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MONTESSORI MONDAY XXIV 2016-17

Added Mar 20, 2017

The Binomial Cube

Algebra? In preschool? Why not? As a field of mathematics, algebra addresses concepts that apply regardless of the individual quantities involved. Likewise, early childhood development is focused on understanding which experiences can be generalized and which ones are unique. It's a perfect match.

Of course, the children exploring the Binomial Cube don't think about it in such high falutin' ways. In our classrooms, algebraic equations are represented in seemingly simple, concrete block puzzles. The Binomial Cube, constructed of six prisms and two cubes, represents the algebraic equation (a+b)3. The cube is built by placing each of the eight blocks into the proportions of a new cube, as children rely on the colors of the prism faces and their own alignment of the sides of the new cube to complete the puzzle. For small children, this is a curious and engaging challenge: can they build the cube correctly so that the puzzle box closes? Just check out the concentration on this sweet face! For older children, the process of learning the names of each prism and the concrete appreciation of what we mean when we say "cube (a number)" inspires endless additional extensions. For adults. it may be the first time they've seen an algebraic equation represented concretely.

The Binomial Cube is exemplary of a basic premise of Montessori education: children are capable of understanding and mastering concepts far beyond what we typically expect in preschool settings, if those concepts are presented in a developmentally appropriate way. By translating the algebraic equation into a beautiful, self-correcting, didactic exercise, Montessori makes this seemingly complex concept simple enough for a very young child to understand.

Catherine McTamaney, Ed.D.

Christopher Academy Alumna

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Montessori Monday 8 2013/14
Nov 5, 2013
The Constructive Triangles   Many of the goals of the Montessori materials are apparent at first glance: learning to pour water or identifying numerals or letters. But much of Montessori's genius lay in integrating c ...Read More

Montessori Monday 7 2013/14
Oct 31, 2013
The Touch Tablets Close your eyes! Don't peek! Remember the excitement of exploring with your eyes closed? That same energy is captured when children enjoy the Touch Tablets, a series of wooden plates in our Sensorial materia ...Read More

Montessori Monday 6 2013/14
Oct 24, 2013
The Red Rods There are few materials that can claim to be as fully-engaging as the Red Rods. Prominent in the Sensorial area, the Rods are an immediate attraction to children because of their precise proportions, scale and vibran ...Read More

Montessori Monday 5 2013/14
Oct 16, 2013
The Pink Tower No Montessori classroom would be complete without the Pink Tower, one of the original materials designed by Dr. Montessori herself. From our Stepping Stones classrooms through the 3-6 classrooms, the Pink Towe ...Read More

Montessori Monday 4 2013/14
Oct 7, 2013
The Knobbed Cylinders One of the five areas of the Montessori curriculum  is the Sensorial Area, where didactic, self-correcting materials help refine the children's sensorial awareness, including their tactile, visual ...Read More

Montessori Monday 3 2013/14
Oct 1, 2013
  Walking on the Line   What a curious thing to see! Children slowly, carefully pacing along a simple strip of tape on the floor, their bodies in balance and their minds alert and focused. How could such a simpl ...Read More

Montessori Monday 2 2013/14
Sep 24, 2013
  Pouring Throughout the year, but particularly in these first few weeks of school, children are drawn to the basic lessons of Practical Life. Our newest children find peaceful opportunities for repetition and mastery as ...Read More

Christopher Academy Celebrates International Day of Peace
Sep 24, 2013
  The children and staff of Christopher Academy in Scotch Plains and Westfield gathered around the Peace Pole Garden on September 18 and September 20 at their respective campuses for communal song and reading and to share a ...Read More

Montessori Monday 1 2013/14
Sep 16, 2013
  Tonging Who would imagine that such a simple activity could engage a child for such a long period of time? To adults, with their developed hands and refined finger muscles, tonging is a deceptively easy skill. But for ...Read More

Christopher Academy Announces New Head of School
Sep 13, 2013
  Christopher Academy of Scotch Plains and Westfield announces the appointment of Jennifer Iannaconi as their new Head of School.  Mrs. Iannaconi’s 25-year association with the school began as a teacher at our Wes ...Read More

Montessori Monday 27 2013-14
Jun 3, 2013
  Washing a Chair It's sometimes said that there's a lesson for everything in Montessori. No matter how trivial the activity seems to be, there's a special way of doing it in the Montessori classroom ...Read More

Christopher Academy Celebrates Spring
May 31, 2013
  At Christopher Academy – The Montessori School –this year's annual Spring Celebration saw the schools students come together to sing to an audience comprised of parents and relatives, followed by a rather impre ...Read More

Christopher Academy Students are Learning about Horticulture
May 20, 2013
  Students and faculty at Christopher Academy, the Montessori School, extended their celebration of Earth Day last week with special classroom programs at both the Westfield and Scotch Plains campuses. During the classro ...Read More

Introducing Christopher Academy’s New Extended Care for the School Year 2013/14
Apr 24, 2013
  Christopher Academy, New Jersey’s oldest Montessori school is announcing its new extended care program for the school year 2013/14.   Christopher Academy was founded 50 years ago by a group of Westfield ...Read More

Christopher Academy's 50th Anniversary Open House
Feb 18, 2013
  It was a wonderful day of celebration at Christopher Academy, the Montessori school with campuses located in Westfield and Scotch Plains. Many former and current students, parents and faculty were in attendance Su ...Read More

CA Parent Association January News
Jan 18, 2013
  Thank you to everyone who joined us last Tuesday evening!  We would especially like to welcome the new families who recently joined the Christopher Academy community this semester!  For those unable to ...Read More

Upcoming workshop about Montessori vs Traditional Education
Jan 4, 2013
  Montessori - Education for Life!   January 29, 2013 7:30 PM Christopher Academy 510 Hillcrest Ave Westfield, NJ 07090     Christopher Academy will begin its 50th year cele ...Read More

Christopher Academy Celebrates it's 50th Year
Dec 17, 2012
  Christopher Academy The Montessori School 510 Hillcrest Avenue Westfield NJ   Christopher Academy celebrates its 50th year   In February of 1963 Christopher Academy opened its doors, t ...Read More

Is a Montessori School Right for Your child?
Nov 13, 2012
                                                                ...Read More

TIME's Montessori Conference in Houston
Oct 26, 2012
Have you read The Tao of Montessori? This past weekend was the launch of Dr. Catherine McTamaney's new book at The Institute of Montessori Education's Conference in Houston Texas. Catherine is a professor at Vanderb ...Read More

Music at Christopher Academy
Oct 4, 2012
    Ms Debbie is back, and music is in full swing. Each music class is a themed musical celebration that incoroporates musical improvisation, rythm instrument play and movement. Based on the Dalcroze phylosophy, Ms. Debbie& ...Read More

Christopher Academy Celebrates Peace Day
Sep 21, 2012
  Today, The Christopher Academy in Westfield and Scotch Plains joined together to sing a song for peace by their Peace Pole in front of both campus building. The school has made this event a yearly tradition as th ...Read More

Christopher Academy Celebrates its 50th School Year
Sep 6, 2012
Families, children and faculty celebrated on September 5th to open the 50th school year of Christopher Academy, a Montessori school serving children from 2 1/2 years old through first grade. Over the last 50 years, ...Read More

'Peaceful Children Peaceful Homes' Promotes Success, Minimizes Conflict
Feb 2, 2012
From time to time parents of young children have trouble striking a balance between what they expect a child to do and what that child is actually capable of accomplishing on his or her own. Often, when there's ...Read More

Christopher Academy Students Take Hands-On Approach to Fighting Hunger
Jan 26, 2012
Preschoolers at the Christopher Academy Montessori School campuses in Westfield and Scotch Plains were doing more than just enjoying fingerpainting and story time this week.  On Tuesday and Wednesday the stud ...Read More

NJ Moms Guide Hosts Preschool and Enrichment Fair
Jan 5, 2012
New Jersey Moms Guide will host its third annual one-stop-shopping preschool and enrichment fair on Thursday, Jan. 12 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at L’Affaire. "The fair makes it easy for busy families to meet school directors ...Read More

Children at Christopher Academy Montessori School chilled out at summer camp in Scotch Plains by learning about the Arctic.
Aug 11, 2011
As a part of the Christopher Academy Montessori School’s summer camp, the children learned lots of songs, had penguin-waddle races, and created special snowy art projects. In science, they were all excited to see what happe ...Read More

Children at Christopher Academy Montessori School enjoy summer camp in Westfield with the theme "Under the Sea".
Aug 1, 2011
As a part of the Christopher Academy Montessori School’s summer camp, the children played games, did arts and crafts projects, and learned all about the ocean! These are images of the children enjoying summer camp in Westfield ...Read More

Local Kids Feed Those In Need
Jun 8, 2011
As a part of the Christopher Academy Montessori School’s peace curriculum the children perform a community service project each year.  These are images of them preparing sandwiches & filling festively decorated lunch b ...Read More