What a busy first six weeks we have had! Reconnecting with friends. Welcoming new friends into our classroom. Adjusting to changes the new year has brought. It has been a wonderful start.
Maria Montessori gave us the task of giving children “the keys to the environment.” By showing the children real things, not just pictures on cards, we give them personal experiences of the world around them. As they further explore those things in the class, they will know what they are seeing.
Peaches, pears, pomegranates, plums, pineapples, mango, oranges and coconut. How do you cut them? Do you eat the skin? What do they taste like? What do their seeds look like? How do you grow new ones? These questions began our first explorations. I had cards on the shelf with pictures of these fruits used for vocabulary building. To make sure they knew what the fruit was, I brought in samples of the real thing, then at circle time each day we learned the answer to those questions. Can you guess which caused the most excitement? (coconut) Can you guess which was the favorite? (peach) Can you guess the hardest seed to get to? (peach and plum) Have you ever actually seen the seed to a mango? It is hidden inside a protective endocarp, which I did not realize. Now we have pineapple, mango, pomegranate and peach trying to root in our classroom. I learned right along with the children as I had not actually explored the seed parts of the fruits before.
It is so much fun thinking of ways to use Dr. Montessori’s materials to entice the children to explore and learn. Seeing the new children working their way through the morning. Seeing the returning children ask for new lessons and practicing old favorites. I am loving the one on one work with the children as I give new lessons. The joy they show when they learn something new or do something for themselves the first time is incredible.
I look forward to new experiences and exploration as we head into fall.
I cannot believe that the end of the school year is approaching so quickly! It has been a great year filled with much joy and happiness. The children have worked so hard in their individual studies and have had many opportunity to participate in fun projects.
Our spring garden, watered, weeded and cared for by the children, is now producing fruits and veggies that they prepare for snack. The “fruits” of their labor!
The recent beautiful weather has also regularly allowed for outside insect and bug studies. We’ve seen beautiful butterflies and learned to welcome spiders and be cautious of Asp caterpillars.
With summertime activities right around the corner I know the children’s development and curiosity will continue to grow in new and exciting ways.
Each of your children has brought love, laughter and enjoyment to the classroom and into my life making it my deep pleasure to have served as lead guide in RoadRunner Cottage this year.
To each parent I extend my sincere thanks for your support and dedication to our community.
Thank you for a wonderful year. Have a fantastic summer!
“Two things are necessary: the development of individuality and the participation of the individual in a truly social life."
~ Dr. Maria Montessori
Welcome back and Happy New Year!
I hope you enjoyed the holidays and had some relaxed, quality “family time”.
With gratitude we extend a sincere ‘thank-you’ for the donations and gifts the classroom received in celebration of the holiday!
As the new year starts we welcome Mina Watkins and Gabriella Maggiora to the afternoon class!
In Road Runner Cottage our day starts with community time. This is a time for the class to come together usually in a circle as a symbol of unity, and for each child to have a view of everyone else. “Circle time” is a chance for students to learn important social skills by being in a group setting. They listen when someone else is talking and learn to wait their turn. It’s also a great time for showing appreciation toward others, going over ground rules, role playing, and solving issues that arise in the classroom.
Montessori classrooms offer many opportunities to practice social skills each day from serving snack or assisting with zippers, to carefully walking around work rugs.
Circle time allows children to practice self-control and develop body awareness while participating in some fun, group activities.
While together in our morning circle we:
The Holidays are upon us and our classroom is buzzing with excitement! Each primary classroom will be making holiday tree decorations that will be on sale this month, starting Monday December 12th through the 15th. The money made from the decorations will be donated to an organization called Treefolks.
Even though the month of December is short due to the break, the children continue to work with great concentration and vigor!! This month we will be focusing on winter weather and the hibernation of animals.
Don’t you hibernate though, because we are looking forward to seeing you at the Cedars Winter Sing along December 16th!! Each classroom will be performing a song during the Cedar’s sing- along , so lookout for your little Roadrunner!!
Warm wishes for a wonderful holiday season.
“Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.”
~ Maria Montessori
October is an extraordinary month for exploration. The weather is finally starting to cool off so we can open the doors and step outside! During circle time our class has been discussing weather and the change of seasons. We have been planning our fall garden, learning what we can plant this time of year and discussing how we can use those herbs/ veggies in our classroom. The children are eager to start turning the soil and planting our fall crop with the help of Cedar’s gardener, the wonderful Gitana Sweethardt.
The cooler weather will also allow us to start exploring our campus. We will visit Prairie Hill once a week and take walks through the campus to visit all the animals while learning about what kind of plants and trees we have around us.
Halloween is coming and our afternoon class will present the play “The Little Witch with the Broken Broom Stick.” I will send out an email with details as we get closer to the date.
Cedars Fall Fandango is just around the corner! Remember to mark your calendars for Nov.10th.
Each classroom will be creating a piece of artwork for the Fandango’s Silent Auction. By using our outdoor explorations as inspiration I have an idea for our art project that I think the children will love!
Please join us on Oct. 13th for the Silent Journey which will provide a glimpse into your child’s day at school.
Thank you for helping us sow the seeds of knowledge!
Here is a list of some of the classroom ground rules and grace and courtesy lessons I mentioned in my last post.
Classroom Ground Rules
“ What is social life if not the solving of social problems, behaving properly and pursuing aims acceptable to all? [ It is not] sitting side by side and hearing someone else talk…”Dr. Maria Montessori, page 225, The Absorbent Mind
Grace and Courtesy Lessons
These lessons are given on the circle, acted out or demonstrated by me or a returning student in a spirit of sharing a fine and helpful idea. They are not presented directly as in “This is a rule of our classroom that you will now learn.”
Welcome back to Roadrunner Cottage and a very warm welcome to our new families. It’s lovely to see familiar faces that have returned this year. I hope you all had an enjoyable and fun filled summer and are ready for an exciting year of discoveries and explorations!
The first few weeks we are becoming familiar with the classroom and with each other. We are learning the ground rules, practicing our grace and courtesy lessons and exploring the Montessori materials. For further information on the Montessori method of which ground rules and grace and courtesy lessons are the building blocks of a peaceful classroom - look for next week’s email!
Every month I will send out a newsletter that will be posted on the website under “parent connection”, this way I can share with you what we are working on in the classroom . I will send out an email when our classroom will open for observation and how to sign up when the time comes.
I have included an article that might be helpful to read before we meet for a conference. It explains the language you may hear me use during our meeting. Montessori Vocabulary Made Clear
Since our return from Spring Break there is a great energy for learning and concentrated work flowing through our classroom! Our class is excited about our Spring Festival project. The children have created a beautiful piece of art for the silent auction. In addition, the afternoon group have been practicing their play "Who's in Rabbit's House?" and will perform it Friday, April 15th to the afternoon parents.
It's amazing how fast this school year is progressing ! The children are focusing on their individual studies and exploring their own interests. The weather being so nice we have started to do science experiments outside ; what is gravity, types of clouds and weather. We often have lunch at our picnic tables enjoying the climate.
Life is good!
The children are starting the New Year off refreshed and focused, eager to work! Along with our daily individual studies we have begun our exploration of our solar system, learning about the planets, stars, sun and moon. The afternoon children have been making posters of the solar system and clay models of our earth.
Our garden is thriving and we have been harvesting on a regular basis. The bunnies enjoy the fruits of our labor, and the children have enjoyed trying the different greens.
We would like to thank the Hanko family for donating a wonderful bug collection box to the school. Luke introduced the box to our class - showing the children the bugs already inside, explaining how it works and how we can add to the collection. Each classroom will get a chance to have the box in their class for a bit and then it will be put in a central area for the whole school to enjoy!
* The Student Led Tours are for afternoon children only but the morning children will get a chance to show their parents the room in May. More info will be coming.