Monthly Archives: February 2012

02/24/2012 Newsletter

Dear Families,

This week the children are becoming more comfortable with our class rules and routines. For example, they are practicing putting work away when finished, using inside voices, keeping hands to self, using walking feet, respecting each others work and workspace, and treating others with kindness.

Also, this week the children are much more aware of moving carefully in the classroom.  You will see the children using materials like wood, glass and ceramic. These natural materials give the child experience in handling such items, which require controlled movement and special care.

The classroom is designed to appeal to the child’s sense of order. The materials are carefully placed in order on the shelves.  The children are learning after using the material they put it back in the same place.

As well, the Montessori class uses as many real or concrete materials as possible. For example, many of the children have enjoyed flower arranging! They are so careful with pouring the water and carrying the vase. The flowers help bring the beauty of nature into our class.

This week we used the snowy weather and studied snow and snowflakes. The children looked at snow with the magnifying glass and watched as it melted and became water. Each child glued on photographs of real snowflakes to make a booklet.  Thanks to the http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/ website. Many of the children used glue, and created a collage using winter pictures and animals.

We played a game called, “Snowman, Snowman Where’s Your Nose” and hid a carrot behind one child’s back.

The children enjoyed listening to stories by Eric Carle this week. I think we will continue to read some more of his stories next week. The most popular Eric Carle books were, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,” and “The Grouchy Ladybug.”

Many of the children showed interest in the Sensorial area of our classroom. The sensorial materials help a child develop and refine his or her five senses. They children enjoyed lessons with the Pink Tower, the Knobbed Cylinders and the Colour Tablets.

Enjoy the snow!

Tina

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02/17/2012 Newsletter

Dear Families,

Thanks for all of your support this week! My ankle is healing and I am feeling much better. It will be wonderful to start back with the children on Tuesday.

The children had a short week with the Family Day weekend. They were busy with work and some new lessons. As well, the children enjoyed decorating Valentine’s Day cards.

We had an unplanned community visitor, and the children learned a lot about construction and tools. Dan, the construction worker visited our class. He was working on some wires under the ceiling panels. We will consider Dan our first “Community Connection”. Each month we will invite a community worker to come into our class and introduce his/her job and their responsibilities.

The children are practicing social skills and acts of courtesy. This is called Grace and Courtesy, and each child works on developing social skills and good manners in a safe and happy environment. For example, learning to take turns comes very naturally in a Montessori class because there is only one of each material in the classroom. As well, the children have many opportunities to practice table manners at the snack table.

The children are really enjoying the many songs, stories and games. A popular game this week was “Red Light, Green Light”.

Many thanks to Shelley, Kathy and Penny for teaching this week. We are very fortunate to have so many caring teachers at the Muskoka Montessori Scool.

Enjoy Family Day weekend,

Tina

02/10/2012 First Newsletter

Dear Families,

What a great joy it has been to work with all of the children over the past few weeks! We have had a wonderful start and I am looking forward to the rest of the school year. The children are absorbing all of the new experiences around them. In the first six years of life, the “Absorbent Mind” of the child, learns by absorbing knowledge effortlessly, like a sponge soaks up water.

The children are working on lessons from the Practical Life area of our classroom (walking inclass, using an inside voice, table manners, how to interrupt, please and thank you, getting the attention of friends by walking to the person instead of calling out, sitting with legs crossed at group time, pushing chair in, hand washing, carrying a tray, pouring and spooning grains, opening bottle and boxes, tong transfer, pouring water, sweeping, sponging spills and dressing oneself). These lessons help your child to become more independent and less frustrated.

The children are proud of their finished work. It has been exciting to hear the words, “I did it!”  They are building independence, concentration and confidence.

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” Maria Montessori

Shirley Spires, from Books for Newborns, came to visit on Wednesday morning. She provided our class with many new books! These books will be used for a lending library. The children each selected two books to take home in a book bag. The books can be exchanged on a regular basis.

The children have enjoyed learning new songs such as “Bluebells,” “Peter Hammers,” “Seven Days of the Week,” “Months of the Year,” “Five Little Monkeys,” “Farmer in the Dell,” “Sleeping Bunnies,”and “Baa Baa Black Sheep.”

We have been reading Dr. Seuss books over the past few weeks. The children enjoy the rhyming text and the interesting characters. The most popular Dr. Seuss books seem to be, “Hand, Hand,Fingers, Thumb” and “Go, Dog. Go!”

Kallie’s mom, Lynsey, made the class some very delicious smoothies this week. Many thanks!

We will celebrate Valentine’s Day with a craft next week. The children are welcome to bring Valentine’s Day cards, but please bring one for each member of the class. We will ask families to not bring any candy or sweets to the class. Thanks.

A reminder that next week is Family Day Weekend, and we do not have class on Friday, February 17th and Monday February,20th.

Have a great weekend!

Tina