Our classroom is constantly changing. When the kids grow bored of work or when they prove to be ready for more complicated work, our shelves change. Here are some materials recently added to the classroom:
This is by far one of my favorite Montessori materials. It resides in the sensorial area of the classroom and serves many purposes. The main purpose of the material is to prepare the child for geometry. The formula for the cube is extremely complex and is not introduced to preschoolers and kindergartners. However the idea is that when geometry becomes part of their elementary school and high school curriculum the formula's will not feel so foreign to them. Once the child masters this they can then move onto the the trinomial cube which is a much more complex piece of work. Fine motor skills are at work as well as concentration and focus. Some teachers might place this work in the Math area but traditionally you will find it in sensorial as it gives them a visual sense of math. It seems super complicated but the kids love it! Basically to them, they're putting together a puzzle using blocks. I love the way Dr. Montessori created these materials that teach on a subliminal level.
These fun shapes and insets help the child with writing readiness. Dr. Montessori designed the shapes specifically to prepare children for writing letters given their curvature and shape. Again, the kids love these. To them, they are tracing shapes and making cool designs. Its amazing to see that when kids master the ability to trace the shapes how quickly their letters turn from illegible to legible.
Magnetic cube board
There's really no hidden meaning behind this material. The kids love it and its main function is to hone fine motor skills. They love building patterns, sorting colors etc. Its just a great material for focus and fun.
We've hit the mother load! The kids go absolutely gaga over this. So simple and super educational. All you need is the volcano obviously (you can find them at toy stores in science and experiment sections and online) and baking soda and vinegar. (we've added red food coloring to the vinegar to make it look like lava.) Along with the experiment we read them a few volcano books and educated them on the parts of the volcano. They are able to do the experiment completely on their own and know how to properly clean it up afterwards. I highly recommend a volcano unit or lesson in your home or classroom. Your kids will enjoy it so much!