Mrs. Doyle’s Class: An Intention To Work

The love of one’s environment is the secret of social evolution.—-Maria Montessori

One of the first lessons given in the beginning of the year is how to carry, unroll and roll a work mat or rug.  Retrieving a mat, picking it up carefully, finding the ideal space to work and rolling it out provides an opportunity to practice gross motor skills and body awareness.  Everything that gets placed on the mat thereafter becomes the responsibility and privilege of the child working on that mat.  It also helps to organize one’s materials.

Montessori work mats, delineate a work space as the child’s own and sets an intention to “work”.   Each child knows that their lesson is exclusive to them unless they invite someone to join them to work together on their mat.   The children also know they have the responsibility to put their materials away when they are finished.  By doing so and then rolling up their mat, they are sending a signal that this particular work session has ended.

Our floors have been a sea of rugs! Your children are skillfully maneuvering themselves throughout the environment, careful not to disturb a friend’s work. We continue to be amazed at their growing control and respect for both friends and the environment.

Wishing you a week filled with peace and love!

Michelle & Lizette


Mrs. Lopes’s Class: Our Hurried World


“Help me to do it myself.”

In our hurried world, it is easier to do it ourselves then to stop and show our children how to do a task, and patiently wait until they complete it. Montessori tells us that everything we do for the child that he can do for himself is an obstacle to his development. Definitely something to think about!

Our classroom travels have taken us to the continent of South America this week. We will be exploring the various countries, customs, animals, foods, music, and literature this culturally rich continent has to offer. We will also discuss what a rainforest is and have fun discovering the many layers and animals who live in the rainforests.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead,

Amanda & Sharlene


Let’s Play Ball!

 

Students in Primary participated in a tee-ball unit this month.  Students learned how to run bases, hold a wiffle bat, and throw and catch a ball.  Throwing and catching is a lifelong skill.  When children practice ball skills, they will notice their skills improving.  This helps children understand they can learn and get better at something if they put in the time and the practice.  Tee-ball helps children listen as a group, get along with peers, learn how to take turns, and perform independently when needed.   The benefits of tee-ball include:  improved balance, coordination, strength and stamina, motor skill development, social skills development, better hand-eye coordination, improved self confidence, and sportsmanship.


Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Where It All Begins!

The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.—Maria Montessori

The foundation of a Montessori classroom is the Practical Life area.  This area provides a bridge between a child’s home life and school life.  As parents, we often hear children say repeatedly, “I can do it myself.”  How right they are! Practical Life is teaching daily living skills while helping children to develop focus, concentration, independence, coordination, a sense of order, and developing hand strength. The lessons are comprised of equipment or tools they may have seen before. We use glassware, tweezers, spoons of all shapes and sizes, tongs, eyedroppers, and so much more. Practical Life lessons are divided into two main areas of development: care of self and care of the environment.

In many Montessori classrooms, it is the first area the children will see when they enter.  In the beginning of the year, many of the lessons will utilize larger materials until the children begin to strengthen their fine motor skills. The materials are changed at the beginning of each month to maintain the child’s interest. Each material is an indirect preparation for reading and writing as they are sequenced,  left to right and top to bottom. It is in this area that the children first learn to initiate and complete a work cycle independently.

Typically, our younger friends will spend much of their time in Practical Life. However, there is not a day that goes by that each child does not spend some time here. Sshhh, the children don’t know about any of this, they just think it is a fun area to spend time in.

Enjoy the week!

Michelle & Lizette


Mrs. Lopes’s Class: Exploring Insects!

“A child, more than anyone else, is a spontaneous observer of nature.” – Maria Montessori

Flowers aren’t the only ones that come out of hiding during spring. After the cold of winter you’ll notice more insects start making their appearance. Curiosity towards these six legged friends hits a high note in April, and we take the cue to “follow the child” and their deep affection for insects. Over the next several weeks we will continue to support your children’s curiosity, exploration, and understanding of insects through hands-on activities, songs, lessons, and outdoor exploration. The intent is to encourage their interest in the diversity, beauty, and joy of nature.

Is a spider an insect? What are the 3 parts of an insect?  The children know, ask them.

Kindergarten parents please look out for a letter in this week’s Friday folders regarding a field trip we will be taking in May.

Have a warm and wonderful week!

Amanda & Sharlene


Mrs. Lopes’s Class: Cultivating Compassion and Empathy

“So in the child, besides the vital impulse to create himself, and to become perfect, there must be yet another purpose, a duty to fulfill in harmony, something he has to do in the service of a united whole.” ~ Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

Maria Montessori believed that children are the key to peace and empathy among humanity. This important belief is a foundation in our Montessori classrooms beginning with practical life lessons and continuing throughout childhood and beyond. I’d like to share how a “simple” lesson can provide the mechanism from which children in the classroom learn, practice and express their empathy and love for their community.

“Flower arranging work has a more important indirect aim than simply admiring nature’s work of art.  It is an opportunity for little hands to contribute to the beautification of the environment.  It is a tender moment when a young heart lays down a symbol of friendship, love and peace on a table for someone else to enjoy. It is a brief yet integral step outside of oneself and one’s own needs. -The CHILD centered Blog

Flower arranging is only one of many classrooms works and activities sowing the seeds of compassion and empathy in your children.  Please remember, compassion in your homes helps your children do the same.

Have a peaceful week,

Amanda and Sharlene


Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Becoming An Entomologist

We are hard at work becoming entomologists.  This is always a favorite unit of study for the children.  An entomologist is a scientist who studies insects. We began our unit by reporting on what we already know about insects, what they are and what they can do.

This week as a class, we discovered that insects are slimy, little, gross, soft, and hard. Insects can crawl, sting, bite, eat, fly, walk upside down, and jump. We learned that insects lay eggs, have antennae, three main body parts, a head, thorax and abdomen, eyes, and six legs. Insects are also cold blooded, have an exoskeleton, and many have wings. We found out why a spider is not an insect. Ask your child to see if he or she knows.

In a few weeks, we will welcome caterpillars into our classroom.  It is so exciting to observe each step of the fascinating life cycle of the Painted Lady Butterfly. We will also be going on an insect walk around the school grounds, to put our newfound entomology skills to use!

Have a wonderful week!

Michelle & Lizette


Mrs. Doyle’s Class: Fun Five Senses


First the education of the senses, then the education of the intellect—Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori believed there is a sensitive period for a child’s development of their senses. Although the senses are an integral part of our lives, children during the early years have the greatest potential to develop and retrieve them. It is precisely this idea that demonstrates the purpose of Sensorial materials in the Montessori classroom. The Sensorial materials are powerful tools, which allow children to become aware of their unconscious impressions and bring these impressions into conscious awareness. Additionally, they enable your children to create a basis of order in their mind, allowing for intelligent exploration of their environment.

This week we are beginning our study on the five senses.  What better way to teach this than to use popcorn? Popcorn is a multi-sensory snack as it incorporates all five of our senses. It might just be our most appetizing science unit yet! Did you ever notice that when you make popcorn, somehow the entire family knows about it and shows up to have some of this favorite treat?

We begin by discussing what our five senses are and how we use different body parts to learn about things in our environment. For example, our noses are for smelling, ears are for listening, eyes are for seeing, hands are for touching, and our tongue is for tasting.  We learned that sometimes we use more than one sense at a time.

Next, each child had the opportunity to handle popcorn kernels to make observations of what they see, smell, and feel.  We record all of our observations as we are going along. Finally, we use an air popper to pop some popcorn.  Now we can include our observations about hearing and tasting as well.

Wishing you all peace and love.

Michelle & Lizette