Music Lessons with Ms. Marlie

A few of our primary friends got to experience the musical talent of Ms. Marlie today! Sharing our passion with our students is a wonderful thing!trumpet_2We got to listen to the different notes and scales produced by the trumpet, and feel it’s brassy exterior as the sound vibrated through the horn. We learned how a “mute” works by making the sound softer. Ms. Marlie showed us how to assemble and disassemble the instrument, and how to properly clean and care for all of its parts.trumpet_3A child’s curiosity is a beautiful thing! I see a few musicians in the making!

The Mysterious Trinomial Cube

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Today, we’re going to highlight on one of our students’ favorite works; the trinomial cube. There’s real beauty behind the intricate details of this mathematical work, details that are hard to notice at first glance.

The direct aim of this work is rather obvious; to build a puzzle in a box. The indirect aim, an introduction to algebra and preparation for the formula a+b+c³. DSC_0349 (1)

The child approaches the box with curiosity. It’s elegant details can spark the interest of anyone. Children are inherently captivated by mathematical materials. The colors, the difference is sizes and heights…”Why these specific colors?”, “Why do they fit together like that?”…DSC_0343

While there are many hidden lessons in this puzzle, the child is actively working towards building a concrete foundation for the abstract nature of the formulation, which they will later expand upon. The puzzle helps the child grasp the concept of a+b+c³ at such a young age, rather than simply memorizing the formula.

Through the child’s discovery, they come to unlock the intricate layers of the trinomial cube.DSC_0356 (1)

To begin, the guide carefully opens the box, and lays out all of the pieces, organizing them in different manners. With little, to no words, she places the cubes upon the lid, pairing the colors to one another. Each layer is placed in the box upon completion. The child is then invited to do the work on their own. There are many variations of the trinomial cube that call upon the child’s creativity, imagination and critical thinking.

“These small objects fascinate a child. He must first of all group them according to their color, then arrange them in various ways, making up a kind of little story, in which the three cubes are three kings, each one having a retinue identical to that of the other two, the guards being dressed in black. Many effects can be obtained through the use of this material…when playing with this material, a child forms a visual image of the arrangement of the objects and can thus remember their quantity and order. The sense impressions received from these objects furnish material for the mind. No object is so attractive for four-year-old children. Later on, by calling the kinds a, b, c, and writing the names of the separate pieces according to their dependence upon their own king, five-year-old children, and certainly six-year-olds, can store up in their minds the algebraic formula for the cube of a trinomial without looking at the material, since they have fixed in their visual memory the disposition of the various objects. This gives some idea of the possibilities that can be attained in practice.” (Montessori, The Discovery of the Child)

To see the lesson in full, click on the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEZnNFxsnS8#t=13

Parent Discovery Session: “Third Year Montessori”

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“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” – Jane D Hull

We had a great turn out for last night’s Discovery Session, “See. Experience. Believe. Third-Year Montessori.” Families from all our classrooms came to witness our senior primary students presenting lessons in the classroom. Our friends were very excited to display works that they’ve been practicing for many months now! This was truly an enlightening, informative night!

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One of our friends showing the short chain of 1-5 to her parents. The beads allow the child to visually see number quantities, and skip count (3…6…9…and so forth). This is an important step in learning enumeration; a lesson that is taught all throughout their three-year primary cycle. It was so neat to witness our young friend teach her mom and dad this special lesson!

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Everything the child learns as a young infant, prepares them for works such as this. When they first enter the primary community at age 3, they’re given the opportunity to explore and discover their new community. The second year is a time of solidification, further refining these new-found skills. And the third year (5-6 years old) is a time for application. Each lesson builds upon itself, ultimately preparing the child for the last year in our primary community.

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I practiced for such a long time on the Map of Europe. My muscle memory allowed me to do the entire puzzle off the board, and without a control chart. I was so happy to include my mom and dad in this work!

Thank you, parents, for supporting your young ones, and being a big part of their educational development!

Exploring the Senses: Ice

Never miss an opportunity to explore the senses!

Today’s random ice storm presented quite a few challenges for the school, but amongst the chaos, came wonderful, spontaneous learning opportunities for the students. We heard thunder first, then slight rain, and then all of a sudden…HAIL! Some of the teachers were brave enough to venture outside and gather a bucket full of ice to share with their students. We discussed how hail is formed, felt its texture, how cold it was, learned how fast it melted, and explored different shapes and manipulations of the ice when compressed in your hands. Our toddlers enjoyed the sound of the ice as it “crunched” in between their fingers. The crunchy, squishy, cold sensation was very enjoyable! (A few suggested we even make snow cones!)

How neat it is to hold frozen rain in our hands!

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“Nothing comes to the intellect that is not first in the senses” – Dr. Maria Montessori

Fire Truck Visit: National Fire Prevention Week

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We had a surprise visit from the Fire Truck last Friday, during the conclusion of National Fire Prevention Week. Our young friends had the opportunity to sit inside the firetruck, and discover the many tools, buttons and sounds that a firetruck makes. Fun Fact: did you know that a fire truck holds over 500 gallons of water?! That’s amazing!
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We learned not be afraid of fire-fighters when they come to rescue us in a house fire. Even though they wear a big mask, and their air tank is loud, they’re there to help us!

If we see a fire, we always call 9-1-1. And of course, our friends had fun practicing the “stop, drop, roll” tactic whenever our clothes catch on fire.
Fire Truck_2We listened and waited patiently as the firemen explained the process of putting out a house fire, and the many tools they use in order to efficiently complete the job.Fire Truck_1Fire Truck_3Even the littlest of our friends enjoyed a sneak peak at the fire truck during their morning stroll outside.

It’s important to always be prepared in the event there is a house fire that requires emergency evacuation. For tips on how to incorporate fire safety and prevention in your home, visit the links below:

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/home-fire
http://www.nsc.org/safety_home/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Pages/Fire.aspx

Special thanks to the City of Plano Fire Department for taking the time to visit our school and educate our students on fire safety and prevention!