Montessori Classroom- A Sacred Space

“The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.”  ~Maria Montessori

After a few short weeks due to holidays and snow days, we are happy to be back in our routine. Even happier to welcome a new friend, Ellis, into our class community! We are thrilled to have you back.

A Montessori classroom is a sacred space. Each child in a Montessori classroom is working to become independent. To be successful with this independence, the children have to feel empowered to solve their own problems, have a consistent and predictable routine, and have the opportunity to work cooperatively and independently. The Lower Elementary classroom is a community where I take the growth in independence of each child seriously. I strive to provide a space where the children feel comfortable and confident. This enables them to become independent and helps to shape them as they grow.

 


Research Fair

This time of year is special because the entire class is focused on one common goal, completing their research projects. This common focus connects us as a class and allows opportunities for the older children to take a mentoring roll and help the younger children who are new to research.

The children were so excited the past few weeks as the anticipation of Research Fair crept up. They were thrilled to be sharing their projects with their classmates, who they love so deeply. The third-year students had their first public speaking experience, presenting to their classmates. They were amazing! Although it was optional, some second and first years wanted to present to their peers as well! All of the children worked diligently and should be very proud of their work, as am I.


The Earth’s Insulation

In continuation of our Composition of the Earth lessons, the children enjoyed learning about the Earth’s insulation. To begin the lesson, each child had a turn to feel the heat radiating off of a spoon that was heated up. From there we had a group discussion about the difference between warming your hands near an open fire and feeling the heat coming off of the spoon. From there, we talked about the two different types of heat: radiant and passive. Radiant heat comes from something burning; when the sun heats up the Earth’s surface. Passive heat comes from something that has collected heat from something that is burning; when the Earth’s surface heats up the atmosphere.

In addition, the children learned that as hot air rises, it cools and is forced to release moisture. To illustrate this concept, I boiled water in a pan and covered the pan with a cool glass bowl. Water droplets quickly appeared on the bowl because the coolness of the bowl allows the air to release its moisture. This is called condensation.


Preparing for Research

This week the children have been busy working on their research projects in preparation for the upcoming Research Fair on February 5th. This year, since we can’t have large group gatherings, their research will be presented to you via video. They are enjoying learning more about the topics they chose and they are looking forward to sharing all of their newly learned information with you!  First and second year students will make posters and write research papers, and third year students will make presentation boards, write papers, and give oral presentations. We will provide all of the information and resources for the children to complete this process successfully.

Also, please enjoy this heart warming video of the children sharing what they love most about Lower Elementary. This video was optional for the students to participate in and was made for Moving Up Night, for prospective parents entering LE and it was too great not to share with you all! I hope it makes you smile as much as it made me!


Geography and Geometry Galore!

The students were hard at work this week working on their geometry and geography assignments.

In geography, the first graders enjoyed their follow up work, making a peninsula and gulf out of clay and water. The second years explored a Montessori material called lands end. With this material they learn about capes, peninsulas, promontories, isthmus, and spits. The third grade group was intrigued about the parts of a mountain. The parts of a mountain they are learning about are: summit, peak, crest, slope, and base.

In geometry, the third graders are continuing their study of polygons. They are having a blast making different polygons with the box of sticks and, as follow up work, polygon posters. The second graders have a great grasp of measuring angles with the Montessori protractor, which is a pretty difficult concept. Last but not least, the first years have begun their geometry study of basic concepts. Here they are studying the relationship between points, lines, surfaces, and solids.


Non Fiction Fun!

This week we kicked off our non-fiction Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop. The classroom was buzzing with excitement!

Reader’s Workshop was started by reading the children both a fiction and non-fiction book and their job was to listen for any differences between the two. What they came up with was; nonfiction books had facts and information, unlike fiction books. Then, the children learned the importance of studying each page for detail when reading non-fiction books.

In Writer’s Workshop, the students began the new unit by partnering up and teaching each other all about something they are experts in. Here is what each student chose:

  • Dante- drawing
  • Gianni- frogs
  • Lola- pets
  • Matthew- throwing a birthday party
  • Cecelia- riding a bike
  • Henry- Mario Cart
  • James- Dragamons
  • Luke- football
  • Lulu- baking and cooking
  • Olive- going to bed
  • Stella- riding a bike
  • Maximo- Mario cart
  • Alessandro- building
  • Allie- Roblox
  • Olivia- taking care of dogs
  • Remy- horses
  • Jane- Roblox

That’s a Wrap

 

What a unique, challenging, but special year 2020 was. For me, one of this year’s highlights was having the blessing of being part of your child’s journey of life. Each and every one of them has not only grown physically, but emotionally and intellectually. I find such joy watching their individual personalities come to life! These children are such a gift and I can’t wait to watch them blossom even more in 2021!

Wishing you all peace and love during this holiday season. Here’s to a great 2021!


Brilliant Biologists

In the Montessori curriculum, care for living environments is one of the most important aspects. Children love animals and plants and can relate to them as individuals. Those relationships and that intimate, personal contact form the base for our biology curriculum. Children are drawn to living things and they want to know and learn more about them. We nuture and build on that interest by helping them to sharpen their skills in observation, and to learn and apply methods of appropriate caretaking.

Lower Elementary students have been loving their biology lessons! The third years are learning about the body functions and external parts of moss. They are enjoying searching for moss while outdoors and closely observing it under a magnifying glass. The first and second graders are learning about amphibians. The first year group is taking a close look at the external parts of a frog meanwhile the second years are studying the inside, the body functions of a frog.