Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Parent/Child Night

Last week was Parent/Child night at school. Last semester I paired up with Lucy and Kate with Len so this semester we switched. Both girls were very excited to show us around the classroom, heading for their favorite works.

Kate got out the multiplication board to show me how "easy" it is for her now. In case you aren't familiar with how Montessori materials work, her equation was 6x3=x? She marks the 6 at the top so she knows how many columns she needs. Next she puts the number 3 on the side so she knows how many rows she needs. Then she fills in with beads and counts how many she has to solve for x.
Lucy was showing Len how to do addition with the materials. The beads are put into strings by number count (the blue strands are 9 beads, for example).  If her equation is 6+9=x? then she pulls out the 6 strand and the 9 strand and counts how many beads she has in total.
The genius of this way of learning is that you get a sense of proportion, volume, scale, etc. instead of just memorizing abstract numbers.

Kate has also started learning division. In the example below, her equation was 42/7=x? She places 7 large markers at the top and then fills in with beads until she reaches 42 beads. The answer will then be the number along the left side.
English was next. She writes out the ending sound, in this case it was "ONG".
Then she turns over the paper with the beginning letter sounds and looks at a book with pictures depicting the word. When she thinks she knows the word, she writes it next to the original sound and double-checks her work with the paper that is turned over.
It is in this way that Montessori materials are self-correcting. The child knows immediately whether her work is correct and if not, can easily see it and fix it.

Lucy, meanwhile, got out the ribbon board. She is the only one in their class that can tie a bow (and thus, shoes!).
She tied the entire frame!
Kate moved on to the Chinese section where she matched up objects with their cards, then read the pinyin/characters and said the names of the objects in Chinese to me.
She went back to math (her favorite subject) to show me how she is learning her multiples. Here she is working on the multiple of 6. The long strand has 6 purple beads followed by a chain, followed by 6 purple beads, followed by a chain, etc. She had to count in sections of 6 and then find the numerical marker to place on the chain, marking off each multiple (6, 12, 18, etc).

Lastly was circle time. Qiongwei lăoshī led them in several Chinese songs including their favorite kung fu song.

Soon it was time to say Zàijiàn!


Elizabeth said...

What a great night. The activities are very interesting. Thank you so much for sharing them. The Math Their Way program some schools use for math K-2 is all hands on and letting kids work at their own level. It looks like it has some Montessori base. Can the girls do grade one at their school? Is their an elementary school that is both Montessori and Chinese they can attend? Up here you could find one or the other but not both. The girls are both so engaged with their learning. That is so wonderful to see.

Lisa said...

Hi Elizabeth! Their school goes through 8th grade but we are planning to move them to a public school (re: FREE!) that also has Chinese immersion for grade 1-12. While I LOVE the Montessori method, the cost is just no sustainable for us if we hope to do any traveling over the next many years. Stay tuned!


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