We have been a Montessori family for the past 6 years and all three of our children are enrolled in a traditional Montessori school. This is what eventually lead to our love for open-ended and wooden toys which, of course, lead to starting Purple Panda Company!
So what is the Montessori method of teaching? Montessori is an educational philosophy and practice first developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. Montessori education relies on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play guided by teachers. When we enrolled our first child in Montessori school at age 3 we quickly saw how much she grew in her independence and learning. So much so that we pulled our kindergartener out of the excelling charter school she was in (where she was struggling) and enrolled her at a Montessori school for first grade. The play based learning and practical life experiences have made all three of our children flourish and love school. I think it has helped our dyslexic child the most to have such hands on learning.
Some of our toys are a wonderful way to continue Montessori education at home or to provide at home “learning through play“ for children who spend the day in a more traditional classroom environment. Playtime can be fun AND educational!
I know that many of us were thrown into some form of “homeschool” this year, whether that meant guiding our children with the help of their virtual teacher or deciding to homeschool. In an effort to support parents Purple Panda Company is partnering with Jaime Williams, a Montessori teacher, to bring you a series of videos using Flockmen for a Montessori Math. Below Jaime goes into detail on how Flockmen can be used as a variation to a Montessori game called The Stamp Game. There is also a video demonstrating how this game works with Flockmen. It’s our first video and its not’s that fancy, but you get the gist :). Please be sure to comment and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions for future videos!
Dr. Maria Montessori recognized that by working with concrete materials, the child begins to understand abstract concepts. Montessori students first develop a concept with concrete materials and then move on to something more abstract. The Stamp Game is a wonderful example of this! The Stamp Game works like the Golden Beads, but instead of unit beads the child uses unit stamps. Instead of ten bars, the child uses ten stamps. Instead of hundred squares, the child uses hundred stamps. Instead of thousand cubes, the child uses thousand stamps. The Stamp Game reinforces the four operations introduced with the Golden Beads and helps the child transition to a more abstract understanding of the decimal system.
Maria Montessori believed that mastery is achieved through repetition. As children progress through the materials, variations of those materials can be introduced. Variations allow the child more time with a skill or concept so that it can be internalized. Flockmen is an excellent variation of The Stamp Game! Just simply apply the free, printable Flockmen Math sticker set and the child will have the opportunity to continue working on the same operations of addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division that they were working on with The Stamp Game! Instead of using stamps, the child can use their Flockmen!