Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Holidays

I hope you are all having a nice break. We are planning for the new year and looking forward to seeing everyone next Monday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

more Montessori kids

Here are a few people who also revelled in the experience of a Montessori education:


Thursday, December 11, 2008

we've got time

The clock is placed low on our wall, but most of the class is at a complete loss as to the meaning of the numbers. Hence, we've been encouraging the use of the Montessori clock materials. First, a child simply matches the clock face to the "1 o'clock" or other corresponding label. Then the clock faces are stamped in the tablet and the child writes the time and draws on the clock's hands. A slew of other activities follow, then the child works on the "half past" clock faces.

Before introducing the "quarter to" and "quarter past" clock faces, I like to use this material that Mrs. T, designed. It is perfect for garnering an understanding of all the numbers and minute notations on a clock. All this takes time, though. The children are young, and learning to tell time is not easy. We encourage but must never frustrate. The goal of Montessori is to give the children the tools to succeed on their own.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

writing "stories"

Some of the children have begun writing stories. Mrs. D. first suggested the assignment to the class in general. At that time, many of the children looked at her with looks of surprise. Within seconds, some of those looks changed to smiles at the thought that Mrs. D. found the class to be so capable. Since then, a number of children of varying levels often choose to write stories. The subjects range from "a cat sat on a mat" to family and school events. They are usually one small tablet page in length. The importance of all this is the evident self confidence to try something bold and that these simple stories are advancing fine motor, word order, decoding and spelling skills and giving the children another way of expressing themselves. Not everyone has begun this adventure. Some need more time and when we see they are ready, we will not fail to encourage them.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dancing around the room...

Enthusiastic dancers following Rob as he beat a drum and sang a lively Native American tune.

In November Rob came and spoke to the children about the local native American culture. Ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta went his drum as we entered the basement room where he had baskets, skins and artifacts waiting for us to see and touch. He told us the story about Rainbow Crow. The children were thrilled to feel the warm winter fur of a deer and the prized softness of a beaver's fur. Later, in the classroom, L.W. practiced weaving and many drew pictures of Rainbow Crow. This one was drawn by E.N. The next school day, L.W. brought in this paper model of a Native American rattle that she had made at home. She remembered Rob's rattle made from a deer's leg bone and hoof nails.