Each of our Montessori classrooms is designed to draw the children to activities that use the specially created Montessori learning materials. Over many years, these works—including strung beads, sandpaper letters, hierarchical cubes, metal fractions and insets, and much more—have provided clarity of specific concepts for each child who has used them.
- One example of the Montessori materials used in language is the material used in the sequence of learning to write and read. Children begin their awareness of sounds in words with games that point out beginning sounds and ending sounds. In the same time frame, sandpaper letters and their associated sounds are given to each child so that a tactile experience is matched with an associated sound.
- Another example is the mathematics material used to divide fractions at the Elementary level. Earlier, children have used real fractional pieces to learn which fractions are equivalent. Later, they learn how to add, subtract, and to multiply fractions with the pieces.
- Other examples are the pink tower of graduated cubes and bead chains, classic Montessori materials. The pink tower is used as a stacking activity when children are very young. As they move into Montessori Elementary, they discover that the pink tower represents the cubes of numbers from one to 10. Long chains of beads that are counted serially at a younger age are used again to skip count and to learn multiplication tables at the Elementary level. The concepts of squares and cubes of numbers are also presented with these materials.
- The binomial and trinomial cubes are used in our Primary classrooms as color and prism puzzles, but later these same cubes are analyzed to find out how the faces show us the composition of the cubes of numbers.
Throughout the school year, Mountain Shadows offers events for parents to explore the learning materials, ask questions, and discover for themselves why their children have so much fun learning!