Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beautiful Materials

When I started our little co-op last year, I did not have the metal fraction insets. We had some plastic fraction circles (each number with a different color; and not all numbers represented) and these: 

Made and cut before I made the connection that the UNIT is being divided into fractions;
This work is meant for the elementary children to do lots and lots of fraction operations. The primary children, if they get to fractions, will only work with the metal pieces - using them for making designs, discovering equivalencies, and very simply operations. We just never had them in our home environment - it would have been better if we did; but we made do with the plastic pieces (at least we had *something* hard/stiff - I found the fractions to be necessary, just not the most readily affordable). 

Now, several months ago, I purchase the metal insets used. There is one piece missing, I am ordering from a company that is taking their time getting it to me. I might just cut it out of wood for now and paint it!

The children came in to the co-op as usual; I said *NOTHING* about the new material - which is kind of in a back corner. 

Within 45 seconds, there was a group of children sitting around admiring them, picking them up very so carefully, seeing if they could put them in another place. They were in AWE. These were elementary children - not the primary kids! 

Here is what they saw on a low box on the floor: 
Used for both primary and elementary; design work AND fractions

Since then, they have also discovered these: 
Elementary Fraction Skittles
Now, I've not formally presented this material to anyone but my own son yet; but the elementary children have already "matched" them with the fractions and given them their "proper family names" of whole, family of halves, family of thirds, family of fourths and quarters (that is the phrase they chose to use!). 

Without even a presentation, the children were DRAWN to these materials. Which makes the presentations that much more meaningful. 

They beg to receive a presentation on an intriguing material - sometimes I feel like my presentation is only going to be a let-down, especially if we have to wait for several weeks, but it never once has been a let-down! 

All of these materials have been more than worthy purchases or investments of time. And I am so happy to share them with my co-op children; not just my own child :) 

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