Posts Categorized: Elementary I
“I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to feel. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil. Once the emotions have been aroused – a sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and the unknown, a feeling of sympathy, pity, admiration or love – then we wish for knowledge about the object of our emotional response. Once found, it has lasting meaning. It is more important to pave the way for the child to want to know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate.” – Rachel Carson, in Sense of Wonder (1965)
I absolutely love this quote, and I feel like it could have easily been written by Dr. Montessori. In Dr. Montessori’s book, To Educate the Human Potential, she mentions ‘seeds’ about five times on the very first page! The commonality of Maria Montessori and Rachel Carson is obvious. When speaking of ‘seeds’, the two women are speaking of the small bits of knowledge or interests that begin to take root in a child’s mind. They are speaking of connections being made, not only by what children learn from adults, but by all they see, hear, say, smell, taste, touch, and emotionally feel. As a teacher, I try my best to continue this idea by giving the children a safe and healthy way to learn on their own, and by providing them with a prepared classroom environment. I give a lot of lessons, but I also allow the children to discover different concepts on their own. The little “ah-ha” moments in the classroom are so very rewarding.
This week in our classroom, we are working on a short play to perform to both the Elementary II Classroom and the Kindergarten Classes. We continuously work on math and language. The children absolutely loved doing their own research on South American animals, so we are going to continue to plant that little ‘seed’ by researching plants we find around the school. We will display the plants and research in the foyer. So, stop and see all the seeds growing!
“Knowledge can be best given where there is eagerness to learn, so this is the period when the seed of everything can be sown, the child’s mind being like a fertile field, ready to receive what will germinate into culture.” Maria Montessori, in To Educate the Human Potential (1948).
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 so grateful to have the kindergarten students visiting our classroom! They are all so sweet! I cannot wait to have both first and second graders in our class next year. We also enjoy having parents come and observe. Please let us know if you have not had a chance to come visit this month, and we can set up a time in March.
Thank you to everyone who helped collect dog and cat food for the King’s Community Kitchen project through the Huntsville Humane Society. Service projects are so enriching for the children.
Our class also participated in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. We are an official participant in research through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society! Very exciting!
We will soon begin studying all about South America for the Multicultural Festival.
We are continuing to read the Junior Great Books Series. We just got a new environmental education book,Growing Up Wild, and have started using it today!
We have had a really exciting start to the new year! Happy 2014!
I would like to thank Mr. Sonnie Hereford for his presentation. His story is so very inspiring, and he has a wonderful way of teaching the children about equality.
The elementary classes are leading a service project at MSH called King’s Community Kitchen, and we would love for the whole school to participate. King’s Community Kitchen is a Pet Food Assistance Program through the Greater Huntsville Humane Society that allows families with economic difficulties to keep their pets healthy and home. Look for our poster and collection boxes in the lobby. We are collecting dog food, cat food, and treats through January 30th.
Kindergarten and Elementary families, please join us for dinner on January 23rd. Everyone, please join us for The Journey on January 25th. Also, get ready for Observation Month in February. These are all wonderful opportunities to learn about the Montessori experience!
Thinking about the cold weather this month and next, the children will be learning about the geography, biology, and ecology of the Arctic and Antarctica. We will continue having new lessons in math, including the checkerboard and bead frames. We will be starting a new unit with measurement, also. The children are learning about verbs with lots of action-packed lessons. Everyday is a learning experience by all!
The Elementary I Class has wonderful news about the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF project! Our goal was to raise $240 for a School-in-a-Box, which is a kit containing supplies and materials for a teacher and up to 40 students (books, pencils, scissors, counting cubes, a clock, posters, and lots more for basic educational needs to be used anywhere in the world). With the entire school’s help, we completely exceeded our goal and raised $358.27! That means our school raised enough for a School-in-a-Box, a bicycle to take medicine to rural villages, soccer balls, and a lot of protein biscuits! I am so very proud of the children (and parents) for making this happen! Thank you!
Our class is also starting a drive to help the folks at CASA (Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound). We will be collecting non-perishable food items (low sodium, no sugar added, if possible). Canned meats, vegetables, and fruits, and boxed rice are recommended. We will also fill a basket with paper towels, napkins, dish cloths, dish towels, dish detergent, and hand soap. This is a wonderful program, and they were very grateful for our donations last year. The drive will begin November 18 and last through November 26.
Other news in the classroom: the children are all working very hard! We just learned about the parts of an addition equation: addends and sums. We will be having similar lessons on the parts of subtraction, multiplication, and division problems soon. They are all working at their own pace (with a little encouragement here and there) using the various math materials. With language, we have learned about nouns and articles and will be diving into adjectives very soon. Grammar can be so exciting! The children are learning all about birds right now in zoology. We have made books about the external parts of birds, learned about bird types, and created our own birds. We will have some further lessons and experiments on birds, too. We will be working on a lot of Thanksgiving holiday activities also. Parents, please look for a Thanksgiving feast sign-up sheet.
As we are all aware, it is getting so cold outside! Please don’t forget to send your child to school in warm clothes (coats, gloves, hats). We are outside between 45 minutes and an hour everyday.
We are planning a field trip to see The Nutcracker on Ice on December 5th!
I hope everyone has a safe and loving Thanksgiving holiday!