Mrs. Wilson – A Trip to Fraser Farm

One of our goals at FWM is to create caring, empathetic students who are capable of thinking beyond themselves. It was Dr. Montessori’s vision that a peaceful world, starting with children, would make the world a better place. Community service is one of our Montessori strategies to help develop and educate the whole child. Students learn the joy of giving of themselves and develop compassion because of these real, practical life, volunteer experiences.

A couple of times a month our Middle School students visit our environments and work with our toddlers. They do so by reading and working together with the different materials displayed on our shelves. They assist your children in how to put on their shoes and jackets, how to clean their face and hands, they look for ways of comforting their younger peers when they are having a hard time, and they love to join in the fun when we sing, dance and play games together. They are great role models and your children love when they enter our environments and get to spend time with them. This week our Middle Schoolers were also of great help during our very special wagon ride and pumpkin picking at our Fraser Farm. It was precious!

Thanks to your help as well, we gathered wagons to carry all our toddlers at once in a beautiful parade around the school. Children were so happy and excited they were going to pick their own pumpkin! A couple of them decided to not ride the wagons but had the opportunity to push the wheelbarrow or help by pulling their friends’ wagons. Once we arrived at our Fraser Farm located in our zen garden, children were ecstatic to run around and pick their own pumpkin. There were giggles and so much excitement! They also got a treat by checking out Oreo, our school bunny! Children explored different sizes of pumpkins and worked hard to carry them around. We all had a great time! When the time came, every toddler got into their wagon, carrying their pumpkin and we went for another ride around the school arriving happily at each of our classrooms, satisfied with the experience and ready to continue to explore some more in the environment. We can’t thank you enough for your pumpkin donations and supporting our fabulous class parents, who worked hard to help us make this event a success! We are thankful to be part of a community that cares!

On another note, we explored yellow peppers as food tasting this week and got to explore new works on our shelves! We hope you enjoy the pictures!

Lastly, we are looking forward to meeting with you at our Parent-Teacher conference next week, on Thursday, October 24th to discuss your child’s progress and goals for the school year.

We hope you enjoy the pictures!

Sincerely,
The Toddler Team


Mrs. Hood’s Class: At the Fraser Farm!

One of our goals at FWM is to create caring, empathetic students who are capable of thinking beyond themselves. It was Dr. Montessori’s vision that a peaceful world, starting with children, would make the world a better place. Community service is one of our Montessori strategies to help develop and educate the whole child. Students learn the joy of giving of themselves and develop compassion because of these real, practical life, volunteer experiences.

A couple of times a month our Middle School students visit our environments and work with our toddlers. They do so by reading and working together with the different materials displayed on our shelves. They assist your children in how to put on their shoes and jackets, how to clean their face and hands, they look for ways of comforting their younger peers when they are having a hard time, and they love to join in the fun when we sing, dance and play games together. They are great role models and your children love when they enter our environments and get to spend time with them. This week our Middle Schoolers were also of great help during our very special wagon ride and pumpkin picking at our Fraser Farm. It was precious!

Thanks to your help as well, we gathered wagons to carry all our toddlers at once in a beautiful parade around the school. Children were so happy and excited they were going to pick their own pumpkin! A couple of them decided to not ride the wagons but had the opportunity to push the wheelbarrow or help by pulling their friends’ wagons. Once we arrived at our Fraser Farm located in our zen garden, children were ecstatic to run around and pick their own pumpkin. There were giggles and so much excitement! They also got a treat by checking out Oreo, our school bunny! Children explored different sizes of pumpkins and worked hard to carry them around. We all had a great time! When the time came, every toddler got into their wagon, carrying their pumpkin and we went for another ride around the school arriving happily at each of our classrooms, satisfied with the experience and ready to continue to explore some more in the environment. We can’t thank you enough for your pumpkin donations and supporting our fabulous class parents, who worked hard to help us make this event a success! We are thankful to be part of a community that cares!

On another note, we explored yellow peppers as food tasting this week and got to explore new works on our shelves! We hope you enjoy the pictures!

Lastly, we are looking forward to meeting with you at our Parent-Teacher conference next week, on Thursday, October 24th to discuss your child’s progress and goals for the school year.

We hope you enjoy the pictures!

Sincerely,
The Toddler Team


Mrs. Hood’s Class: Beauty, Roll and a Winner!

 

Dr. Maria Montessori introduced Practical Life exercises to provide the children with opportunities to perform simple tasks that they have already observed at home. Practical Life exercises enable the children to care for themselves, take care of the environment and develop respect for others.
Care of environment activities encourage the child to interact with the environment, exhibiting respect and love. These activities help the child form a connection with their environment and find a personal responsibility towards it.
This week we introduced one of the most beloved activities in our Montessori environments: flower arrangement. This is a beautiful activity that offers so much to your child’s development. Through this exercise, children develop a sense of beauty, the mental task of sequencing, they learn to exercise the judgment of size and capacity in matching flowers to vases and in pouring water, also, manual dexterity in using scissors. This activity also indirectly prepares your child for botany studies in our Primary program and offers a great opportunity to work on independence and concentration. Your children love it! We can’t thank you enough for your weekly flower donations!

On another note, children had a great time learning how to play “Roll and Play” in a group setting, using a cube of different colors and following the directions commanded on each play card. Through this game children review colors, numbers, feelings, animals, and develop critical skills. It’s one of their favorite activities!

For food tasting we explored a green apple. Some of the children’s facial expressions when they saw a green apple were priceless! They couldn’t believe there were green apples! It was so funny to them! Needless to say, they enjoyed every bit of it!

To close our apple unit studies we presented a basic graphing exercise, where children had the opportunity to taste the three types of apples we explored during the last weeks: red, yellow, and green apples. Each toddler chose their most favorite and at the end we all counted the results.

Do you want to know which one was the winner? (Drum roll please!) To our surprise, every apple had 5 different votes! All of them were the winner! Hooray for apples!

Lastly, Shake Your Sillies Out by Andy Mason was one of the new favorite songs and Arriba (up) and Abajo (down) were the 2 new commands in Spanish learned this week.


Mrs. Wilson’s Class: Exploring Fall!

As the season changed so did the environment. The fall theme decorations and fall theme materials in practical life really tied the room together. The children excitedly explored the fall materials in our practical life area. They were busy spooning beans and pouring sunflower seeds from one container to the next. We added tiny pumpkins and gourds into the sensory bin for them to explore with a magnifying glass. As the children explored the gourds we talked about how they felt using language like bumpy and smooth.

On Thursday the children tasted a green apple. We repeated the same language as last week: stem, skin, flesh, and seeds. We also exposed them to new language as we described the way it tasted: crisp, sour, and juicy.

Enjoy the photos!
Mrs. Wilson, Ms. Sara, and Ms. Heather


Mrs Hood’s Class: Apples to Apples!

Skin, flesh, seeds, and stem are words that we can hear often in our environment. Every morning children arrived to the classroom with one mission: Check the apple on the observation tray! Our little friends have been so amazed at the changes. At the beginning of the week, they felt tempted to bite some of that apple, in fact, one of the corners was gone. But by the end of the week those cravings were gone! 😉 Conversations about decomposition have also been an engaging tool to develop language. In contrast, this week children explored a fresh yellow apple and enjoyed the taste of it.

One of the main highlights this week was working together in making a delicious apple sauce! Using an apple peeler, each student peeled, sliced, and cored a fresh apple. Then they helped by opening the slices, arranging it in the crock pot, adding some fresh lemon juice and water. There was no need for sugar or other ingredients! Our environment smelled so delicious and children were eager in tasting the results. 100% of our class ate every little bit of it!

Food preparation is one of the main areas in our Practical Life area of the curriculum! There are many benefits to involving children in food prep. Even the pickiest of eaters has been known to be more willing to try things when they have had a hand in preparing it. These works also help develop fine motor skills, build coordination, and create a sense of community, as well as increase knowledge of nutrition, science, and math.

In addition to this fun project, we used this opportunity to present a lesson on Grace and Courtesy. Two of our oldest toddlers worked into spooning some apple sauce into small bowls and serving the younger toddlers in Mrs. Wilson’s class. They felt so proud of their work. It was precious!

On another note, children worked this week in a special art project that will be exhibited in Oktoberfest this coming Saturday, October 5th, from 4-8pm at FWM! We really hope you and your family can join us! It’s going to be great fun!


Mrs. Wilson: The Apple of My Eye!

What a fantastic week we had!

On Wednesday your child experienced their first food tasting. The children used their senses to explore a red apple. The apple was passed around for them to see, feel, and smell. Then I cut the apple in half. The children heard new language as we talked about the different parts of an apple, skin, flesh, and seeds. Each child had an opportunity to taste the red apple. The children seemed to enjoy it as they were asking for more, more, more!

On Thursday our Toddler friends from next door shared the delicious apple sauce they made with us. Two friends came over and kindly served this special treat as our children patiently waited. This experience was a great way to teach the children about grace and courtesy. Thank you, Mrs. Hood and friends!

We sang The 5 Little Apple Song.

Way up high in an apple tree, (Hold up both your hands and spread your fingers for pretend apple tree)
Five red apples smiled down at me. (Hold up 5 fingers)
I shook that tree as hard as I could, (Pretend to shake the tree)
shake shake shake shake shake shake shake
Down came an apple! Mmmmm it was good!
(Rub your tummy in a circle motion)

See you all at Oktoberfest!
Mrs. Wilson,
Miss Heather, and Miss Sara


Mrs. Wilson Had a Farm E,I,E,I,O

This week we have seen tremendous progress in the children during arrivals. We have seen less and less tearful faces and more smiles and giggles. As your children’s confidence and trust have increased, they have started to explore their environment more intentionally. Some have become more social and even call their peers by name. We have seen others who have shown empathy towards an upset friend by either rubbing their back or offering a hug. It is so endearing. 

Children are like sponges absorbing language and the world around them. To build on their vocabulary, we started with something that was familiar to these children, farm animals. I gave a lesson to the children using our farm animal pictures and objects. To not overstimulate the children as they are trying to absorb language we use very few words. For example, I held up a cow and simply just said, “cow” and “moo.” Then I placed the cow on top of the picture of the cow and repeated just those two words. The children were engaged while watching the lesson and very eager to use it when I had finished. We also sang Old McDonald Had a Farm

If you have noticed your child dancing or marching around in a circle that is because we dance around our oval rug to Laurie Berkner’s, We are The Dinosaurs and Baby Shark. These children really love to dance!

One of my favorite events is coming up and I hope you will all join me at Oktoberfest. It is such a great way to meet others in the FWM community!

Enjoy all the photos!

Mrs. Wilson, Miss Sara, and Miss Heather

 


Mrs. Hood’s Class: Apples, Apples, Apples!

Fall is here everybody! As the season changes and temperatures start to drop slowly, we entered our unit on the exploration of one of the most delicious seasonal fruits: the apple! With great expectation, your children enjoyed the fun sensorial activity of dissecting an apple! With senses full of curiosity, children touched, observed, smelled, and tasted a delicious apple. While children observed its parts, they were exposed to new vocabulary, such as: skin, flesh, seeds, and stem. A remaining part of the dissected apple is now part of our observation tray where children can observe the different stages of decomposition.

In the language area students that showed readiness were also introduced to three period lessons using different materials. Three period lessons are a fundamental approach in our Montessori environment to introducing a new concept (not just vocabulary) to children. They are used to move the child from basic understanding to mastery. The three period lesson was developed by Edouard Seguin, a French physician who worked with special needs children in France and the United States during the late 19th century. He discovered ways to increase children’s cognitive abilities and believed in the importance of developing their self-reliance and independence. Seguin’s writings were a major inspiration to Maria Montessori and the source of many of her practical ideas. In simple terms, the three steps, or periods, are:

1. Naming (Introduction) “This is a dog.”
2. Recognizing (Identification) “Show me the dog.”
3. Remembering (Cognition) “What is this?”

In the practical life area we focused this week on a fundamental lesson: how to clean a dry spill! As basic as it sounds, this was one of the most popular activities of the week. Practical life activities are the most important activities for toddlers! Activities for care of the environment are both fun and great for developing order, concentration, coordination, and independence.

Other highlights of the week were the introduction to our new song: “Way up High in the Apple Tree,” where children practiced the numbers one through five, and their favorite books: Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss, Apple Countdown by Joan Hulub, and Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace.

As the weekend approaches, we encourage you to enjoy the sunshine and the beautiful weather and visit an apple farm with your little one. It will be a great experience for them during the continuation of our apple studies.

Reminder:
Oktoberfest is just around the corner! (October 5th) Come and join us for an afternoon of fun activities for the whole family! We really hope to see you there and have a great time together!