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Domino Worksheet From Tot School
Today I presented a domino addition work to Elora.  She instantly loved it and completed the activity correctly with virtually no direction.  Upon reviewing her work it was abundantly clear that her ability to write her numbers has slipped a bit.  To be fair to her, she had a bit of a set back with her arthritis.  While she has never had any joints in her hands diagnosed, at the age of two and a half she suddenly began resisting all pre-writing activities, including coloring, for nearly a year.  She has made excellent progress all around but lately, her focus has been on letters, not numbers.

After my brief moment of panic, I decided to double back and repeat some earlier lessons; lessons I had originally introduced nearly two years ago.  I retrieved the sandpaper numbers and the sand tray and we got to work.  Obviously, she knows her numbers well so we didn't need to repeat that process.  We did take turns tracing each number multiples times.  She then drew the numbers in the sand tray.

Much to her dismay, I then had her practice all of the numbers on the chalkboard.  She protested a bit but as I showed her how much she improved by her last repetition, she became more receptive to the exercise.

In order to keep her on track, we will work with the sandpaper numbers and sand tray until she becomes consistent.  I will also have her repeat the chalkboard activity frequently.

My tip for today is to realize that while there is an order of progression for the various areas of Montessori, it cannot be viewed as a strictly linear process.  It is tempting to try and check off as many works as possible.  Believe me, the scope of work for the primary range feels vast!  However, works that have been completed successfully often require repetition for true mastery.  If you notice that your child is struggling with a prior skill that you thought was mastered, it is appropriate to return to an earlier work that isolates the problem area.  And of course, it is important that you do not give the child the impression that they have failed and that the atmosphere stays positive.
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