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Hello Primary II Families!
January is typically a turning point in the Montessori classroom, a time where you can really see and feel that the children have “normalized.” This is a term Maria Montessori used to describe the goal a teacher works so hard to achieve, when she is able to say, “the children are now working as if I did not exist.” We are now seeing normalization in the Primary II classroom, and at times during our morning work period, Monica and I will smile at each other in acknowledgment that if we were to quietly slip out the door the children would keep working and not even notice.
In addition to our work in Practical Life, Sensorial, Math and Language, January was dedicated to all things space in our classroom! We studied the characteristics of each planet and were amazed at how this topic seized their attention and wonder. The children can recall the order of the planets; and can compare their sizes as well as their composition. Make sure you ask your child a probing question about space; you will be delighted with their knowledge and excitement! We also devoted the month of January to learn about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his peaceful movement towards equality. We had moving discussions during circle time, and were touched by the children’s understanding of what is unjust. On Friday, the Kindergarteners will have the opportunity to hear Mr. Sonny Hereford speak about being the first African American child in the state of Alabama to attend a non-segregated school. We look forward to his presentation each year, it is truly an honor.
February has gotten off to a great start with parent observations. We have a visitor coming every day this month and we love the opportunity to share with you what your children do all day. As a reminder, please make every effort to allow your child a successful start to their day by making sure drop-off is swift and your child is allowed to be independent. This can be as small a detail as ensuring they are walking into the building rather than being carried. This might seem minor, but it is incredibly important. Let your child carry their own belongings into the classroom, and please make sure you are sending them with their MSH school bag. Upon entering the classroom, it is the child’s responsibility to put their lunch and bag in their cubby and to hang their jacket on a hanger before continuing on to hand washing. Every child has had a lesson and can do these tasks beautifully! These simple things set the tone for the rest of the day. If you are struggling with ways to help your child be independent, please come talk to Monica or me, we love to discuss this subject with parents!
As always, thank you for the gift of your children each day and supporting them in their Montessori journey.
Ms. Sarah and Ms. Monica
Hello parents! Welcome to 2015!! Already February!! We will continue our Human Body unit in February. Some time near the end of Feb we will go to Sci-Quest science Museum for a field trip. We will let you know the date soon. Special thanks to Jenny and Jane for sending all info to parents on time. We will have Valentine’s Day party for children on Thursday, February 12th.
Most of our children are going through Sensitive period in Math and Reading areas in our class lately. I would like to expand on Montessori Sensitive Period. Maria Montessori proposes that we prepare an environment where the child educates himself through materials that correspond to his sensitive periods. This can be as simple as having puzzles and bead string when your child begins to want to handle small objects. It can mean offering a small broom and dust cloth for your child to accompany you as you clean. It can mean you provide movable letters for which you teach the sounds, so the child can begin to build words.
Learning that takes place during the sensitive periods is powerful and long lasting. It is powerful because it is inwardly driven rather than outwardly imposed. It is long lasting because in their early years children are forming themselves out of the raw material of their experiences. During sensitive periods , opportunity exists for optimal development, when it is easy to learn. Learning during sensitive period is as thorough and complete as it ever can be. Please enjoy photographs of children going through math and reading Sensitive Period!!
We have all really enjoyed the kindergarten move-up days! My first and second year students absolutely love to help guide the little ones around the classroom. I pair each kindergartener with one of my students, and they work through the morning together. It makes my students feel so good to be looked up to as leaders. They have worked with golden beads, bead chains, reading comprehension, puzzle maps, rainforest grammar mat work, parts of speech work, and a lot of other various material around the classroom. This morning, it was time to do our Junior Great Books story with the first year students, so I included the kindergarteners in the lesson, as well. They loved the story and even wanted to work on the follow-up activity.
The kindergartners seem to have really enjoyed visiting us. As I walked the children back to their classrooms, they have said things like, “Can I come back tomorrow?” and “Why can’t we stay all day?” and “I had fun in elementary.” These little ones definitely put a smile on my face!
One of my favorite things about our little Montessori school is the connections the children share. When the kindergarteners come visit our classroom, there is already a sense of community because the kids all know each other. Either they were in class with each other the previous year, their parents are friends, they have some of the same friends, they know a sibling, or they talk over the fence at recess. These connections help their transition and definitely make the children more at ease in the classroom which opens their minds to learning. I am already looking forward to seeing them next year!
From Toddler II class we wish you healthy & peaceful 2015!
Two incredibly important gifts we give to children are the gifts of grace and courtesy. It is often called “the invisible curriculum” in the Montessori classroom. There are no specific materials to teach it, but it is integrated throughout the Montessori curriculum and classroom. Visitors to MSH are often shocked at how well-behaved the students are in class. It is because our teachers (and families) work hard to instill empathy, compassion, patience, thoughtfulness, and forgiveness by word and deed every day.
Knowing social graces and how to navigate social structures are skills that serve children throughout a lifetime. Our job is to give the child the language to deal with conflict, make new friends, express their own emotions, and understand each other.
We have always known that academic achievements were necessary for future career success. Now the business world has started to notice the importance of what Montessori educators have known for over 100 years: social skills are equally necessary for a successful career. Check out the following from Amy Morin of Forbes Magazine:
[Being] smart isn’t enough to guarantee a meteoric rise in the business world anymore – leadership requires you to be socially adept. In fact, your social skills may be just as important as your intelligence when it comes to achieving success.
Read the full article here.
As we enter the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the materialism of giving. However, the greatest gifts we give children are intangible and never go out of style. The love of learning and the ability to interact with others will take our children wherever they want to go.