primary Math - new question post #19 - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

Old 08-03-2010, 01:32 PM

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 Originally Posted by elmostoney do you come to HK for work or just travelling on your own? there is not much to do here, especially for kids. Would like to meet you if we get a chance!
A visa. When our Visa runs out in Taiwan, we have to make a trip to one of a few places. I usually go to Hong Kong since it's easy to get to the Taiwan Visa Office and I know HK fairly well by now. (I've made quite a few of these trips).

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 Have you heard of IMS in HK (International Montessori School)?
I don't know any schools in HK.

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 Another question. Usually when will a child progress to abstract (paper only) math in Montessori?
It depends on which math things. By the end of 3-6, many students have a lot of addition and subtraction facts memorized and can do that quickly. At the same time, they won't be able to do multiplication of a 2 digit number x a 4 digit number...or be able to figure out the trinomial formula of (a+b+c)^3 = 6abc + a^3 + b^3 + c^3 + 3ba^2 + 3ca^2 + 3cb^2 + 3ab^2 + 3ac^2 + 3bc^2

See....some things they'll understand without the materials all throughout elementary. Other things, they'll need the materials until they understand it more.

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 Usually, how does a Montessori-trained child fare compare to other kids in terms of math in the long run, say, in elementary?
WAY ahead. In terms of a good comparison, it's like comparing a fantastic French champagne to a glass of water with alka-seltzer to make it bubble.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:20 PM

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 Originally Posted by MattBronsil WAY ahead. In terms of a good comparison, it's like comparing a fantastic French champagne to a glass of water with alka-seltzer to make it bubble.
Wow! it's good to know. This is the info I obtained from the montessori school here in HK about their elementary math curriculum. Does this sound right?

* Work with the four operations: addition, multiplication, subtraction and division using whole numbers, decimals and fractions.
* Explore the rules for factors and multiples.
* Build square numbers on bases 1 to 10.
* Memorize number facts by skip counting by 2,3,4, up to 10.
* Read data in pictograph, bar graph, circle graph forms.
* Use one- to- many correspondence e.g. one tree represents 1,000 trees.
* Estimate length, capacity and mass using non-standard and standard units of measure.
* Measure time and temperature using standard units of measure.
* Investigate and identify all geometric solids. â€¢ Identify, measure and construct (using appropriate geometric instruments) angles, triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons and circles. â€¢ Demonstrate equivalency, congruency, symmetry and similarity.
* Read, write and spell all mathematical vocabulary used in the 6 to 9 curriculum.
* Read and write mathematical symbols for concepts e.g. <, >, =, + etc.
* Apply math skills to daily activities e.g. baking, weather charts, gardening, map-making, budgeting.

how would you rate the language arts curriculum in elementary? I know they use real objects to teach prepositions (beside, under, above, etc.) and they also have shapes of different sizes and colors to teach sentence structure. That's very appealing to me. I remember when I was in elementary, learning grammar was so tedious. What prepositions, pronouns, verb, adverb, adjective...all sounded like a bunch of mumble jumble and they made my head spin!

I just have too many questions.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:56 PM

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 Originally Posted by elmostoney Wow! it's good to know. This is the info I obtained from the montessori school here in HK about their elementary math curriculum. Does this sound right?

It's hard to say exactly, but a lot of what you said sounds like it'll be a big part of the curriculum. I remember I had no problems with any of what you said after leaving Montessori and going to traditional school in Jr. High.

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 how would you rate the language arts curriculum in elementary? I know they use real objects to teach prepositions (beside, under, above, etc.) and they also have shapes of different sizes and colors to teach sentence structure. That's very appealing to me. I remember when I was in elementary, learning grammar was so tedious. What prepositions, pronouns, verb, adverb, adjective...all sounded like a bunch of mumble jumble and they made my head spin! I just have too many questions.
That's something I CAN talk about. My students love learning grammar from me and hate learning it from other teachers, since I do a lot of Montessori stuff.

A bonus is that most do not have trouble understanding grammar at all. Sometimes, even as an ESL teacher, people ask me grammar questions and I go back to drawing the symbols over the words to find out the reasons. It just makes so much sense to me.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:31 PM

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I thought you are teaching a montessori school in Taiwan? or a traditional school?

How does M math fare compared to math standard in Taiwan traditional school? as Asia generally has a reputation for stronger math. I was studying in Hong Kong until I started 8th grade in the US. I was a very average student in HK. When I started in the US in a public school, I was placed in the advanced level in Math. I remember math was such a breeze! because we started doing simple algebra in HK by the end of 6th grade and algebra wasn't taught until 8th grade advanced math in my school in the US.

I am a bit concerned as I have to move DD to a local school after her montessori primary as there is no montessori secondary school in HK. So whatever she learns in montessori must be able to match the local standard (I think HK standard will be pretty much the same as in Taiwan mainstream education).
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:01 PM

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 Originally Posted by elmostoney I thought you are teaching a montessori school in Taiwan? or a traditional school?
Closer to a traditional school. Unfortunately....

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 How does M math fare compared to math standard in Taiwan traditional school? as Asia generally has a reputation for stronger math. I was studying in Hong Kong until I started 8th grade in the US. I was a very average student in HK. When I started in the US in a public school, I was placed in the advanced level in Math. I remember math was such a breeze! because we started doing simple algebra in HK by the end of 6th grade and algebra wasn't taught until 8th grade advanced math in my school in the US.
I can only speak for Taiwan and America. The educational system in Taiwan is based upon standardized tests...much worse than it is in America. If you don't pass certain tests, you simply don't go on in your education. So the idea that Asia is ahead in math seems messed up to me...since the students who take these standardized tests in Asia seem (to me) to be those that passed a certain test early on. In America, we welcome those who do not do well in tests to take the tests while ignoring the rest of their intelligent abilities. Here, in Taiwan, we just exclude those that cannot pass the tests.

From my own personal experience with Montessori, I have NEVER had trouble understanding mathemetical concepts. To be honest, I never understood how people have difficulty understanding math. To me, it's like not undersatnding how to walk. If you want to describe how to find the perimiter of a rhombus, it makes sense to divide it into a rectangle with 2 triangles. I simple DO NOT understand why someone would NOT do that, but many people do not.

What I have seen of Taiwan math is that they often remember formulas. I do not understand this concept. I think understanding who things work together is much more important. I can picture exactly how shapes divide up into each other. I do NOT (honestly) understand how people do not see this.

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 I am a bit concerned as I have to move DD to a local school after her montessori primary as there is no montessori secondary school in HK. So whatever she learns in montessori must be able to match the local standard (I think HK standard will be pretty much the same as in Taiwan mainstream education).
What you really want to look at is what you want for your child. Do you want your child to be prepared for life or for whatever educational system they are entering?

It was a hard transition moving from a Montessori 9-12 program into a more "regular" education. I wasn't used to cliques. I wasn't used to ignoring what I needed to learn. At the same time, I was prepared to follow my interests.

Would I be a ventriloquist in a differente country....trying to teach a different system while doing imporov if I didn't do Montessori? Probably not.

Would I feel free to do what I love? Probably not.

Choosing Montessori for your child means that you think your child has the ability to follow what they love. DESPITE everyone else's opinion. Compare that to the normal Asian educational system I have seen that says, "All people are the same as long as they are in some sort of harmony."

What values do you hold for your children? What do you want from their education? THAT is the key value you want to look at. From there, find something that fits those values.
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:51 PM

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Matt, thanks much for answering my questions. It's hard for me to make the decision to let DD go Montessori. In the Asian society of hong kong which also emphasis on harmony, I am regarded as an oddball. I hv yet to make up my mind, but a lot of what you pointed out are precisely the reasons I want DD to go to an M school.

How would you rate your M experience? On your junior high and high school education? Especially when compared to non M kids? And your outlook of life on general as well as work?
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:00 AM

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 Originally Posted by elmostoney Matt, thanks much for answering my questions. It's hard for me to make the decision to let DD go Montessori. In the Asian society of hong kong which also emphasis on harmony, I am regarded as an oddball.
I need to market a new t-shirt. "Embrace oddballness: Join the Montessori movement."

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 I hv yet to make up my mind, but a lot of what you pointed out are precisely the reasons I want DD to go to an M school. How would you rate your M experience? On your junior high and high school education? Especially when compared to non M kids? And your outlook of life on general as well as work?
I loved school. After Montessori, it was a little strange getting used to cliques, non-supportive students, etc. in a regular environment, but you learn to adjust well.

One question I ask Taiwanese that helps, and it might apply here:
"Did you like school when you were younger? If not, why put your child through the same thing?"

Most people can't come up with a good answer to that.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:24 AM

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Matt, thanks ever so much for taking the time to reply to my questions. I called the M school today - the one which has a primary section, which I hope DD can go all the away up till 12 yo.

DD is 4y3m. She is thriving in her present M pre-school. The class now has 10 to 14 kids, 2 AMi-certified teachers from Taiwan and one assistant. If I transfer her to the new M school which has a primary section, it is 24 kids/class in preschool, 1 AMI english teacher and 1 AMI mandarin teacher. I understand that Maria M had a much larger class, but as a modern parent, the smaller class sounds more appealing. What are your thoughts?

I asked DD's teacher if she has been able to help younger kids. The teacher said that the school time here in HK is too short - only 3 hours (vs. in Taiwan, M preschool is full day). There is a lot for DD to do, so more interaction in assisting younger child can not be done as often.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:20 AM

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 Originally Posted by elmostoney DD is 4y3m. She is thriving in her present M pre-school. The class now has 10 to 14 kids, 2 AMi-certified teachers from Taiwan and one assistant. If I transfer her to the new M school which has a primary section, it is 24 kids/class in preschool, 1 AMI english teacher and 1 AMI mandarin teacher. I understand that Maria M had a much larger class, but as a modern parent, the smaller class sounds more appealing. What are your thoughts?
Even "back then," a smaller class sounded better. The reason we think this way is because we think of the interactions in a classroom the same way we think of a traditional classroom. In a class with 20 students in a regular classroom, that means the teacher has to spend time to get to all 20 students during the course of the class. This is because the teacher is the main source of information and knowledge.

In a Montessori class with 20 students and one teacher, there is the possibility of the child to have 22 teachers at any given moment. There are 20 other students in the class that can help, there is the teacher, and there is the material the child is working with. That material is actually the main teacher of the child in a sense. If the child makes a mistake, they usually see it in the materials (or they are still developing that skill the material offers and will see the mistake eventually).

The materials have what we call a "control of error." This is a clue the material gives to show there is a problem. One of my favorite things to show the child early on are the cylinder blocks. These are wooden blocks with 10 cylinders of different sizes cut out of them. The child takes out the cylinders then replaces them in the right place. (Here's a picture: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B003KWKT3S

If one is in the wrong place, the work cannot be completed. 9 might go in, but there's this 10th piece that the child cannot seem to fit into the hole.

The child learns from working with the materials much more than working with the adult. A classic example of how different the teacher's role is can be seen by asking students who taught them how to read. In a traditional classroom, they will almost always say their teacher. In a Montessori classroom, they'll usually say, "Nobody taught me how to read. I just can do it."

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 I asked DD's teacher if she has been able to help younger kids. The teacher said that the school time here in HK is too short - only 3 hours (vs. in Taiwan, M preschool is full day). There is a lot for DD to do, so more interaction in assisting younger child can not be done as often.
I...don't know how to respond to that. It seems that is enough time to certainly help the younger students. Maybe they need to hire me instead. haha
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:45 AM

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Matt, I just ordered the Montessori Math book which you recommended. Is there a book about the way Montessori teaches language arts (English)?
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:57 AM

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Not that I can think of I will look. I have written something about it once in quite a bit of detail. I will see if I can find it and repost it.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:13 AM

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Hi Matt,

a few questions not related to montessori math:

1. For some reason, I let my daughter start at a conventional preschool, but she will still go to Montessori 3 half days. I regret in my decision and plan to pull her out of the conventional preschool by year's end so that she can go back to Montessori 5 days a week. Anyway, having been to school for only 1 week, she came home and told me that her new school is fun and all play and that they didn't get to play in the old school (montessori). I am afraid that the longer I let her stay there, the more she would be against leaving. Also, she came home telling me that her school is very noisy - which I could understand, considering that Montessori classrooms are very orderly and quiet. DD is a bit sensitive in hearing - not in the sense that it would upset her extremely - but she would be a bit uncomfortable. So I was wondering if it would have negative impact in her sensitivity in some ways?

2. I applied to the only Montessori school with preschool through primary for DD, January admission. The school has 9 casa classes, 25 kids per class - one certified teacher and one assistant. I have 2 friends whose kids started going there 2 weeks ago. One mother told me that her son came home saying a lot of "NO" "Not allowed." Would you say that this is type of expression that a Montessori teacher should shy from? or are we parents just being sensitive?

Let me know of your thoughts on these 2 issues.

Thanks.
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