Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, Maracas Montessori school has a mission to empower our children by challenging their intellect, supporting them in developing skills for the future, and creating an environment where they can discover the joy of learning. The staff accomplish this through a diverse Montessori curriculum immersed in the Spanish language.
Cristian Arboleda, originally from Colombia, is the school’s Children’s House Assistant and Afternoon Program coordinator. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Basic Education with an emphasis in Technology and Information Technology, as well as a specialty in Children’s Pedagogy, and is now completing his certification as a Montessori guide with the Montitute Montessori Training Institute.
When the director of Maracas, Mrs Claudia Casco, decided to have Cubetto in our school, I was really very excited as I immediately recognised it as a new, interactive resource that develops computational thinking skills in children. It also suited me particularly well, as I am partial to the use of technology as an educational approach, due to my academic background in education with an emphasis on technology and computer science.
The children of Maracas Montessori had their first contact with Cubetto in a small maths club that I lead every Monday afternoon, in which I explained the basics on how to use Cubetto. The children’s response was incredibly positive and every one of them was really eager to work with this new resource. After a few weeks, however, I started to notice that the children lost interest in working with Cubetto and upon further observation realised that they were struggling to create increasingly complex challenges.
In Montessori pedagogy it is a teacher’s duty to arouse the child’s interest in the material
This was my greatest motivation to create new tools for them to explore, because in Montessori pedagogy it is a teacher’s duty to arouse the child’s interest in the material. Meanwhile, it’s the children who choose what they want to work on and when, creating the space for independent decisions.
A new teaching method for Cubetto educators
So, after seeing that the children no longer used Cubetto as frequently and that their motivation was not as strong as before, I started to think about a new approach, which led me to develop a methodological proposal that I am extremely happy to share with all other Cubetto educators.
This method is divided into 6 parts:
– Cubetto Role-Play: Impersonating Cubetto, using the pre-designed tabs.
– First Lesson: Learning basic movements (forward, left and right).
– Introducing the Challenges: Flashcards levels A – B – C.
– Introducing the Function Block
– Introducing New Challenges: Flashcards level D.
– Extensions: Templates and short stories.
Further details on this methodology are available here, where I tell you more about the challenges, the cards’ design, our results and other logistical tips.
Please tag us on Twitter (@MaracasMontesso) to let us know how you are using our Montessori approach to keep your children engaged!
Finally, see the approach in practice in this video of Maracas Montessori school children using the methodology with Cubetto!