This week we spent time completing fun cultural lessons. Some students presented one of those lessons to a classmate. It is one of our most memorable lessons about the vital function of nutrition. The follow up lesson is the nutrition layout based on a variety of animals from protozoans to mammals. One student commented and said, “Wow, this is really interesting!” The other most recent cultural lesson was based on the study of humans. We met a ramapithecus (extinct anthropoid from 8 to 14 millions years ago). We had an excellent discussion about the ramapithecus and the students are eager to begin another lesson. In our next lesson we will discuss the Australopithecus. To conclude our week we had a very successful and joyous Happé “Holiday” Café! This café included a soft opening of drive thru service. Each month when we evaluate the café and reflect on the progress made we are able to come up with new and fun ways to try different things. Thanks once again for the support!
One of the things I love about our school is the opportunity to spend a great deal of time outdoors. There are so many positive benefits for children from spending time in nature and being active outside. We begin our day outdoors, which the students look forward to, and if weather permits we get outside for recess every day, even in the snow! In the classroom we are wrapping up our reading and writing workshops in preparation to begin new units in January.
We had a great time on Tuesday visiting New Pond Farm in Redding, CT! The students learned about animal adaptations by observing live specimens and taxidermy mounts. These included a fox, turtle, tortoise, skunk, raccoon, beaver, snake, and groundhog. After lunch the students explored the outdoors. While on a short hike they learned about the types of rocks in CT and glacial formations that carved the land. The instructor made connections to historical storms in CT that caused erosion and how they had to construct a man-made wall to slow water flow around the farm. They ended the day doing some experiments about erosion. Both lessons were a perfect connection to our class studies about animals for zoology and erosion for our water studies.
The students worked extremely well together this week preparing for their second cafe opening. They worked in teams of two, following recipe directions to make some tasty pumpkin doughnut muffins. On Thursday afternoon they paired off in teams once again to prepare signs, organize items, and set up the cafe. We agreed to adjust some cafe pricing to reflect what we learned from the owners of Sugar Magnolia. The students decided to donate the proceeds from the first two cafes to the Red Cross to provide relief to those affected by the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County, CA. Once we determine our sales we will provide an update of how much we were able to raise. Lastly, it was nice to see many of you get a chance to spend time with your child at Parent/Child Night Thursday evening!
As we get closer to our next cafe opening on November 15, the students are learning about the different roles within a small business. They each had an opportunity to write down their skills and speak with me 1:1 during weekly conference time to share their interests and what they are best suited in doing to help the cafe run smoothly. Some of the areas of interest are marketing, finance, and supply. Community helpers were busy this week cleaning up around the school and returning lost items to students. We concluded our week by making and packaging sandwiches to be delivered to the St. Vincent DePaul Mission in Waterbury, CT. Thank you for the donations and to Liz Bashawaty and Eric Juel for the assistance in the classroom!
Global Culinary Night is Thursday, November 14th, from 6:00-7:00 pm.
On Monday, we kicked off the week with a fun field trip experience to The New Canaan Nature Center. First, the students learned about the watershed and how pollution, or introducing invasive species can impact a watershed. They completed a drawing activity to make connections in this lesson. We went outdoors to test the nearby pond water to determine the health of a local watershed. Back inside, we met two owls. One was a barn owl and the other was a great horned owl. We learned about owls and their diet. Afterwards, each student dissected an owl pellet, which is the regurgitated material that an owl cannot digest. They identified bones from different rodents that were contained inside the pellets. We concluded the week with some fun holiday activities connected to Halloween. I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!
Class jobs are an important part of our routine in a Montessori environment. The jobs rotate on a weekly basis and include things such as pet/plant care, table cleaning, floor sweeping, and emptying trash. These practical life skills are an important part of our philosophy and the students work as a team. Earlier in the week we had a fabulous visit from the owners of Sugar Magnolia! They shared their expertise and business experience with us. At the conclusion of their visit they gave the students some delicious treats! We look forward to scheduling a visit to their establishment in the near future.
This week was packed full of fun and energy as our eager students could not wait to open up their new café! We devoted some time each day to go over the logistics and planning so we would be prepared for our first customers. We expect this café to evolve with time and open up new opportunities for learning and team building. The students continue to come up with new ideas every day, but we can only incorporate so many at one time. I am thrilled that they are so passionate about the experience! We confirmed a visit from the owners of Sugar Magnolia on Tuesday morning. The timing cannot be better as we will be able so share with them how the opening went.