This week we learnt about the sun and the earth. The started by making a large sun collage, reinforcing the learning of colors and the concepts of hot and cold. Later, they learnt that the earth moves around the sun, taking a year. To demonstrate this, we put our collage on the floor and they each took turns to hold a globe and circle the sun. The number of times they circled the sun was equivalent to their age. Later we learnt about land and water forms, reinforcing again the colors of the earth. The each made a globe and looked at a model of the earth, showing how it looks inside.
The montessori classroom is specifically design to encourage the interaction between older and younger ages. The younger ones benefit greatly from having an older peer guiding their learning, while the teacher sits as the observer. Having older role models the younger children are able to learn at their own pace through practice and imitation. The older children gain confidence as being the guide, and their own learning is reinforced. Here is a lovely example of this learning, with Jasmine and Noa, Jasmine is demonstrating to Noa how to build a puzzle. Noa is completely engaged in the activity, clapping each time a new piece is placed. And is encouraged to try herself.