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1836 W. Grand Arbor Circle
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
United States


Bringing Montessori to the iPhone and iPad.


Blog: Inside Montessorium

On the Road

Angie Leinen

Intro to United States, our newest app, is now available in the app store! You can download it here. We'd love to take a stroll through it with you, highlighting some of the features and activities. Adventures lie ahead! Let's learn the states and discover our independence together.


Do you see that signpost? It marks the beginning of our journey. Tap on the flashing dot to get going!  We've already mastered those states that are colored in, and we're currently working on the six dark brown states. We're halfway there...


Learn the Animals

After placing the states in their correct location, we'll also have an opportunity to match an animal from each state. Did you know each state has an animal? "This is a Malamute, it can be found in Alaska!" What's your state's animal?

Trace the States

One of our very last activities is tracing the state shape. We can intimately explore every nook and cranny of the border, and when we're all finished, tap on that little check mark in the bottom right. We did it! We can't wait to hear how you're getting along! Send us a note. We'd love to hear from you.

The Three Period Lesson

Angie Leinen

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Charlotte Wood, a Montessori directress, to discuss the Three Period Lesson. It's a staple in the Montessori classroom, and also directly relates to how we organize our apps. It's all in the method.

Children under the age of six have an unlimited capacity for language, and want to know the names of everything around them. In Montessori, we use this limitless capacity for language to introduce new vocabulary to the children every day. Sometimes it’s things as basic as colors, and other times very specific vocabulary such as parts of a seahorse or types of cars. Regardless of the vocabulary being introduced, it is always presented in the same way - The Three-Period Lesson. Let’s walk through the process together, and you’ll see how this game is a natural progression from brand-new vocabulary to memorized, without any pressure or feeling of being tested.

The First Period, formally called the Naming period, is an introduction. We gather three items to introduce vocabulary. In the classroom, we would provide language for all the materials and their qualities, but we also have collections of vocabulary cards typically grouped together by some common aspect, such as balls, flowers, parts of a tree, etc. A wonderful thing about the flexibility of being a Montessori guide is that if there is a subject the children in your class are particularly interested in, for instance dinosaurs, we can create vocabulary cards relating to that subject. It’s one way we follow the child. The first step, whether using cards or physical objects, is to say what each item or card depicts, presenting the new vocabulary.

The Second Period is a simple game. “Can you touch the lion? Hold the elephant over your head. Please hand me the giraffe.” If the child indicates the incorrect item, we gently steer them in the right direction, “That’s the elephant. Touch the lion. There it is!” This period is also called the Association period.

The Third Period, or Recall period, is an assessment to determine if the child has attached to the language. “What is this?” we ask, while pointing at the object or card. If the child hasn't quite grasped the language but is still very interested, we might return to the second period for some review. If they are able to recall all three words and are eager for more, we might introduce three more pieces of new vocabulary, but usually not more than six in a day. Every time we sit down together to do a new vocabulary lesson, we begin with this Third Period, to see if the child already knows some of the vocabulary. With those inquiring, hungry minds, and all the observing of others that happens in the classroom, sometimes a child knows a whole set of vocabulary cards, even though they’ve never had their own lesson on the material!

This Three-Period Lesson is one of the ways we introduce new vocabulary in the classroom, fulfilling the child’s strong desire to acquire as much language as possible, as precise and specific as we provide for them. It can also be a fun game to play at home!

Explore the United States

Angie Leinen

Intro to States, now available in the app store, creates the opportunity for children to investigate, explore, and perhaps above all, follow their interests. 

In the spirit of exploration, we’ve put together a short list of ideas for parents and children to continue investigating the United States, no matter if you’re in the heart of New York City or on the back trails of Yosemite National Park! 

  1. Play a simple sound game! Which states begin with the sound “m”? Can you name an animal that begins with the sound “p”?
  2. Every time you come across a state quarter, take a closer look. Can you identify the state and the image? Why do you think that particular image was selected for that state? Can you think of any other landmarks for that state?
  3. A road atlas is a great resource to explore distances between places! For example, from South Dakota, which state is closer, Nebraska or Oklahoma? How could we get there?
  4. Your local library will have an abundance of resources about  your state, ranging from topographic maps to guides about the local wildlife.Can you ask your librarian for a book about your state or region?
  5. The United States contains amazing geographical landmarks! Investigate major landmarks such as the Grand Canyon, the Appalachian Mountains, or the Great Lakes. Where are they located? How far away is the landmark from you?
  6. Are you a seasoned traveler? If so, brainstorm all the places you’ve been in the United States! If you’re an aspiring globetrotter, create a list of the places you’d like to see.
  7. Can you name the states that border on the Pacific Ocean? Which states are near the Gulf of Mexico? Are any states entirely surrounded by water?
  8. Every state is unique and special in some way. Put together a list of places that make your state awesome, and try to visit each and every one! Mount Rushmore? Check!
  9. The United States has all types of weather. Can you think of states that have a lot of snow in wintertime? What about states that are more tropical? Which states do you think have all four seasons?
  10. Have you ever wondered why the states are all different shapes? Do a research project about your state’s shape. How did it get that way? Has it every changed? Next, can you find any other states that have the same shape as your state?