This week the fifth year students visited the Middle School while the fourth year students hosted the third years in our classroom. The fifth years returned midday to share their enthusiasm about the possibilities that lie ahead in Middle School. The fourth years were excellent hosts, showing the third years the ropes and welcoming them to our environment. We will miss the fifth years, but look forward to the incoming students for 2019-2020!
All elementary students were in the school play, Seussical Junior, the musical based on the works of Dr. Seuss. Most people are familiar with the books of Dr. Seuss and enjoy not only the rhyming style of his works but the creativity of his stories. Among the many benefits to be in school play, one of them is that the students get to become part of a larger system working toward a common goal. It has been the culmination of weeks of practice, so the performance itself became a huge reward for all the hard work. Every single participating student did an amazing job!!
This musical weaves together many of his stories and brings a variety of his characters to life. “The themes in ‘Seussical’ are the importance of honesty, loyalty and friendship. But ‘Seussical’ brings additional messages that are so important to people of all ages.
In the play, the colorful bird Gertrude McFuzz is a friend to Horton the Elephant. However, she is unhappy with her one-feather tail. The story-line surrounding Gertrude touches on the difficulties people have with self-image and outward appearance. Horton, meanwhile, has to withstand peer pressure and being laughed at as he tries to save the Whos. While he is being chided as “the biggest blame fool in the Jungle of Nool,” Horton stands firm on principal and does what he knows is right, profoundly singing, “A person’s a person no matter how small.”
Underscoring the story is the relationship between Horton and the smallest Who in Whoville, Jojo. Jojo is a “thinker of great thinks” which unfortunately gets her into trouble. As she is sent off to learn discipline, she feels all alone. Similarly, because Horton is the only one who can hear the Whos, he laments the fact that no one is able to understand him. The result is a bond between Horton and Jojo and the duet “Alone in the Universe.”
Through much mayhem, Horton retains the ability to believe in himself. Even facing the possibility of jail, Horton states, “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant is faithful one hundred per cent.” Mayzie LaBird and Sour Kangaroo provide examples of the issues of right and wrong, and the Cat in the Hat reminds the characters facing difficulty to consider “How Lucky You Are.”
BRAVO to all our performers!!
We had an outstanding time on our two night overnight to Nature’s Classroom in Charlton, MA! The students worked in class today to help create a Top 10 List of their favorite things about the trip. Enjoy and have a great Memorial Day Weekend!
Top 10 Best Things About Nature’s Classroom
- Night Experience (campfire and s’mores)
- Quiet Sing
- Field Group (atl-atl, camo)
- Science Fair
- Transition time (soccer, cards, kickball)
- Special Interest Classes (Thor, Pond Probe, Roller Coaster, Remember Me)
- NC Teachers
- Group games (bat vs moth)
After our successful play and immersion week we returned to our regular routine and work cycle on Monday. Some of the choices students made included literature study, botany, reading responses, and geometry activities using the tan grams and pattern blocks. We welcomed a student visitor to our class on Wednesday and hope she joins our school for the coming school year! On Thursday we enjoyed an all sports celebration after school with Mrs. Pascarella. Thanks to the volunteers that offered their time to help, or donate snacks and supplies for the celebration. We concluded the week welcoming special friends and grandparents to our classroom. They made acrostic poems to give to one another before the visits ended. It was wonderful to see the children interact with their guests!
Over the past week of immersion into the art of musical theater, we have watched in admiration as the children have become completely focused on one common goal. There is something very special about children who are ages six through nine all working together. Older children helping younger, younger looking up to older. Together they persevered and focused and throughout all of the practices stayed enthusiastic about reaching their goal. The result was a performance that they can all be very proud of. What an amazing group of children!
A special thank you to the Farinella family for recording the play. I will be sending an email with a link to the recording for you to watch at home. The children enjoyed watching it during our cast party today. Thank you to everyone who sent in food! Also, thank you very much to the parents who volunteered to help with costumes, props, and set!
This week we followed the students’ enthusiasm that spiraled off of our latest botany lessons to build two raised garden beds. Both grade levels helped construct the garden beds near the back entrance to the school. We invited Mr. Robertson to the classroom to present the idea and brainstorm potential locations. We took into concern appropriate amount of sunlight, ease of watering, and high visibility as important factors in our decision making process. Our week also included a birthday breakfast for the April student birthdays as well as a softball victory over The Mead School on Tuesday.
Thursday kicked off the start of immersion week as the students prepared for “Suessical The Musical, Jr.” It’s going to be a fantastic show!
What is a Montessori Immersion Week?
Maria Montessori believed it is important to give children opportunities to understand the process of working together toward a larger goal and to immerse themselves deeply in meaningful work. At FWM, we expect a lot from our students during the week. We know that challenging academics will help our students get ready for the path that lies ahead. Because we are committed to the development of the whole child, we embrace the prospect to give students the opportunity to be creative in a different setting and to see each other’s strengths in a new light.
This week the students completed their science fair display boards in class. They took pride in their design, layout, and choice of coordinating color schemes to produce a pleasing display. As some students finished their boards they became helpers and supporters to their classmates and worked as a team so that everyone was prepared for Thursday. After the morning presentations the students had a brief break and then returned to their work cycle. Choices included literature study, reading responses, and geometry. After lunch they enjoyed a Popsicle treat for all of the hard work over the past month. Our goal is to teach the students that the process is more important than the final product. Thanks for the home support throughout the science fair project! We concluded our week with a Disney Nature movie titled, “Penguins.” It was a beautiful movie centered around the life of penguins in the Antarctic.
We spent a good deal of time this week exploring botany during our cultural lessons. Specifically we explored the importance of roots and how roots seek out water. We set up a few experiments in class to observe root growth using bean and radish seeds. The students enjoyed these lessons and requested to plant their own seeds. They are now set up outside our classroom and we will be able to observe their growth. The enthusiasm of the class sparked some ideas that we are really excited about! Once we wrap up the science fair next week we will progress with the ideas we discussed as a class. Be on the lookout for some additions to our botany studies the following week! For those of you who were able to make it to Parent/Child Night, thanks for taking some time to visit the classroom with your child.