This Month in the classroom…
We had a short month that felt like a week because we were so busy. My Mountain Laurel “cosmic” bees have been buzzing around the different areas of the classroom.
This month many students reached important milestones by moving from materials to abstraction. Some mid and full cycles conquered multiplication and division without materials. And a couple of them were even inspired to write a goodbye story to the Racks and Tubes. All beginning cycles are working on dynamic addition (carrying) without materials, and most of them are also working on dynamic subtraction abstractly as well. Many of the first-year students are now working on Chequerboard (long multiplication), and a few students were introduced to Racks and Tubes (long division).
In language, the younger students keep learning the parts of speech with the Montessori grammar boxes. We keep working on building phonemic awareness and reading daily. Word study: suffixes and prefixes, synonyms, antonyms, homonyms are not just part of daily lessons and follow-up work, but we integrate those concepts into our everyday conversations and phonics exercises. Older students are working on sentence analysis and different types of paragraph writing (persuasive, descriptive, narrative).
In lieu of Going Out, we had our first Going In this month. “Miss Patty” Paquette, a former Mountain Laurel grandmother, gave us a lesson on the first human beings to come to America. The children were very engaged, and we had fun, especially when she asked the students if any of them knew if there were native Americans in their families, and a child said, “I think I am because my mom is a hypocrite” we asked him what he meant by that, and he said: well she was born in another country ;-))))
Have you heard about National Day? Every day I check the National Day Calendar online, and we learn new things from important people, holidays around the world, or fun things like getting a brownie on National Brownie Day ;-). When National Day celebrates a state, the full cycle students do a short research about important facts about that state and share with us before read-aloud. This month we learned about Alabama and Mississippi. Did you know that the first rocket to the moon was built in Alabama?
In Biology, we have been learning about seeds, roots, and classifying animals. We have students researching fossils, whales, and snails. This research work allows students to integrate different classroom areas into their daily work, and when they are done and present to their classmates, we all learn from their research, and they learn and improve presentation skills.
We received a pin-pal letter from a student at another Montessori school; a student from our classroom replied with another letter, we wax sealed and mailed it. It was fun and inspiring to other students who wanted to write a note to a pin pal. Maybe your children would like to write and mail a letter to friends and family for the holidays.
Burying friends at the playground is trending this month at recess… I wonder if you can’t find Benjy and especially Vivian in the playground pictures 😉
Pajama/Fun /Day to celebrate the new year
We had a fun last day of school before the winter break, and we will do it again the first-day school resumes after the break so that everyone can be part of the fun pajama day. Students can come in PJs, bring a board game and stuffies.
Coffee Talk follow up from Parents Night Elementary If you couldn't attend this month’s Parent Night, or if you did but have more questions, or if you would like to learn more about the curriculum, please don’t miss this opportunity. Jan. 13th, 8:30 am
Jan 17th MLK No school
Ways to help our classroom
Mountain Laurel Cottage