Dear Fox Tail families,
Observations are now open!! They are on Mondays and Wednesdays for a half hour, beginning at 9:00, ending at 9:30. When you come, we'll give you an observation information sheet to read carefully before you begin watching the classroom and the children. You'll find that having that bit of knowledge will be very helpful for you in getting the most out of your observation. The sign-up book is on the Fox Tail Cottage porch in a basket hanging by the door. Come on in and get a glimpse of your child's rich experience in the Montessori environment!
I'd like to start by thanking all of you for your continued contributions of helping out with snack and laundry. We couldn’t function well without you! Also, the plants the children brought in for the garden have been thriving with all the beautiful rain we got last month. We used some of the herbs and flowers as part of our Harvest Celebration menu, and the children enjoy feeding the greens to the rabbits, as well as tasting them themselves. :)
We have increased our outdoor work opportunities with grass cutting, leaf collecting for making leaf-rubbings, and several Practical Life works like rug beating, water transferring, cloth washing, and table work including clay and sorting items from nature. The acorns and sticks the children collected have been useful for both sorting - a Sensorial activity - and a tonging work that hones fine-motor skills. Some of this outdoor work happens first thing in the morning, as the children arrive, and some during the work period.
As part of the structured Montessori environment which allows the children to have free choice and plenty of movement, they put on a necklace to show which purpose they will carry out in the outdoor environment, and then go in and out on their own accord. Of course Toni and I silently check on them periodically, with the help of Pat and Jean keeping a distant eye from the office. Having that kind of freedom, while knowing there are adults nearby, supports the children in developing accountability and self-composure, without a feeling of being overly-controlled or inhibited in their creativity, expression, and productivity.
Some group lessons we've done are the lifecycle of the plant, the continents of the world, putting groups of things together (calling it addition for full-day students, and simply going through the motions for morning students), opposites, and pumpkin washing. Before fall is over, we will dissect the pumpkin to have a sensory experience with its innards, and to learn its parts...! Gross, fun, and educational! We've also had an introduction to the calendar and continue to sing the days of the week and the months of the year. I'm sure many of you have been hearing these songs at home... :)
Our Harvest celebration was a wonderful success! The children did all of the work - from creating the menu to moving the furniture, collecting items from nature to decorate the table, preparing and serving the food and then cleaning it all up and putting the room back in place. Wow!! They had a blast preparing everything and sat together so congenially to eat and chat, try new tastes and enjoy one another’s company. We were all thankful for each other and the celebration. All that Grace and Courtesy was a beautiful exercise in gratitude. <3
The menu consisted of:
yellow and orange marigold petals
purple sage buds
pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries
Meanwhile, all the children continue their individual learning both through lessons from teachers and through interacting with materials they choose on their own. Again, it's the structure within the classroom environment that offers the children the opportunity to choose which work they want to do, therefore fostering their love of learning and their internal self-motivation. When you come in to observe, you'll have a chance to see this facet of Montessori education in action!
A few books we’ve read are:
Little Tree, by Loren Long
The Turnip, by Jan Brett
The Earth Under Sky Bear’s Feet: Native American Poems of the Land, by Joseph Bruchac and Thomas Locker
Samuel Eaton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy, by Kate Waters, photographs by Russ Kendall
The Very First Americans, by Cara Ashrose, illustrated by Bryna Waldman
Personal Space Camp, written by Julia Cook, illustrated by Carrie Hartman
Maria Montessori and Her Quiet Revolution, by Nancy Back and Leo Latti
What if Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick, illustrated by Colleen M. Madden
Looking forward to another fantastic month with your children!
M-F: 8am - 4pm
Primary Office 512-288-1245
Elementary Office 512-288-2776