Mrs. Hood’s class: See you Later, Alligator!

Looking through this school year’s pictures I cannot stop the overwhelming feeling of thankfulness!  I know I have said it before, but I need to say it one more time: Thank you for entrusting us with your little ones and walking next to us to give them the best experience each day!
We give them back to you pounds heavier, inches taller, months wiser, more independent, confident and mature than they were back in September. They did themselves a great job unfolding and growing each day and we feel honored to have witnessed it. They, for sure, will continue to be part of our lives. Even though some of them will be moving up a level, remember that we will always be interested in your children and their destiny-wherever they go, whatever they do and whoever they become.

They are truly precious to us!

We hope you all have a wonderful summer! See you in the Fall!

Enjoy the contrast pictures of the first weeks and the last weeks of school!


A Year of Changes and Growth

 

Where to begin!  This week was fast and furious (kinda like a toddler)!  We started off with Field Day, which the children truly enjoyed.  Celebrated a friends birthday, finalized a special gift, and ended our week with our toddlers crossing the bridge ceremony.  What a special day it was!  As you could tell, the children were so excited for this moment.  They had the opportunity to practice, but it wasn’t the same without all of your presence.  That is what brought true joy to that moment!  Thank you for being there to celebrate the children.  See you in the fall!!!

As we all know our toddlers grow leaps and bounds in short amounts of time.  Sometimes it is subtle and goes unnoticed and other times you catch yourself admiring the changes you see before you.  Drink it all in, enjoy the moments no matter how big or small.  I know I can speak for all the teachers that had the joy and pleasure of guiding your children through this year of growth by saying it was a complete honor and privilege! Thank you for entrusting us with your most precious gifts.  Enjoy your summer and we look forward to seeing more changes when you return in the fall!

Happy Father’s Day to all our Dads!  Hope you have a special day and enjoy your small token of love.

 

Over the Summer

Continue to encourage independence at home:

  •         Offer your child opportunities to make choices. For example, when wanting to play, give your child two materials or activities to choose from.
  •         Encourage your child to continue pouring water and serving food.
  •         Allow your child to continue practicing putting shoes on and taking them off.
  •         Model how to make the bed, fold laundry, sweep the floor, and wash the dishes so your child learns how to do these things.
  •         When working/playing, please limit interruptions so your child can concentrate.
  •         When your child is learning something new, remember to allow lots of time to practice and allow her to do it her way as long as it is safe and within your rules.

 


Climbing, Running, Jumping, and Swinging….. Perfecting our Gross Motor Skills!

“Play is the work of a child”- Maria Montessori

The children put their gross motor skills to work investigating the larger playground that will be their very own next year.  Gross motor skills work the large muscles that are important for walking, running, sitting and other activities. There were many new things to learn and explore that encouraged the children to use those large muscles!  They enjoyed the swings, climbing rocks, more space for running and jumping from petal to petal.  On their own playground they put their muscles to work some more, by climbing trees, running with dump trucks, balancing on the border of the sandbox and sliding!  The children were exhausted from their all hard “work”!

In the classroom the children were able to have a tasting of raw broccoli.  Most enjoyed (in case you’d like to serve it up)!  Some words they used to describe it was bumpy, green, soft, and crunchy.

We have been talking about the life cycle of a frog, discussing the different stages of them (egg, tadpole, froglet, and adult frog). I was able to bring in some tadpoles for the children to look at.  We have noticed that they have grown in the two days we have had them, but it is unlikely for us to see them change into frogs.  So we will just enjoy them for now!

 

Upcoming Events:

June 4th- Field Day

June 6th- Bridge Crossing Ceremony-email to follow

 

 


Mrs. Hood’s Class: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!

There is so much focus in Montessori on fine motor skills, I think at times we can overlook the importance of gross motor skills, the development and coordination of those large, gross motor muscles and movements.

In our toddler environment gross motor movements include free movement around the room, lifting and pouring, practical life activities like mirror washing or table scrubbing, sweeping and dusting, as well as climbing, balancing on the beam, spinning in the bilibo seat, rocking in our moose, and on our well loved boat.

Maria Montessori knew how integral movement is to intellectual development. Mental development must be connected with movement and be dependent on it. “Movement helps the development of the mind, and this finds renewed expression in further movement and activity.”

Children need freedom of movement too. We have observed that sometimes our toddlers just need to get outside and exert their energy, to run until they can’t run anymore. To laugh and to chase each other. To be free and just let it all out. To us this free time, this physical exertion is just as important as good nutrition, or a good book. We are thankful for a campus that fulfills the children’s needs in this area. From beautiful environments, to a huge and well equipped gym and from a beautiful natural playground to a large soccer field.

Running, skipping, dancing, hopping, or climbing a tree – using all those gross motor skills are just as important as taking a tray off the shelves and working at a table. Life skills, risk taking, fun, physical exertion, problem solving, critical thinking can all come from gross motor play. Gross motor work also lays the foundation for the use of fine motor skills.

A big Congratulations to the Smith family in their new beautiful addition. Cheyenne was born on Monday May 27th 2019 at 2:57 pm. She is 8lbs and 9oz!

Upcoming Events:

Field day – June 4th

Bridge Crossing ceremony – June 6th


Mrs. Hood’s Class: The Process of Normalization!

“Normalization is the single most important result of our work.”

-Dr. Maria Montessori
(The Absorbent Mind, p. 204).

Normalization is a technical word borrowed from the field of anthropology. It means becoming a contributing member of society. Dr. Montessori used the term normalization to distinguish one of the processes that she saw in her work with the children at San Lorenzo in Rome. This process, the process of normalization, occurs when development is proceeding normally. She used the word normalization so that people would think that these qualities belonged to all children and were not something special just for a few.

This Normalization appears through the repetition of a three step cycle. The building of character and the formation of personality that we call normalization come about when children follow this cycle of work.

(1) Preparation for an activity which involves gathering together the material necessary to do the activity. The movement and the thought involved in the preparation serves to call the attention of the mind to begin to focus on the activity.

(2) An activity which so engrosses the child that he reaches a deep level of concentration. This step is what we as educators and you as parents recognize as important for education.

(3) Rest, which is characterized by a general feeling of satisfaction and well-being. It is thought that at this point some inner formation or integration of the person takes place.
In our Montessori environment, we see this third step as the time a child is putting away the materials, perhaps talking with friends, and is exhibiting satisfaction with himself and the world.

In our environment we facilitate the process of normalization by offering engaging, hands-on materials, uninterrupted work cycle and minimizing the disruption of concentration.

It’s incredible to see all that your children have accomplished during this period of time working with us!


Creating Beauty and Order

 

“The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences.” Maria Montessori.-

The Children’s environment should have beauty that brings them peace, and the prepared environment should offer structure, order, be inviting and be well maintained.  The children model this by beautifying our classroom with the flowers that are donated weekly.  They really enjoy the process of arranging the flowers and displaying them.  Everyday the children progress in keeping order in their environment by demonstrating how capable they are with returning work to a shelf when they are done, or how they can give a reminder to a friend that may have forgotten.   It still amazes me what they are capable of!!

We are grateful to the sun this week.  It feels so good to be outside and explore all the fun things that are happening in this blooming season.  Our snow peas have grown so much!  Hopefully we will see some peas before school is out!

Thank you to all the Grandparents and Special friends that were able to visit on Friday.  The children truly enjoyed showing you their classrooms!  Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

 

Up coming events to look out for:

5/31- End of the Year Celebration @ 5p

6/4- Field day*

6/6- Bridge crossing ceremony @ 10:15*

*more details to follow

 


Toddler: Fine Motor Skills

Our toddlers have been busy working on their fine motor skills.  Fine motor skills involve the use of the small muscles that control the hand, fingers, and thumb. They help children perform important tasks like feeding themselves, grasping toys, buttoning and zipping clothes, writing, drawing, and more. The ability to complete self-care and every day tasks helps a child’s self esteem and confidence to increase.  The children have been very successful using the works in our environment. We hope you continue to allow your children to practice these skills with you at home.  Some activities could be simply be playing with play dough or cutting, pouring, transferring, lacing, beading, and painting.

The children were also fortunate to be able to visit the music room (again) where they were able to play the xylophone. The children loved sliding the mallet across the xylophone to hear the different sounds it made. We used both a wooden and metal xylophone. The children showed joy hearing all the different sounds!

Thank you to the sun that finally showed its beauty this week!  The children were excited to get outside and enjoy the warm weather.


Mrs. Hood’s Class: The Big Day!

On Monday morning the children arrived to the environment and found a new sound, the sweet sound of peeping little chicks starting the hatching process. Children were curious and expectant! We were thrilled they were able to observe the external pipping process. This starts when the inner membrane has been pierced and the embryo starts tapping the eggshell repeatedly with its egg tooth, a sharp and strong structure that can temporarily be found on the top of the beak of the embryo. Repeatedly tapping the eggshell in the same spot causes the shell to weaken and eventually break. Pipping demands great effort!  

While cutting, the embryo turns around inside the egg, using its wing for direction and legs as the driving force. Once it  has cut a 3/4th circle in shell of the blunt end of the egg, the embryo tries to push itself out of the egg by forcefully stretching its legs and finally becoming free. The newly hatched chicks looked very wet, tired, and vulnerable. A while after hatching, their down feathers dried and they became fluffy and more active.

The children were amazed and super happy to see the baby chicks! They petted them very carefully and showed great love and respect for them! Now the chicks have been moved to a prepared environment,  the farm where they will grow and be taken care of appropriately.  

A huge thanks to the Heggland family for all their hard work and support during this process! What a great experience this was for our toddlers!

 

“The things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul”

– Dr. Maria Montessori 

 

Check out this video of one of  the baby chicks hatching in our classroom!