Spring Has Arrived on our Playground and in Our Classroom!

We have had a beautiful week!

Outdoors the forsythia is in bloom and flowers are beginning to bud. Indoors our classroom has been centered around the spring-time tradition of egg dying. The children experienced dying hard-boiled eggs, peeling hard-boiled eggs and eating hard-boiled eggs.

The children had two special surprise guests join us in the classroom.  Henrietta and Shell, two Ameraucana Hens.  Thank you to Rachel Heggland for sharing the chickens from her farm with our class!

“The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge.”- Maria Montessori


Mrs. Hood: Cluck, Cluck!

Exposing children to real animal life in the classroom is of great benefit to them. From touching, observing, and caring for them to understanding the delicacy and uniqueness of all life, the children’s focus sharpens and the sensorial experiences are absorbed by them in incredible ways!

This week we introduced the life cycle of a chicken! From using object models and matching works to watching a very short video of a chicken hatching out of an egg, children started to get curious about the topic of the week. Then we received the gift of 18 gorgeous fertilized eggs and we were supplied with a perfectly sized hatcher to watch the magic happening in front of our eyes! Children have been working intentionally to make sure the eggs are taken care of. They have the opportunity to turn the eggs very gently one time each morning! It’s great to see how careful they all are and the respect they show when handling the eggs! Children love to stand by the hatcher and watch the eggs quietly, hearing the sound, feeling the vibration and the soft heat that it emits. We are all so excited!

To add to the excitement, we were visited by two four month old Ameraucana chickens- their names are Shell and Henrietta! This type of chicken lays beautiful blue eggs. Children were in awe! They had the opportunity to pet them, feed them, and hold them! It was a great experience!

Thank you so much to the Heggland family for making all this happen! Your support to our classroom is incredibly valuable! It was so fun!

On another note, our beautiful hungry caterpillars have already reached the chrysalis stage and children can’t wait to see the butterflies coming out! There is magic all around!

Thanks to all the parents that were able to attend the Parent-Child Morning! It was great to see you having a nice time with your child and getting a closer glimpse of what happens in their Montessori world here at school!

Next week the children who will be moving to the Primary program in the fall will be visiting one of the Primary environments for 20-30 minutes and spending some quality time with our amazing Primary guides and some welcoming peers. A more detailed email about this event will be sent shortly!

For those who celebrate this holiday weekend, please enjoy!


Mrs. Thomas: More Fun Work in Action!

We are thrilled to be outside more and more each day! As the children play on the playground, they are noticing the buds on the trees and bushes and how the leaves of the tulips and daffodils are pushing up through the flower beds.

Inside, the shelves are filled with materials reflective of the new season. We have books about birds, caterpillars, and butterflies to enjoy. Plastic eggs have been hidden in Easter grass for the children to find and place into an egg carton and then do all over again. White construction paper butterflies become colorful as the children decorate them with Do-a-Dot markers. Little golden eggs are transferred from one silver bowl to another with a ladle. And brightly colored woolen flowers are transferred with small tongs.

We have also put the doll house away and brought out the barn. The children love playing with the cow and calf, the sheep and lamb, the duck and ducklings. A horse, goat, turkey, and two cats round out the animals in the barn. It is such a joy to watch their imaginative play blossom with this new cast of figures and to hear them learn the adult and baby names of these animals.

We added another sensory bin to the environment this week. Small items are hidden in rice for the children to find. They LOVE running their fingers through the rice…such a fun sensation! As they find these items, they are learning their names such as “spring”, “knob”, “cog”, and “anteater”.

Next Thursday is our Toddler Parent/Child Morning. An email will be sent out soon with more details.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Parent-Child Morning Success!

FWM’s Parent-Child Morning was a huge success! It was such a pleasure to see the children’s faces lit with pure joy while sharing their special environment and activities with you.

The last time you were all in our room was in September for Phase-In. Your children have grown so much in such a short period of time, haven’t they?

For those of you unable to attend, several parents stepped in and worked with your children, much to their delight. This class is one big happy family!

And although I’ve already written this before, thank you all again for your unwavering support this year, especially during this last week.

Much love to you all!

Stephanie


Mrs. Hood’s Class: Joy and Life in the Sunshine!

I remember a couple of years ago sitting by a small window and observing the gigantic icicles that covered my view. Suddenly I noticed how, so slowly, water started to drip from the icicles on a sunny morning! I remember so clearly how this sense of joy filled my life! This was the end of my first winter in America and since then I love the hope that spring brings when Earth seems to wake up and become alive again! Warmer and sunnier days, windows opened, greener views, and that crisp in the air are just some of the things that I love from spring! My favorite thing of all is to observe the animals and their incredible ways during this season. Animals that spend the winter in hibernation come out of their dens, while those that traveled to warmer regions return. Many animals give birth in the spring. Winter coats are shed by those that sported them, and some animals may change coloration to blend in with their new surroundings. It’s amazing!

This week, we introduced a very beloved animal to our environment: the caterpillar! For the next two weeks children will have the opportunity to very closely observe the life cycle of painted lady butterflies! By the way, my favorite animal!

Two popular works this week in practical life have been opening and closing a lunchbox and table setting. As full day students have demonstrated interest in setting their own place for lunch, we offered these fun activities for children to practice those necessary skills and learn to carefully treat breakable items. We also added some pretending food and children have been very imaginative! We encourage you to involve your child in setting the table at your home! You will be surprised how well they do it!

Another fun work children seem to like is spooning eggs in our sensorial bin! The prickly grass is something that attracts children and it seems that the tactile experience feels almost therapeutic for some students.

For food tasting we introduced grape tomatoes! Eight out of nine really enjoyed it! Another win!

We can’t wait for all the spring fun that’s coming to our environment during the next couple of weeks! Stay tuned for some fun pictures!

Reminder: Toddler Parent/Child will be on April 11th from 10:30-11:30am in our class.


Spring has Sprung!

The children returned to their normal routines with excitement this week!

Thanks to the milder weather, the children have enjoyed an abundance of outdoor play in the beautiful spring air.

Along with time on the field and playground, the children have been exploring new works in our environment. Our “Loud/Quiet Eggs” have been a big hit as the children love to shake twelve different plastic eggs and sort the loud eggs (filled with rice) from the quiet eggs (empty).

Another popular item is the ice cream scooping work. Kinectic sand is scooped from a bowl into a plastic ice cream cone. Many children worked between 20 and 60 minutes long with this activity! Needless to say, we will be purchasing more kinetic sand for our environment. 🙂


Mrs. Hood’s class: New Season, New Hope!

 

 

 

 “Spring’s greatest joy beyond a doubt is when it brings the children out.” ~ Edgar Guest
Welcome back Dear Families:
Please enjoy these thoughts from Wildflower Ramblings:
These cold winter days are hopefully coming to a swift close, and we look forward to the days when the flowers begin to bloom – the crocus and bulbs first, and then are beautiful perennials and annual flowers.  Children love the outdoors and should be encouraged to explore all that world has to offer. Flowers, bugs, gardening, butterflies, oh the joy!
“We cannot create observers by saying ‘observe,’ but by giving them the power and the means for this observation and these means are procured through education of the senses.”  ~Maria Montessori

Rainbows and delicious Kumquats!

The main focus this week was based on colors. Recognizing the colors and identifying the color names is an important part of a child’s development. The ability to identify colors is considered a marker and milestone in a child’s cognitive process.

As introductory activities this week, we used a lot of verbal communication and sorting and classifying games and activities. Verbal communication is a great way to teach the children about colors as we give them some vocabulary for starting to describe the world around them. Practicing this exercise daily encourages the children to start sorting and classifying objects around them based on their color attributes. With our youngest we focused on the primary colors and with our oldest we also worked recognizing and identifying secondary colors. As we worked on putting our rainbow puzzle together we took time to search around the classroom for objects that represented the color assigned. Children had a lot of fun thinking, observing, and finding different colored objects in our environment!

Children were very curious about what food we were going to taste this week as they already recognize this activity as a part of our weekly routine. It’s so fun to see the children gathering with great excitement onto the main rug when they see the teacher walking with the food tasting tray. They sit so quietly and so patiently waiting to see the special towel to be removed and reveal the new food to be tasted. There were a couple of conversations between the oldest toddlers speculating that the new food this week was going to be watermelons! To their surprise we enjoyed some tiny but delicious kumquats. Kumquats look like oranges but are the most diminutive member of the citrus family. We had great fun exploring and tasting this fruit! Even Mrs. Wilson and I loved being part of it!

We wish you a great, colorful, and relaxing spring break with your family and a safe trip to all of you who will be traveling!

Keep warm and happy!