Seasons Greetings! It was a wonderful 2012, and we hope you enjoyed the photographs of your child through the year. As well, each child built the pink tower and each family was given the photograph as a present. This was a classic Montessori picture!
This week we continued with work from all areas of the classroom. The children were very excited to complete various Christmas art activities. They were drawn to all types of painting ( sponge painting, painting pinecones, stamping with carrots and potatoes).
A big highlight this week was making some homemade stew! We integrated Practical Life exercises as the children peeled carrots, peeled potatoes, chopped carrots, chopped potatoes, opened cans of corn, and worked cooperatively as a group. We also enjoyed cracking and tasting various types of nuts.
Over the holidays, take the time to encourage your child to continue being independent. The children are practicing putting on and taking off their own outdoor clothes (snow pants, coats, hats, boots and gloves). Give yourself plenty of time before you need to be outside, and let them work on it. Allow for repetition as practice is so helpful for the child.
“Little children, from the moment they are weaned, are making their way toward independence.” (Montessori)
We are looking forward to working with your child in 2013.
Thanks for another exciting week of learning! We had a “snow day” on Monday due to freezing rain. Please listen to Moose FM 105. 5 for bus cancellations and school closures or check online at www.fm1055muskoka.com. We will be closed when the Trillium Lakelands District School Board cancels the buses. Many thanks for your support with these unexpected snow days.
It is so exciting to observe the children and follow their interests. During a walk on Tuesday, one child found a snow formation on the pavement and exclaimed, “Look, I see Africa!”
The children use concrete, hands-on materials to learn about the continents (Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Australia, Antarctica and Europe). We start with the Sandpaper Globe and Coloured Continent Globe. The children are attracted to the beauty of each globe. Later, the children are introduced to the Montessori Puzzle Map of the World. For the children, this is a puzzle and they enjoy taking out each piece and building the puzzle. The names of the continents are reinforced through song. The children enjoy learning about which animals live in each continent. We use Animals of the Seven Continents and place each plastic animal on the continent it lives on. Some children are enjoying tracing the continent puzzle pieces onto a large piece of paper and making their own world map.
We welcomed an Upper Elementary student from the main campus of the Muskoka Montessori School into our class this week. The student was involved in our art activities, baking and as a reading-buddy. This was an opportunity to foster a natural mentoring and nurturing from the older to the younger children. We hope to have some more mentors from the main campus in the future.
We have four days left of school next week. The class will continue our three-hour uninterrupted work period each day. We will include some holiday activities in the afternoons.
The children welcomed December into our classroom. Winter is on its way!
The children continued working within all areas of the classroom. We introduced paper chains in art. Some children decided to start decorating our room for Christmas.
In order to promote independence in our Prepared and structured classroom, the children have been practicing making choices. We always encourage the children to make good choices within limits. For example, a good choice would be using a quiet voice rather than a loud voice. This allows the others to concentrate on their work.
You can help your child to make choices in a structured way at home.
Provide your child simple choices between two items.
*Allow your child to choose between two different shirts.
*Offer two different choices for dinner.
*Let them choose a bedtime story (even if it’s a book you’ve read many times before).
Allow your child to make choices throughout the day!
Winter weather set in this week and the children were very excited to spend time outside! We spent additional time outside in the afternoons and used the change in the outside environment to play games in the snow, physical education and nature walks. The children enjoyed playing hide and seek amongst the evergreen trees, becoming various animals from Africa and Australia, and “What Time is it Mr.Wolf?” They also found icicles and we decided to bring a few inside and observe a solid change into a liquid.
We started to explore various types of lines (vertical, horizontal and diagonal) in art. The children worked with scissors to cut lines and glued them on paper. This art activity helps to reinforce the Paper Cutting work. We always have paper cutting available to the children. As well, they are given a lesson in how to hold, pass and walk with scissors.
The Paper Cutting work comes from http://teachingfromatacklebox.blogspot.ca/2012/03/paper-cutting.html . Take a look at the “extensions” and they will give you information and ideas for cutting at home. I like the youtube video, “Teach a Child How to Use Scissors.” Being able to use scissors is a good benchmark for measuring fine motor skill development in your child. Also, the video will help you teach your child how to safely use scissors.
Thanks for your continuing support of our Casa Montessori Program at Sabrina Park! It was wonderful to meet with all of the families on Wednesday for the Parent-Teacher Conferences. The class is open for observations during our three-hour work period each morning. Please come and observe your child and our class in action. I would be happy to book you in at anytime.