among the skittles and when there is a remainder. We often are besieged with two or three children happily pleading "I want to do division".

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Bank Game

As in all Montessori classrooms, the range of math materials the children use is wide. But all of the math concepts and procedures are taught through handling the special materials designed about one hundred years ago by Maria Montessori. They count beads to solve simple addition, subtraction and multiplication problems. They use the division board to solve simple division problems. The Seguin boards show the children the base ten system in our teen and double digit numbers.
The bank game, pictured above, shows the relationships between the units, tens, hundreds and thousands. Eventually many of the children will use the thousand cubes, hundred squares, ten bars and units of the bank game to solve simple and long math problems. When I was a child, I learned to do long addition through memorizing the trick of working from right to left, placing the right digit of a 2 digit answer under the problem's line and carrying the left digit into the next line of numbers to add. It worked, but children do much better when, through the use of the Montessori materials, they discover and understand why.
I'll follow this, soon, showing you the division board and the Seguin boards.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

How was your day?

Many children give no more than a one word answer to this question. Not much to satisfy a parent's curiosity about their child's day in school. Here's an idea and some questions to ask to get your child to "spill the beans" on his/her daily activities.

View this blog together, discussing the pictures and who might be in them.

Ask any or a few of these and your own questions:

Was anything funny today?
Did you help anyone today? Who? How?
Did anyone help you?
Who did you work with today?
Who did you play with?
Did you learn something new today?
What choices did you make today?
Did anything surprise you today?
Was anything challenging for you today?
Did you discover anything today?
What questions were you asked today? How did you answer?
What problems did you solve today?
Can you draw a picture or make up a song about something you did in school today?

If you have any other good ideas to share with fellow parents please share them in a comment.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

spider webs

First the children paint the ground, stems and grasses, then they paste on flower petals, a yarn web, 8 spider legs and a pom-pom head and spider body. Here are a few of the resulting spider web pictures. They certainly have brightened up these rainy days.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Is it even, or is it odd?

Here is S.S. with her completed Cards and Counters work. It drew the attention of several of her classmates. Quite a few opened new tablets to list numbers under even or odd headings. Children are reviewing and moving forward with new material. Most are learning the routine of a new classroom, having snack, choosing activities and helping to keep their room and materials neat and orderly.
Remember, to see any image larger, just click on it. And don't forget the PODS meeting on Monday 7 to 8 P.M.