Posts Categorized: Primary II
“Love holds the universe together because it is a real force, and not just an idea.” -Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori was ahead of her time. It was through her medical practice as the first female physician in Italy that she began observing children in a clinical sense. Her passion for observing children led to her eventually leaving medicine and devoting her life to creating an educational pedagogy that is based in scientific research, known as Montessori education. What is sometimes left out when we talk about Montessori education is her peace curriculum. Maria Montessori lived through two world wars and traveled the world during turbulent times. To say she was an advocate for peace is an understatement. She was adamant that educating children was fundamental to ensuring a peaceful future. This is evident throughout her writings, lectures, and her three Nobel Peace Prize nominations. She believed that in order for children to learn peace in their educational environment, it must be modeled by adults and be a consistent part of the daily curriculum.
In Primary II, we have begun our peace curriculum. We have already witnessed incredibly touching moments amongst the children. We will continue to do at least one lesson from our peace shelf per week throughout the month of August, and these lessons will evolve throughout the year. During last week’s lesson we talked about our love lights. We presented a silhouette of a person and talked about how despite our differences, we have one thing in common: a light that shines inside us. At this point in the presentation a flashlight shined behind the silhouette to emit a glow. We talked about how this light shines when we are happy and proud. When we are sad or hurt, sometimes because of someone else, our light dims. The flashlight was turned down so the light could barely be seen. The children gave wonderful examples of what makes their light shine. We are positive they would be happy to talk to you at home about this lesson and share what makes their love light shine!
We all need calm moments of peace in our lives. To this end, we have begun our practice of morning meditation. Without time to rest our minds, we become irritable, frustrated and can even lose sleep. Maria Montessori developed something called the “Silence Game.” When this game is implemented in the environment, the children are making a choice to make silence. We present the lesson by telling the children we will be creating silence together and hold up a card that reads silence. When they see this very special card held up, it is their cue to be silent and still. After a few moments, we whisper their names one by one to come out of their silence and stillness. Throughout the months and throughout your child’s three year cycle, their meaning of meditation and the silence game will become deeper and their focus longer. One additional intent of this activity is that it causes children to develop an awareness of their body and a sensitivity to the noise around them.
After two weeks together, we already see so much daily love and kindness between the Primary II children. Ms. Monica and I are exceptionally proud to bear witness to their daily growth emotionally and academically and are looking forward to a year full of peace and learning.
Hello Primary II Families!
It is hard to believe there is only one more month of school until summer break. We still have a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks, including a field trip to go strawberry picking (May 8th), the Montessori School of Huntsville 50th Anniversary celebration at our new location in Hampton Cove (May16th), and of course the Kindergarten bridging ceremony. This is always a bittersweet moment for teachers. Many of these children began their journey here at MSH as toddlers, and we have had the unique opportunity as Montessori educators to spend 2 or more years with them. We are so proud of this group of Kindergarteners.
In addition to our work in Practical Life, Sensorial, Math and Language, we have begun wrapping up our unit on the human body. Thank you so much to Justin Chase for putting together a beautiful presentation about bones and x-rays. We will now transition to amphibians and insects! Our caterpillars just arrived in the mail and we are excited to watch the process of metamorphosis.
If you have an opportunity, please read the minutes from last months board meeting regarding policy changes to next year’s handbook. Specifically, the dress code for next year is something you will want to familiarize yourself with so we can answer any questions or concerns you may have.
As always, thank you for your support!
Ms. Sarah and Ms. Monica
Dear Primary II Families,
This time of year can be so hectic! We wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to all of you in order to relay some helpful information regarding next week. As most of you know, our music teacher, Ms. Kathy, went in for surgery last week and will not be available to lead the children in a holiday concert. The concert was scheduled for Friday, December 19th. In lieu of a holiday program, the Primary II class will celebrate in a different way this year. We will not have anything planned for Friday, but we will do something on Thursday, the 18th, when we have all the children in attendance. The school is participating in Pajama Day to conclude the Scholastic Pajama Drive, so please send your child to school in weather appropriate pajamas. We would also like to have a class book exchange in a group party with singing and snacks! (just children and no adults.) Please send in a book with your child (before Thursday, if possible) that is wrapped and has their name signed on the inside. Every child will give and receive a book. If you would like to provide something special for a group snack, please make sure it is healthy. As always, we keep our celebrations sugar-free. Please also remember that Friday is an early dismissal day at 11:30 a.m. We are so very grateful to each family we have the great privilege of knowing. Your children light up our lives and we love them dearly. The endless laughter and moments of entertainment they provide is always so heartwarming. Enjoy your holiday break! We look forward to an enjoyable new year with many wonderful memories to make and endless blessings to behold!
Ms. Sarah and Ms. Monica
November has been so full of activity! In addition to our daily work in Practical Life, Sensorial, Math and Language, the children have been learning about birds, the story of the first Thanksgiving, and have even created a hands-on Pilgrim colony and Wamponoag village. Our classroom has been decorated in watercolor art of the Mayflower ship. We hope you have taken the opportunity to admire them as they all came out so unique.
Thank you to all the families who generously donated materials to our class during the Small Hands fundraiser. We received some great items and have begun using them in the classroom.
Last week we made cranberry sauce together and have enjoyed it this week for snack. The children were really excited to try it. Our class will be baking banana bread on Monday which we will share with all the classrooms on Tuesday. Our Thanksgiving Feast will take place Tuesday before our early 11:30am dismissal for all children.
Please make sure your child has a warm coat and appropriate cold weather gear at school (mittens, hat, etc.) as we will continue to go outside each day if it is above 32 degrees. Also, please ensure that your child is using their Montessori School of Huntsville tote bag rather than a cumbersome backpack. We do not have room in the shared cubbies for backpacks.
We have discussed with the children about getting a new pet in our room. Our goal is to adopt a bird in the next several weeks! If you would like to donate any necessary items for this please let either of us know. We would greatly appreciate any help!
Thank you for all you do and for sharing your children with us. Enjoy your families and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Sarah and Monica
Hello Primary II Families!
The children returned from Spring Break excited to share what they did during their time off and eager to challenge themselves with new work. Our first week back kept us extremely busy preparing our classroom for the annual Multi-Cultural Festival, which turned out to be such a fun afternoon! Thank you to all of the parents who donated items for our Antarctica sensory experience, brought food, and came out to enjoy the day with us. We think the Multi-Cultural Festival (which had the children traveling the world!) was a direct catapult in sparking the children’s interests about the world we all live in. Since the festival, our floor has been covered in maps! It never gets tiresome watching as a child progresses in showing interest in continent work to being able to identify countries, states, and bodies of water.
Last month we attended the American Montessori Conference in Dallas, Texas and we would love to take this opportunity to share a few tidbits about our trip. The entire experience proved to be uniquely amazing and provided us with so many new ideas and connections. Our time together offered great bonding time for us teachers, and we left with a renewed enthusiasm and passion to further the Montessori Movement.
In addition to attending full days of workshops, we were very fortunate to hear the words of some incredible keynote speakers, such as Temple Grandin and Andrew Solomon. The latter, who recently wrote the book, Far From the Tree, was such an inspiration to listen to and became a personal highlight to us both. His book is all about children, parents, and the search for our own identity. We wholeheartedly believe it is a must read for all parents. It will impact you in a way that will encourage you to be not only a more thoughtful parent but also a more compassionate human being. We think this is something valued tremendously amongst our MSH family. Check it out. You won’t be able to put it down!
As always, thank you for all of your support.
Sarah and Monica