We decided to start this blog because we felt that we wanted to help parents who were on a learning journey with Montessori navigate through the mountains of information and find things that were illuminating and pertinent. We felt that we had something to add because we were a program in the Public System and, as such, had differences that warranted closer examination.
I wanted to write the blog because I am on that journey too and I hoped that my knowledge would increase if I had to write about Montessori every week (it has). As a traveler on that journey my greatest fear was that I would be wrong a lot.
And last week I was wrong (actually I’m sure I’ve been wrong before but no one bothered to point it out).
In being wrong, something amazing happened in that this blog got a Subject Matter Expert (a SME! smeeee!). From now on I will be running my “theory” and “materials” posts by my SME which makes me feel WAY better and should make you feel pretty good too.
So – Let’s do a re-do on last week’s blog post. Here we go…
Last week I talked about simple to complex and I showed:
- Number Rods
- Sandpaper Letters
- Number Rods with written Number
- Adding with Number Rods and written Numbers
So what actually happens is more complicated (and thus so much cooler) than that. Basically I skipped a bunch of steps and put materials in the wrong order. This may have made my point (materials go simple to complex) more neatly but the truth suffered a bit.
The first thing is (and I knew this when I wrote the original post but I didn’t articulate it as I should have) — these things don’t happen one at a time in order. I.e., the child doesn’t do one thing and THEN the next thing and THEN the next thing. Rather they overlap and leave and come back and do complimentary work simultaneously. That’s part of the joy of it all.
The second thing is that I did skip a couple of steps and I should have made that clear. The children don’t start with the small number rods.
They start with the Large Red Rods (which is, technically sensorial material) to give them a sense of long and short:
Then they move onto math material. For example, they move to the Large Number Rods with the Number Cards (i.e., the number symbols). Large number rods look the same as the table rods but are a meter long divided by 10 centimeter sections of alternating blue and red. These are the large number rods with the number cards (in my previous post I said they were the table rods):
Simultaneously, children will be working on writing/penmanship exercises – Sand Paper Numbers/Letters. They will continue to work with the sandpaper numbers and letters while moving to the Table rods:
Also simultaneously with both the penmanship and the table rods they will be using the short bead stair:
And may also be introduced to the decimal system through the golden beads:
And in that way the children move through the materials, adding complexity as they go. Thank you for reading this corrected post and my apologies for any confusion that my previous post may have caused.