Class Meetings in Lower Elementary

Lower Elementary students participate in weekly class meetings. The purpose of class meetings is to identify problems brought up by the children and brainstorm solutions as a community to fix the issue moving forward. When children feel involved in brainstorming and creating solutions, they are more likely to follow them. For example, this week, the problem we discussed was that people were writing on materials in the class. After a discussion, the children voted that they would erase writing that does not belong on materials as well as give friendly reminders if they see a friend doing so. Class meetings allow students to learn valuable social and life skills, build good character, and develop a sense of community.

Below, I listed some more details.

  • Our class meetings will take place 2-3 times per week.
  • There are jobs during Class Meetings:
    • Facilitator (I do this): Keeps the meeting on track, moves the meeting along, facilitates respectful sharing
    • Time Keeper (child’s job): Keeps track of the timing of each meeting segment and lets us know when the time is up
    • Scribe (I do this): Records the brainstormed suggestions of the class on chart paper
    • Secretary (child’s job): Records the problem and solutions in a notebook, which is a permanent record of the meetings and is accessible to all students anytime
  • There are four sections to the Class Meeting:
    • Compliments and Appreciations: This is a five to eight-minute opening where each person can give and receive a compliment or a thank you.
    • Review of a past agenda item: The secretary reads one problem and solution from a previous meeting with a quick discussion to review how it’s going.
    • Brainstorming: The person who added the agenda item being discussed shares it, and we take turns brainstorming solutions. After the brainstorming, we vote (if it’s a class problem), or the person who shared the item chooses a solution (if it’s not a whole-class issue).
    • Connection Activity: This is a fun closing where we share jokes, riddles, or two-minute mysteries.

Lower Elementary’s Week

To deepen the students’ understanding of Diwali, our school organized a special presentation led by enthusiastic staff members and parents from the community. One highlight of the presentation was the dance performances. The students couldn’t resist joining in, their laughter and dance moves reflecting the sheer joy of the occasion. No celebration is complete without some food, and our Diwali festivities were no exception. Parents and community members generously contributed some delicious treats, allowing the children to get a taste of different cuisines.

Another highlight of the week was our class field trip to the CT Science Center. This place proved to be a treasure trove of knowledge and excitement for all ages. From interactive exhibits showcasing the wonders of space to demonstrations on the laws of physics, every corner of the center seemed to spark curiosity and amazement. The children, in particular, were captivated by the engaging displays and the chance to conduct their own experiments. Some other exhibits we explored were the Engineering Lab, Forces in Motion, Sight/Sound, and many more! Thank you again to the parent volunteers who came with us.

Exploring the Wonders of the Universe in Lower El

This week, lower elementary students embarked on an incredible journey delving into Maria Montessori’s Great Lesson on the creation of the universe. What made this learning experience particularly special was the active involvement of the third-grade students, who not only absorbed the lesson themselves but also took on the role of presenters. They guided their younger peers through engaging science experiments, showing the intricate concepts behind the formation of the universe. This interaction between different age groups fosters a dynamic learning environment where knowledge is shared, curiosity flourishes, and understanding is deepened. As the older students led demonstrations, the enthusiasm and wonder on the faces of the younger learners were palpable.

On Wednesday, we had a visit from the Botsford Fire Department. We learned about fire safety and prevention, how smoke moves through a house, and all of the equipment on a fire truck!

A Spooktacular Classroom Celebration

In our classroom, Halloween was an absolute blast this year! We dove headfirst into the spooky spirit with a lineup of thrilling activities that brought smiles to every face. From marching in the school parade in our most creative costumes to crafting and decorating pumpkins with a burst of artistic flair, our day was filled with joy and laughter. The classroom transformed into a hub of creativity as we delved into coloring crafts. The best part of our celebration was the hauntingly fun party where we enjoyed delicious treats, listened to spooky songs and participated in games. A heartfelt thank you goes out to the amazing parents who generously sent in an array of food and supplies, making our party a success. Here’s to a Halloween celebration that will linger in our memories for years to come!

With colder weather is approaching, please send your child with appropriate out door gear each day. We go outside in the morning and again in the afternoon everyday, with the exception of rainy days and days when the temperature is below freezing. Thank you!

Exploring the Exciting World of Grammar in Lower El

To Maria Montessori, the teaching of grammar was at the center of her language curriculum for elementary-age children. Today, it still remains a critical element in the teaching of a complete language program in a Montessori environment. At this age, grammar is being presented at an impressionistic level, and later on, in their later elementary years, they will explore these concepts on a more formal level.

For our first-grade students, grammar is an exhilarating journey filled with discovery and adventure. The first years embarked on a mission to explore the world of nouns. Nouns are the essential building blocks of language, representing people, places, things, and ideas. To make learning about nouns engaging, the children went on a classroom scavenger hunt. This hands-on approach to learning not only made grammar fun but also helped students grasp the concept of nouns in a tangible way.

The second graders moved on to the dynamic world of verbs. Verbs are the action words that bring life to sentences. To help the students learn about verbs, we introduced grammar dice and grammar strips. These materials added an element of excitement to grammar lessons. Students rolled the grammar dice to select create a silly sentence. This interactive approach not only made learning verbs enjoyable but also helped students understand how verbs affect the meaning and structure of sentences.

In third grade, students enter the world of grammar with a solid foundation. To enhance their understanding of language concepts already learned, I introduced a new material called “Grammar Sense.” This work serves to reinforce their knowledge of various parts of speech, including nouns, articles, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions. Grammar Sense expands on their existing knowledge by providing a holistic understanding of how these elements work together to create meaningful and well-structured sentences. This material encourages students to analyze sentences and understand the role each word plays in conveying the intended message.

Exploring Nature and Building Connections in Lower El

Field trips are a delightful break from the routine of school life, offering students the opportunity to explore new environments, connect with classmates, and create lasting memories. On Thursday, we embarked on an adventure to March Farms. Our day at March Farms kicked off with the ultimate test of teamwork and navigation skills – the corn maze. After our triumphant escape from the corn maze, we ventured to the orchard for an apple-picking adventure. The grand finale of our March Farms field trip was a visit to the petting zoo. Here, we met some of the friendliest (and stinkiest) farm animals, including goats, pigs, and ducks. Overall, It was a wonderful experience that not only brought us closer to nature but also strengthened the bonds within our class community.

Halloween is right around the corner! We will be celebrating in class on Tuesday the 31st by decorating pumpkins and having a party. Please send in a sugar pumpkin for your child to decorate. You can start sending them in any time, and we will store them in the classroom. Thank you!

In addition to pumpkin painting, the children are welcome to wear their costumes to school on Tuesday the 31st. We ask that the children don’t wear any masks and keep their costumes school-appropriate. They will be changing out of their costumes before decorating pumpkins; please send a change of clothes with them.

Volcanoes in Lower El!

This week, Lower Elementary students embarked on a thrilling journey into the world of volcanoes. Our young geologists began their adventure by learning about the formation and eruption of volcanoes. They discovered that beneath the Earth’s surface lies a molten rock known as magma. When pressure builds up within the Earth due to various geological processes, this magma is forced to the surface through vents, creating spectacular eruptions. The children were captivated by the idea that these awe-inspiring eruptions are the result of the Earth’s inner turmoil.

With a basic understanding of volcanic eruptions, the children delved deeper into the anatomy of a volcano. They learned about the various components that make up these natural wonders, including the magma chamber, conduit, mantle, crust, strata, sill, vent, and dike. As their excitement continued to build, the children couldn’t wait to get their hands on our model volcano. This work will be on our classroom shelf for children to explore on their own.

Lower Elementary Week 4

Autumn is here! The crispness in the air infuses us with a sense of seasonal joy. As a part of our daily routine, weather permitting, we commence our mornings with recess out on the field. The children eagerly partake in a range of activities during this morning movement session, including soccer matches, leisurely walks around the field, and imaginative adventures. This physical activity serves as a crucial foundation for our busy day ahead, ensuring that our bodies are primed and ready to tackle the tasks that lie ahead. With the weather getting cooler, please make sure your child is equipped with appropriate fall gear. With the field often wet with morning dew, it’s important that each child has a pair of indoor and outdoor shoes, in addition to spare socks, to be kept in their locker. Thank you for helping with this transition!

This week, we embarked on our journey to explore the creation story through a series of captivating science demonstrations. These engaging experiments serve the purpose of illustrating the concepts intertwined with the tale of the universe’s formation. The creation narrative offers a glimpse into the very origins of life itself. Its overarching goal is to evoke a sense of wonder, nurture an appreciation for the intricate tapestry of events that have unfolded, and ignite a genuine curiosity for scientific inquiry.