Almost daily on our family Facebook feed you see the wonder and joy of learning on the faces of our students. Our future is in such good hands with the young leaders developing here at the Montessori School of Huntsville. Last week I saw the same light shining out of some students who are a few years older, eight of our amazing teachers and staff who attended the American Montessori Society’s annual conference. Every day of the conference each of us would greet one another with a flurry of “I just attended the best workshop.” The theme of this year’s conference “Unity in Diversity” touched deeply on our mission here at MSH to “develop independent learners, critical thinkers and tomorrow’s leaders.” Just as our children immerse each day in a prepared environment in which they learn from both older and younger classmates, we were in a beautiful convention center surrounded by Montessori educators who were eager to share their experiences and their inquiries about teaching and learning.
With so much negative press about today’s schools and teaching, it is so refreshing to be in an environment where teachers are willing to give so freely of their time to hone their professional skills. Not only did these eight teachers give up four days of the their spring break, many of our other teachers have given weeks and weekends of time to further their Montessori training or have spent evenings at school participating in webinars and book studies to grow expertise in providing students with the best possible learning experience. I am so proud of their commitment and grateful to be part of this community. Our focus on perfecting our craft has been a hallmark of this year and fundamental to our continued advancement.
If you have time, engage with our teachers to discover what they have learned this year. Ms. Alicia will be happy to talk with you about the emerging concept of a natural playground. Ms. Harber would love to share the insights she’s gained from hundreds of hours of work she has dedicated to her work with the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in North Carolina. Ms. Brandy can share such interesting details of how the toddler brain develops. These are only three examples of the myriad of learning experiences our teachers participated in this school year. I hope that you see the benefits of their lifelong learning reflected in the eyes of your child. Thank you for your support of these opportunities. We do it all with love for your children.
This week we enjoyed our second visit from Sci-Quest! The children learned about how rainbows are made, explored the refraction of light, and optical illusions. They used colored water to dye gardening crystals and “capture” the colors of rainbow in test tubes.
April is National Poetry Month, so we’re incorporating poetry into our study of adjectives and adverbs. So far, the children have composed their own Haikus and Cinquains. Soon, we’ll be writing Quatrains and free-verse poetry.
Our study of fractions is in full-force. Cooking with your child is a wonderful way to reinforce fractions at home, while at the same time incorporating measurement. The children have worked with equivalent fractions, comparing fractions, and some of them are moving onto simplifying fractions.
Finally, we have two field trips planned for this month. On Thursday, April 10th, we will be visiting Burritt on the Mountain. Permission slips for this field trip went home on Tuesday. On Friday, April 25th, we will be participating in Panoply School Days. I will be sending home permission slips for Panoply next week.
This month will definitely be busy, so be sure to check your child’s yellow folder regularly!
Wow, the weather has been nice this week! Spring is an amazing time of year. Monday morning, we went on a nature walk to listen to the birds and check out the plants that are coming up in our gardens. The Outdoor Classroom is looking great. At the moment, we have several stations for animal habitats: a decomposition area, a salamander rock pyramid, brush piles, a rock pile, pollinator gardens, and also the entire forested area. In the classroom, we have really worked on nurturing our little herb seedlings for the vegetable and herb garden, and we’ll plant them soon. Also, we are excited about the chicken coop. It is really coming together. Thank you to the good folks working on it.
In March, we celebrated Mardi Gras by making masks, getting throws (toys thrown from floats), and catching beads. The children also learned about the history of Mardi Gras and its significance in Mobile, AL.
The children have been working very diligently studying about South America by making little books, researching animals, painting maps, and making flags for the Multicultural Festival. Ms. Carmen also teaches them so much about Peru and all the countries in South America. We are in the process of making a life-size green anaconda which can reach 29 feet! Aaahhhh! The Elementary I class will be performing a music program with Ms. Kathy at 1:30. They will also sing a song with Ms. Carmen about the countries and capitals of South America. I hope everyone can make it to the festival!
We are enjoying learning about the continent Asia and its countries, cultures, languages, landmarks, food, sports, and animals. The children had fun making flags of all the countries in Asia (there are a lot of them!), painting the map of the continent and countries, and pin-punching. They have also learned songs in Hindi, Chinese, and Korean. Thank you very much to Ms. Chong, Isabella’s mom, and Ms. Cindy, Andy’s mom, for teaching us these songs. Thank you very much also to Ms. Eden, Lilli’s mom, for coming and talking to us about Mongolia and doing art projects with the children.
We have also been planting seeds in the garden. If the weather permits, we are planning to have more garden activities. Our kids have worked hard while having fun filling the sandbox with sand. The kindergarten students had fun going on a nature walk and learning about the cardinal directions, trees, and flowers. Please plan to come to our Multicultural Festival this weekend. Our children worked hard for preparing our classroom and program for the festival.
Next month, we are going to explore space and the solar system. Also, we will learn about money and time. We will have our Easter egg hunt in April and will send an email later regarding the event. We also welcome Jake, a new student who has joined our classroom this month!
Welcome back to school! We celebrated the culmination of our Human Body unit before Spring Break by visiting Sci-Quest Science Museum. Thanks to all the parents for driving their children, other children, and the teachers on this trip.
We started our new unit on the Solar System right before Spring Break. Our students are busy bees drawing, painting, and coloring the planets. Along with this unit work, the children are busy with new spring practical life, sensorial, math, and reading work. We are learning the days of the week and practicing small commands in sign language and learning how to tell time.
The kindergarten children started putting their thoughts together and writing and illustrating stories. It is so wonderful to see them read to the younger children. This inspires the other children to read and write stories, also. The kindergarten students also started using daily contracts. These contracts help them to manage their time and to finish their work in a day. All of them have been very responsible.
The Multicultural Festival is around the corner. We are learning about Africa. We started the study by looking at African flags and maps. Soon we will be making African masks and will turn our classroom into an African jungle.
Spring is finally here. A special thanks to Russell Berger for preparing our garden for spring planting. We have already planted carrots and peas in our garden. Maria Montessori said, “Children are like rose buds. With proper care and a prepared environment a rose bud will slowly turn into a beautiful flower.” Children are the same way in that in a caring and prepared environment, they will turn into a loving, caring, responsible and productive individuals.