Friday, May 4, 2018

Montessori Classroom News May 4, 2018

Outdoor Classroom

We enjoyed working in our shaded outdoor classroom space Wednesday morning. Highlights included building with our brand new outdoor block set, learning some introductory woodworking skills (hammering and drilling), and planting in our garden beds. 

Making a trellis for the pea plants (our gardening is in partnership with the Center for Environmental Transformation -


We have been learning about the life cycle of frogs and the different stages of their metamorphosis (and practicing that big word!) This week we also enthusiastically welcomed some real tadpoles as guests to our classroom. Thank you, Mr. Don for providing us this amazing learning opportunity

This week we also sampled pea sprouts we grew with extra seeds. Most of the children wanted seconds!

This song is a current favorite. You can find a recording online and sing along!
All I Really Need 
By Raffi
All I really need is a song in my heart
Food in my belly,
 And love in my family
All I really need is a song in my heart,
Love in my family

And I need the rain to fall
And I need the sun to shine
To give life to the seeds we sow
To give the food we need to grow
All I really need is a song in my heart
And love in my family
And I need some clean water for drinking
And I need some clean air for breathing
So that I can grow up strong,
Take my place where I belong
All I really need is a song in my heart
And love in my family


Friday, April 27, 2018

Montessori Classroom News April 27, 2018

The peas we planted inside have sprouted! We are amazed each day to see how much they have grown. 
On Monday, the first few tiny sprouts had emerged

Every day we could see that the sprouts had grown taller and new ones emerged

Look what's growing in our garden!

This week we also filled our raised garden beds with soil so we can start planting in them next week! 
Everyone contributed to the project

We learn this poem as a song with motions 
A Little Seed 
By Mabel Watts
A little seed for me to sow
A little earth to make it grow
A little hole, a little pat
A little wish, and that is that.
A little sun, a little shower,
A little while… and then, a flower!

Language Tip of the week:
“What do you think?
Ask your child for their opinions & ideas in your conversations. When they ask a question, sometimes you can respond with “What do you think?” instead of answering right away. (e.g., questions like, “Where is that dog going?” or “Why do I have to wear a hat?”) You can also ask them what they think the weather will be outside, what they enjoyed doing that day, anything!

Benefits for your child: 
- build their mental comprehension and analytical skills, 
- practice speaking and explaining. 
You’ll also learn about your child’s perceptions of the world and what is important to them. 
With some rainy days in the past few weeks, we've discussed where the rain comes from and what happens to the rain on the ground. We talked about evaporation and set up our own experiment. The water level in the open cup is slowly decreasing as the water evaporates, but stays the same in the covered cup. 

Notes & Reminders 

Wed. May 23rd– 12pm dismissal
Parent-Teacher Conferences 1:30-6pm

Wed. May 30th– 10am Prayer Service in Honor of Parents
Our class is working with 3rdand 7thgrades to lead this prayer service for the school. Parents welcome to attend!

Friday, June 15th
Montessori end-of-year program – 9am
Join us in the classroom for refreshments, a slideshow, and some of our favorite songs & poems from the year. 
This is our last day – no school for Montessori students June 18-20th

Parents with students in grades 1-7: 
We will finish our program by 10 so you can also attend the 10am awards ceremony in the church.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Montessori Classroom News April 18, 2018

A special activity we introduced this week was planting seeds. Everyone helped with different parts of the process
With a small wooden tool, the older children can make little pots out of newspaper strips

Ready for planting!

Demonstration of how to fill newspaper pots with potting soil

Filling the pots
Adding a seed to each pot

Cleaning up the spilled soil at the end of the morning

The Sound Game 
(“I Spy”) 
To become effective readers and writers, children need a strong awareness of the sounds that make up words. We play this game often in the classroom, with 4 levels to match to each child’s developmental stage. More practice at home is helpful, as long as it feels fun and playful for your child – the key is that they feel successful.

In the classroom we have a special box of objects
we use for the "I Spy" game
Level 1: You say the beginning sound of an object and the child identifies the object. 
Start simple! (“I spy something you’re holding that starts with ‘fff’” when a fork is the only thing in their hand) and gradually make it more challenging (”I spy something on your face that starts with ‘nnn’” )

Other variations to try at home:
1) Sound out the names of objects around your house and in your daily life with your child.

2) Sound out the name of an object without saying the whole word and have your child blend it back together to find what the object is (e.g. “ch-ee-z” or “sh-ir-t”)

Important Dates 
(some changes to the school calendar)

Friday, April 20th– Half Day (12pm dismissal, no aftercare)

Wed. May 23rd– 12pm dismissal
Parent-Teacher Conferences 1:30-6pm

Friday, June 15th
Montessori end-of-year program – 9am
Join us in the classroom for refreshments, a slideshow, and some of our favorite songs & poems from the year. 
This is our last day – no school for Montessori students June 18-20th

Last call for Pennies for Peace
Send in any coins you have collected by Friday!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Montessori Classroom News April 12, 2018

Spring themes and activities  

  • Africa is our continent focus for geography, culture & science. 
  • Amphibians, especially the life cycle of frogs 

  • Seeds, soil, and how plants grow. We hope to soon start planting in our new outdoor classroom garden beds that are under construction. 
We soak dry limas in water with food coloring. Amazing how much they change in just a few hours!

The children learn to slip the seed coat off and gently open the two halves to discover the baby plant.

Other new activities this week:

We added binoculars as an option to use on the Observation Stool

 Carrot peeling and chopping! We emphasize  safety techniques that enable children to use real tools for preparing food.
Painting with watercolors

Making our own hummus

Word Game: Groups 

Choose a category, and then work with your child to name as many things as you can think of in that group. This game builds your child’s sorting & categorizing skills and also reinforces and teaches new vocabulary words. 

Example categories: Furniture, clothes, food, fruit, animals (or mammals, insects), things with wheels, things in the air, etc

Poem of the Week

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little frog who wasn’t there.
She wasn’t there again today.
Oh, how I wish she’d go away!
Our adaptation of “The Little Man Who Wasn’t There” by Hughes Mearns

Notes & Reminders

Friday, April 20th– Half Day (12pm dismissal, no aftercare)

Uniforms for May & June
Your child may wear navy blue knee-length shorts(or skort – skirt with built in shorts) in May and June. They can also continue to wear navy pants. We have some second-hand shorts for sale – email Ms. Cheryl if interested.

Last call for Pennies for Peace
Send in any coins you have collected by next Friday!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Montessori Classroom News March 28, 2018

There was a lot happening in this very short week of school!

 On Wednesday we prepared egg dyes and each child dyed an egg in the color of their choice.

A new science material - sorting natural & human-made materials

Enthusiastic samplers for dragon fruit!

A new collage work choice on the art shelf - adding cherry blossoms to the tree branches

We’ve watched the daffodils in front of the school progress over the past few weeks and were excited to see the first few flowers open last week. We have read books about daffodils (“That’s not a Daffodil!” by Elizabeth Honey & “The Bulb: See How it Grows by Pamela Nash) and examined the bulbs of onion, garlic, and flowers. This week the children helped plant some flower bulbs in the park.

The children enjoy this silly poem where we imagine that the daffodil is a person.

by A.A. Milne
She wore her yellow sunbonnet;
She wore her greenest gown
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down

She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head
And whispered to her neighbor,
“Winter is dead!”

Lent & Easter
We have heard several bible stories during lent. We often tell a simple version of the story, focusing on the most important details and the aspects that children can relate to. Children readily understand emotions, so we sometimes pause to discuss what the characters might be feeling.
         In past weeks we heard about Jesus healing Bartimaeus of blindness and Zaccheus of greed & loneliness.

This week began with Jesus riding into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey. Many people welcomed him with palm branches, hoping Jesus would become their new king and throw out their mean, unfair rulers. Instead of a big, fancy horse like a king would ride, Jesus chose a donkey. We looked at a photo comparing a donkey and horse, and then had our own processional with palm branches.
We retold the story of Jesus' last meal with his disciples, when he told them to remember him as they shared bread together, and then we each received a piece of bread (tortilla) to eat. We also heard the sad part of the Easter story, when Jesus died. We assured them that the next day we would hear the exciting ending to the story, about how God's love is stronger than everything, even death.

Pennies for Peace
We have a jar of coins in the classroom. You can continue collecting at home and bring in the coins after Easter. Let us know if you need a replacement penny collector!