Mountain Laurel has been exploring the “chains of chains” – creating a mandala of all of the long chains from the Montessori Bead Cabinet. Children are mathematically exploring each families multiples by counting and/or skip counting (eg. 3,6,9,12,etc.) There are 10 families to sensorially explore and discover. This material supports work with further mathematical concepts within the mathematical Montessori curriculum.
We’ve been making gluten-free recipes in the kitchen. This week we made gluten-free pumpkin brownies in the cast iron skillet. It was delicious and very tasty!
The children have been joining at the playground playing gaga. The entire community is found playing a game here in this photo. A great communal sport to enjoy and play.
Click for larger view of photos...
This week in Mountain Laurel…
Ms. Autumn will be finishing up the school year with us this week. We are sad to see her go, and wish her and her family well. Please stop by to say goodbye sometime at arrival and/or after school. The community has prepared and planned a fare-well of decorations and cookies. The children have made a gift for her as well spelling her name; one letter at a time with their bodies. They are excited to present this gift to her!
Please say hello to Ms. Abby, who joined Cedars this week to assist in our classroom. She is so excited to be a part of the Mountain Laurel Community. Everyone is eager to get to know Ms. Abby and a few individuals have created a game of asking one question per day; per individual. We will be using the large whiteboard to compose a series of questions and will await the statements per questions; each day.
Here’s a bit of info about Ms. Abby:
I am originally from Indiana where I grew up and went to college. I attended Purdue University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education in 2013. After graduating, I taught 5th grade for one year in Lafayette, IN. It was a fantastic experience, and my students and I grew tremendously. I moved to Texas in 2014 to start a new adventure and had the opportunity to teach 4th and 5th grade before joining the Cedars Montessori team. I feel so lucky to be warmly welcomed into the Mountain Laurel community, and I can’t wait to meet all of you!
Parents, we will have a brief meet and greet this Friday, November 18th on the porch from 3:00-3:15 PM. Feel free to park and introduce yourself and your family to Ms. Abby. Or say “Hello” from the car. We will be serving our famous rosemary popcorn to-go.
As the weather begins to change, please send an extra pair of clothes to school to accommodate the winter weather. Several children have items which are meant for summer or are in need of clothing. Each child has a personal box to place these items in their gender specific bathroom. It has come in handy to have an extra set of clothes, especially with the cold and rainy weather and/or in case it’s needed. Please send an extra set of clothes this week in a labeled bag and we will support with replacing and/or updating their items per box, and will ensure any summer clothing is sent home.
This week will be making roasted root vegetables and gluten-free pumpkin spice muffins. There are several vegetables in season right now such as parsnips and turnips which will be used as part of the roasted root vegetable dish. We will continue to share more vegetables with the children before the season ends. Yesterday we made a cheesy quiche and seasoned it with fresh rosemary. The group which made the dish plan to serve it as a special morning feast after Wildernerclass Class on Tuesday.
Previously we read about Georgia O’Keefe and will move onto reading about Monet. Also, this week we will be learning about the history and origin of the piano and then look at specifically the “playing” piano. We will listen to a few songs as well. Several children have been exploring the tone bars and bells recently; composing songs. The children enjoy grading each bar/bell, matching and of course playing well-known favorites such as Hot Cross Buns or French Tune. We have a few songs from our Winter Gathering which we will bring out related to the Holidays to play and sing altogether.
We will be exploring the needs of the plant further this week, with a few experiments. We’ve went on several nature walks last week classifying and collecting specimens. We talked about what the plant needs and how it makes it food. The children illustrated it. We will re-visit a few nature walks this week, but will practice instead “sit spots”. Each child will use a sketch-pad and sit in a chosen spot for 8 minutes and will silently sketch their senses (feel, smell, see, etc.) Each spot is specific per child and it may be in a tree. We practiced this art last week for 5 minutes, and a few commented that a bug began to approach them, and also a squirrel was nearby. Sit spots are a great way to connect to nature and to observe its surroundings. The children shared it was a lot of fun too!
We did a lot of work with water last week constructing a large river model using rocks and soil outside. The children labeled the parts of the river; source, mouth, delta, bed, meander, etc. Then they sprinkled sand on the course of the river to emphasize the work of water; picking up the particles and moving the sediment along – carving away/away. As we completed this; it started to rain and the work of water began.
We will be studying moon phases this week and have asked a parent to come in and will read a few books and will share her telescope with the children. Thank you Amy! ☺
We will follow-up with a few lessons/experiments on the attraction and gravity as support studying the meaning of that large mass (earth) and smaller mass (us). We will look at the planets of our Solar System as well and learn about how they all stay within orbit. We will look at things a little further – such as how fast certain things fall and why?
Lastly, we are in need of 1-2 more drivers to support with transportation to/from the Nutcracker on Thursday, December 8th. We will be seeing Act II. The performance will be from 12-1 PM, at the Long Center. If you are available to drive, please let us know, by sending an email, and sharing how many you can fit in your vehicle.
Due to limited availability this year, and a large interest from other schools attending the show, we are in need of only parents to assist with transportation. We will be loading vehicles at 10:45 AM and departing shortly after at 11:00 AM. Ushers begin seating groups 30 minutes prior to the performance. Parking will be in the Long Center, which is free. You’re welcome to get coffee as your wait or run errands before meeting us at the end of the show at 1:00 PM and returning to campus. We will meet you on the lawn in front of the Long Center after the performance for pick-up. We will return to campus no later than 1:30/1:45 PM. Please let us know if you are available to assist with this trip!
Lastly, thank you for your support with the Fall Fandango! We are so appreciative!
As a reminder; there is no school next week due to the Holiday break:
Parents have a lovely break and we wish all of you and your families a wonderful holiday, and look forward to your return on Monday, November 28th!