Collaboration in Lower El

One of my favorite parts about an Elementary Montessori classroom is that you see children constantly, collaboratively, learning with and from one another on a daily basis. There are many benefits to this work. Working with a friend teaches children patience, respect for another’s strengths and challenges, and the give and take of compromising while collaborating.

It was another productive week in Lower Elementary. The third year students learned about pronouns in grammar and the material they use to practice this skill is called a grammar box. The second graders learned about prepositions and they also use a grammar box as follow up to this work. The first year group learned about nouns. They enjoyed going on a scavenger hunt in the classroom and labeling all the nouns they could find!

Lower El: Science and Geography

This week we started preparing for our Creation Story with some science demonstrations. The purpose of these demonstrations is to illustrate concepts explored through the story of the creation of the universe. The Creation Story provides an impressionistic demonstration of the origins of life. The story is designed to impart a sense of wonder and awe, to instill respect for all that has happened, and to ignite interest in scientific investigation.

In addition, the children have been immersed in geography. The first grade group had a lesson on the puzzle maps, where they learn the continents and countries. In a Lower Elementary classroom, puzzle maps are first used as a sensorial material, but then are used repeatedly as a resource for research of countries and their capitals. The second grade group learned about the pin maps. This is an extension of the puzzle maps, but is more abstract. The children are using this material to identify countries, capitals, and flags. The aim of this material is to enhance memorization of geographical features. Last but not least, the third graders are researching countries of their choosing. Some of them were so excited, they brought their work home to work on!

Parent-teacher conferences are coming up on October 28th! Look for an email on Tuesday with a link to sign up for your conference slot. 

Lower El: Adapting and Settling In

We are continuing to settle in to our classroom routines and have new lessons. First year students completed their lessons on the geometric solids and enjoy playing a “hide-and-seek” game with the geometry shapes. The second years were told the Love Story of the Lines: Convergent, Divergent, and Parallel. They use the box of sticks as follow up work. Lastly, the third graders enjoyed reviewing how to subtract angles on the Montessori protractor.

Our Lower Elementary classroom consists of students that love to work collaboratively and individually. One of the beauties of work cycle is that different types of work go on simultaneously. Children can be working on a variety of language, math, geometry, cultural, and spelling work. This is a supportive classroom community of learners!

Lower El – Who am I?

An exciting part of our week was creating the class “Who Am I” material together. “Who Am I” is a collection of Montessori biology materials used to learn about the different kingdoms of life; specifically, animals, plants, fungi, protists, and prokaryotes. As a fun beginning of the year activity, we made this material with a focus on the children in the classroom. This process started with the children answering questions about themselves. Next, it was typed up, and turned into a material the students can use during work cycle. Not only is the “Who Am I” material a fabulous and popular classification work, it also provides work in comprehension and fluency while helping the children get to know each other!

Lower Elementary: Encouraging Independence

Each morning we start off our day with mindful meditation. We often assume breathing is just a natural skill; everyone knows how to inhale and exhale. But breathing is more than that. Being aware of our breath not only helps us manage the difficulties of everyday life, it also helps develop compassion, empathy, and concentration. This is an exercise where children practice focusing on the present, instead of worrying about the past and uncertainties of the future. It helps us become aware of how we feel at a given moment.

Encouraging independence and self-motivation is crucial to the Montessori approach. Children at this plane of development love the satisfaction of mastering real-life skills because they come to see themselves as respected members of a community. One way we encourage this in Lower Elementary is having weekly classroom jobs. Monday mornings are especially exciting because that’s when students decide what their weekly jobs will be. Classroom jobs can help build a sense of excitement, community, and interdependence from the very start of the school year.

The Lower Elementary Family

I can’t believe the first week of school has already come to an end! The children came in energized and ready to go. They are quickly settling into our routines, rekindling old friendships, and making new ones each day. Our third year group has been such an asset to our class by mentoring and guiding the younger and new students through this transition period. It’s heartwarming to see the connections being made. If this is any indication for the year to come, we are all in for a spectacular school year! I cannot wait for more learning and exploring to come!

It is important to intentionally build community at the beginning of the school year. This year, one of our community building activities was reading “Our Class is Family” and then then each child drew a self portrait of themselves. They will be placed on a wall for the rest of the year to help set a sense of community in our classroom. 

Lower El – Hello Summer!

How is it already the last day of school!? I think we can all agree this year flew by! As a tradition, we celebrated the time our third years spent in Lower Elementary. Each third year student shared something special to them about their time in Lower Elementary and then, crossed the bridge to be greeted by the Upper Elementary children and teacher. Afterwards, the first and second year students shared something they like about each third grader or something they will miss about them.

I have had an amazing year with this incredible group of children. The year always goes by much too quickly. I will miss the children moving on and up and wish them nothing but the best. Each child holds a very special place in my heart. I hope you have a wonderful summer!

Lower Elementary Field Day Mania!

The kids had a blast participating in field day this past Wednesday! In overheard conversations, it was the “best day of school ever!” Thanks to Mrs. Pascarella for coordinating and setting up such exciting activities that also involved team work, cooperation and good sportsman ship. Some of those activities include; sponge relay race, egg and spoon relay race, water balloon toss, potato sac race, tug of war, ducks in a pond, and pool kickball. I even had a great time capturing these moments of excitement and laughter.

Below are the themes for spirit week:

Tuesday, 6/1

Pajama Day

Choose your favorite, cozy pajamas

Wednesday, 6/2

Lower El & Upper El: Wacky Wednesday!

Different shoes? Funky hair? Come to school with any style you consider wacky.

Thursday, 6/3

Sports Day!

Wear your favorite jersey, or uniform!

Friday, 6/4

Movie Day!

Dress up as your favorite movie character! (No costume masks please)