Hello families! This week, the fourth years started with long division. We use Montessori Materials called “Racks & Test Tubes” to make a tangible path to understanding the logic behind long division. The students practice grouping beads from Test Tubes onto a wooden board that represents the place value of each divisor. The purpose of this exercise is to develop what Maria Montessori called a “Mathematical Mind”. In essence, the children exercise their problem solving skills and are moving toward abstraction, meaning toward doing the problems without materials. This switch from manipulatives to abstract thinking is a hallmark of Upper Elementary work. In Geometry, students are working on calculating equivalencies between polygons and rectangles. Again, we use metal inserts as Montessori materials to prove the theorems that the students are testing and validating with manipulatives. This is important for the advanced geometry we will reach at the beginning of next year. Overall, students are working hard on mathematical concepts key to upper learning levels.