Mighty, mighty powers of observation

As superpowers go, you might think that employing the powers of observation are not as cool as say, swinging from spiderwebs cast from your wrists, but for thousands of years, regular people have been making amazing discoveries by simply observing a change. Alexander Fleming made a mistake when the bacteria he was growing on a Petri dish got contaminated by what he called “mold juice.” He observed that the bacteria didn’t grow up close to the “juice.” This “contaminant,” named penicillin, prevented bacterial growth and has saved millions of people from succumbing to bacterial infections. New School Montessori children are …

From concrete to abstract, students learn math with hands-on materials

New School Preprimary students develop a concrete understanding of math by using hands-on Montessori materials to explore the base-ten number system, relationships between numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and even beginning algebra. Students also learn to recognize and write numerals by tracing sandpaper numbers with their fingers, writing them with a pencil and placing numbers in the proper order.

Students teaching students

New School Montessori 6th graders set up their white board outside on the Ginkgo House deck one warm day to teach factorization to the 4th grade students.  One of the tenets of a Montessori education is the multi-age classroom which provides opportunities for children to practice leadership skills, enjoy advanced and challenging work and to mentor other students.   Listed below is what Wikipedia had to say about factorization. As for me, I d prefer to have a New School 6th grader there to present it and answer all my questions. 3 × 5 is a factorization of the integer 15, and (x – 2)(x + 2) is a …

Students paint journal covers for their written work

New School Montessori students in 1st-3rd grade are painting what will become the covers of their new journals. Each week they receive journal prompts and need a place to gather their creative works in one place. Students were encouraged to paint pictures or designs that represented them, their interests, or provided inspiration for their writing.

Preprimary students are taking mathematics to the “bank”

Just as you might hand a bank teller a check written out for $4,726 and expect cash money equal to that amount in return, New School Montessori preprimary teachers hand students 4 “checks” on nameplates with red painted numbers on them:   One is written for 4,000 beads, one for 700, another for 20 and the last one for 6. The student serves as the teller and brings back 4 bead blocks of 1,000 each saying, “Here are 4 thousands.” Then she moves on to the next request for 7 hundreds, 2 tens, and finally 6 individual beads to create …

Cartography and sewing collide in one glorious project!

Kindergartners in the North Room have made and sewn double-sided globe pillows and can decide every night where in the world they want to lay their heads. Preprimary students have been practicing sewing and map-making skills for years. In this project, they have combined both interests into one amazing project. They were very pleased with their work!

Warm days of recess replaced with colder days

One of the phrases many Montessori teachers say again and again  is that there are no bad weather days, as long as you have the proper clothing.  And for the most part, New School Montessori students get to enjoy the outdoors every day. It’s hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago, students were pictured playing outside without coats, and now they are bundled up for winter fun as they create snowmen, snowballs, slip, slide and play on the playground equipment.

Montessori children can “write” before they can write

Forming easily recognizable letters with a pencil requires years of practice — and many of us still struggle to achieve more legible handwriting. To remedy this, and to put written language into the hands of children as soon as possible, Dr. Maria Montessori created the *moveable alphabet and taught children the sounds of letters so they could communicate their thoughts in writing much earlier than they physically were able to write. While working all the while on hand-eye coordination, small-muscle strengthening and practice writing with pencils, New School Montessori preprimary students delight in communicating their thoughts using the moveable alphabet …

Practical life skills encourage independence, concentration and responsibility

Montessori Practical Life curriculum encourages independence, concentration, and a sense of responsibility in students. The photos below show the children’s focus both on care of self and care of the environment as they balance a full wheelbarrow, practice phone skills, button items, practice sewing, rake leaves, put on gloves, and tend to plants.  

Cubby Cleaning

Teachers prepare new works each week and introduce them to the class. Cubby cleaning is now a very popular work that gives students practice in following a process, learning to organize and reporting home to their folks so they know what warm clothes might be missing from the school cubby. First, students take everything out of their cubby, then sweep out all the sand and rocks, and lastly put everything back in. This way,  students can be responsible for their own space. It’s also great practice for hanging/taking down coats and backpacks independently! There are also sheets with images of …