Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Maitri Learning

In order to expose the children to zoology, we teach a series of lessons. Ideally, the first lesson is an introduction to the animal through actual observation. As with all Montessori activities, we start with the concrete then move to the abstract. Our children have daily interactions with our classroom fish and sometimes with our school dog, but the reptile, amphibian, and insect are a bit more difficult. If anyone at home owns a reptile or an amphibian, we'd love to borrow it at some point throughout the school year! Next, the child is introduced to the zoology puzzles. These puzzles surely are a classroom favorite.
Next, we teach the children the language of the parts of the body. Typically, I use the puzzles to introduce the vocabulary, but we were able to purchase the Maitri three-part nomenclature cards this summer. I was very excited about these cards, but I wasn't sure how the children would respond to them- you never really can gauge their reaction to new materials. It turns out, they LOVED them. I introduced the parts of the horse cards to a small group of two children and by the end of the lesson, I had five "observers". The cards and beautiful and very well made.

Each "part" of the horse is highlighted on the card. The children thought it was amazing that only a small part of the horse was colored in and they thought the pictures were gorgeous. Check out the website for information and references for parents.

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