Monthly Archives: January 2011

Random Classroom Shots

AR desperately wants to do the checkerboard abstractly. She's made her own and lays it on the table but only puts beads on it in her mind.


JV felting. Our "reset button" this semester has been felting - repetition, low thought process, focusing or you jab yourself.

Ms. ER became tired of being asked, "What's for lunch?"

Our prayer table. We are working on "pray without ceasing" and sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between match lighting practice and prayer work. The art are two panels from a stations of the cross. They are made from plaster and you can see the straw impressions in the back.

The kids are back into the "Where in the World" game. They are quizzing each other at their levels. Best game to work purchase ever.


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Filed under AR, BR, Checkerboard, Cooking, Geography and World Studies, JV, Mathematics, Moral Compas, Practical Life - Elementary, Sewing

Reason: Thomas Aquinas

The older guys have been working through the history and philosophy of the Greek rhetoricians. We will begin the Romans this week.  I thought perhaps this would help us see the bridge  (Roman philosophy) between the Greek rhetoricians and the Middle Age rationalists.

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Filed under European History, Geography and World Studies

Learning to square large numbers

DW has begun the process of understanding squaring.  She has looked at binomials (3+4) = 7 for several years from different angles. She has continued to process into squaring of numbers.  Yesterday we looked at the relationship from 1 to 9 then 10 to 90 and 100 to 900 when squared.

Today we began the slow process to understand how to condense large squares into binomials. For example she is laying out the square of 14 in unit beads. To count all these beads will take forever.

She then began to change the unit beads into 10’s and then the 10’s into 100’s.

She then starts with the squares laid out again beginning with the 100’s  (in this example the square is 1 – or  1×1) and then began laying the 10’s on either side of the square like arms and finally in between the arms she placed the remaining green unit beads.  She had one 10 bead left over that she traded back in for green unit beads to complete the the square of four.

At that point it became easy to count the beads – 1 squared (in the hundreds place) + 2(1 x 4) (in the tens place) + 4 squared (in the units place) = 100 + 80 + 16 = 196 = 14 squared.





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Filed under DW, Mathematics, Peg Board - squaring/rooting

Nutty Nuts

The lower el children decamped to hunt for nuts and go to the library for research.

The afternoon was spent researching and cracking nuts.

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Filed under AR, Botany, BW, Science

AR and BW going crazy over nuts

Montessori is about careful observation and our daily walks in the neighborhood with the dogs produced a detailed study of regional birds.  Now, the children discovered nuts and have gone crazy over them. The attention to detail that is being given to a nut. A nut!

BW discovering little hairs on the inside of the shell.

The nut in question pre-sawing.

BW has left the table without his shoes (discarded as he researched). Where did he go?

BW left to tell his mom what he has discovered.


Filed under Botany, BW, Projects, Science

A bit more on Roman Eating

AV thought that some illustrations would be good. To go along with JV’s words.

Original Roman couch design.  The third place is the hosts place.

The most coveted place is number four.

Sigma couch with table in the middle.

The design for a dining room with multiple sigma couches.

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Filed under AV, European History, Geography and World Studies

JV’s paper on salt trade in Mali

JV read Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold by Michael Benanav over last weekend.  It is a quick read and well written.

Salt trade in the Sahara or the caravan of white gold

Salt trade starts in Timbuktu and goes to Taoudenni and back.  This roundtrip takes about a month and is done with camels.  The traders prepare the camels for the trip by letting them graze and relax for a month.  Then they take them on the trip; come back to let them graze again and then begin the trip all over again.

Food for the men

Before the trip a goat is slaughter and its carcass is hung on the side of a camel to dry.  As needed meat is pealed off and cooked to be eaten.  Butter is all so taken on the trip but goes rancid before the trip is complete.  Noodles also are eaten and there are three mandatory cups of very strong tea in the morning, noon, and evening.

Salt transport

When the caravan reaches Taoudenni, the pre-cut salt blocks are strapped in wet goat hide and are set to dry. The hides dry tightly around the salt making it secure for the trip. When completely dry, four are strapped on to each camel. Another goat is slaughtered and off the caravan goes back to Timbuktu.


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Filed under Geography and World Studies, JV, Writing