Showing gratitude is an important part of who we are as humans. It strengthens our relationships and our connection to our communities and even makes us happier and more compassionate people.
Although adults understand the worth of expressing gratitude, young children find it more difficult. Gratitude involves being sensitive and empathetic to others and truly appreciating what others do for you. While children can quickly learn to say please and thank you, it takes time and guidance to help them truly learn to be grateful. Dr. Montessori implicitly understood the value of fostering a grateful nature in children and helping them become compassionate citizens of the world.
Our Montessori environment places a significant emphasis on gratitude, a value that came to life in our heartwarming Thanksgiving ceremony last week. Students from various levels shared their gratitude in diverse ways and languages, creating a memorable and inclusive experience. Afterward, as we gathered in our classroom to share bread, the warmth of the morning was amplified by the support of our community. We extend our heartfelt thanks to each of you for contributing to the success of this beautiful occasion!
I find The Thankful Book by Todd Parr a great resource to use with toddlers when we are learning about Gratitude. They really enjoyed the book, and I highly recommend it for all families to have at home. It has been great to hear our verbal toddlers start expressing thankfulness.
Shifting gears, this week unfolded with an exploration of forest animals in our Language area. Children learned some specific facts about black bears, foxes, owls, moose, and beavers. We learned that black bears have sharp claws. They climb trees. Foxes have bushy tails. Foxes are members of the dog family. Owls have large eyes. They are active at night. Moose have a big body. Some of them have big antlers. Beavers have big front teeth. They have a broad tail and build dams using mud and wood. Using models and real pictures to represent and match these animals, children explored, observed, and repeated these facts, practicing the use of two to three-word sentences with the new descriptive vocabulary acquired.
In the movement area, we presented a new balance board, and children have been creatively exploring its many uses! This board stimulates the vestibular system, supports muscles responsible for the correct posture, develops the sense of balance, and supports the development of the sense of proprioception. It’s a favorite in our environment these days.
For food tasting, we explored a pomegranate, and this fruit was a hit! Children seemed curious about how the fruit looked on the inside, and they enjoyed watching the seeds just popping out and falling easily into the bowl. Eating pomegranate is like enjoying some little candies, so I wasn’t surprised children loved it!
Have a great weekend,
Mrs. Hood and Ms. Mollie