Ms. Jayna and Ms. Sarah hosted the annual Primary Coffee Chat in the Lower Elementary Environment so the 3-6 friends could work in their environment undisturbed. We were welcomed by Ms. Amanda as well as Mr. Kurt Hine of the Parent Social Organization. Mr. Kurt offered helpful tips for new parents and explained the purpose of the PSO.
The topic this year was “Mathematics”. We began the presentation with a brief introduction about Maria Montessori’s design of the Primary Environment. The areas of the Environment include Practical Life, Sensorial, Language and Math. Exercises in Practical Life and Sensorial prepare the natural Mathematical Mind of the child. Dr. Montessori felt that humans have a Mathematical Mind! Geometry is in nature. Shapes compose the basis for science and technology.
It is through activity that the child constructs himself and develops knowledge. The ages of 3-6 are the optimal ages for the child to discover through experiences. His intelligence is awakened as he absorbs ideas and concepts touching and manipulating the Montessori materials.
We offer active experiences in the area of Mathematics. The child makes his own abstractions. He works with the concrete materials as he prepares the foundation which his conscious mind will use later.
We feel it is beneficial for parents to actually see and manipulate the materials just as the children do! Ms. Sarah brought over some of the key mathematics materials for parents to work with. She talked about the very beginning of learning how to count our “3” pieces of snack. She explained about “Numbers 1-10” and gave a presentation using the Number Rods and Cards. As the material becomes more abstract we offered “The Stamp Game” and “Bead Frame” for participants to use to work operations of numbers; addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Having the Decimal System Material available to touch, feel and manipulate helped parents understand the complexity and importance of this “materialized abstraction”. The parents were able to also clearly see how the “Bank Game Material” and the “Bead Frame” really had the same objective, although the “Bead Frame” was much more abstract.
Ms. Sarah also talked about other areas within the mathematics curriculum of the Primary class. Linear counting, memorization activities and passage to abstraction were explained.
Parents were enthralled with the materials as they attempted to use them for a mathematical operation.
We are pleased to share the Montessori materials and philosophy with parents!