Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday is number day...which in our household translates as baking day ;)

Later in the day, we burned our palm cross & added the the ashes to our little bowl of earth on our Lenten Altar.
The time has now come in the Church year for the solemn observance of the great central act of history, the redemption of the human race by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In some denominations, the beginning of the forty days of penance is marked with the austere symbol of ashes.
Although we would not define our faith as Methodist, we attend a Methodist fellowship. The fellowship does not use the symbol of Ashes on the forehead. after discussing at great length the meaning & traditions of Ash Wednesday, my sweet little E wanted to have ashes on her forehead 'to show she is sorry'

We had fun playing with our montessori tower today

Here is a great explaination of the presentation of the pink/natural tower, from
Purpose: Build blocks of graduated 3 dimensional sizes in order to understand sequence and order.

Presentation: Spread a mat or rug on the floor,Dr. Montessori used a green carpet in her first school. Carefully scatter the cubes over the mat. Build a tower starting with the largest cube. Choose slowly and with deliberation.

Grasp each cube with one hand to get the muscular impression of the size. Build the tower from largest to smallest. The child will probably not be able to do this with the largest cube with one hand, it is fine to use both hands.However, the other cubes should be able to be grasped this way.
(Again the connection- the hand is visually measuring the cubes for the mind to process)
Exercise: The child builds the tower after the demonstration.
Using the 3 period lesson introduce the concept of large and small, large, larger, largest, small, smaller, smallest. Also, if your child is ready, you can count the numbers 1 through 10 starting with the smallest cube (1) to the largest cube (10). The concrete difference between 1 and 10 is the first step in understanding addition. Later, when you teach your child to count backwards, use the tower again. Count backwards from 10 as the largest cube down to the smallest cube (1). This visual aid is invaluable to understanding subtraction.

Advanced Exercise: When the child can build the tower easily have him or her build the tower with one corner exactly above the other all the way up, the two edges exactly even. The smallest cube can fit on each ledge on each level. This shows the size and difference between each of the cubes. Let your child use the smallest cube on each level to measure.

Develops -
1.Visual and small muscular perception of dimensions.
2. This awareness of dimensions leads to observation of the child’s environment.
3. Helps to make smoother and more coordinated movement.
4. Math readiness by introducing concepts of smaller, larger, prepares for the decimal and number system.

This helps to prepare for the cube root. 1000 smallest cubes make the largest 10th cube. 8 of the smallest cubes make the second cube, 27 of the smallest cube make the third cube, 64 of the smallest cubes make the fourth cube, 124 cubes make the fifth cube, and so on.

The cubes represent the concrete concept of the numbers of 1 through 10.

Error control. If the tower is incorrectly built, it will topple over.

Hint: If the tower is too difficult give the child every other cube to until he or she has mastered the exercise. Then add all ten cubes.

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