The families enjoyed our trip to Scales Nature Park in October. Many thanks to Dean Campbell of Campbell Bus Lines, for donating a bus trip from Huntsville to Orillia.
The Nature Park visit provided the children with hands-on learning with living reptiles and amphibians. The tortoise was a big hit with the children and the staff were impressed that they had learned the terms plastron and carapace.
The children use wooden puzzles and nomenclature cards for “parts of” with the five classes of animals in order to enrich vocabulary. It’s very important for the young children to be able to use all of their senses to discover the world. Thus, being able to touch these animals was very meaningful for the children in learning about reptiles and amphibians.
Tina, Christina and Nora
Many thanks for your continued support throughout the year!
The first official full year of the Sabrina Park Campus has come to an end. It has been a growing, successful year for all of us. The growth in each individual child was amazing! Your children have made connections for life. They have deepened connections with other children, adults, nature, community, and truly experienced a “love of learning” in all areas of the classroom.
“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.” – Maria Montessori .
The Casa class spent the last day preparing food for our end-of-year picnic. Thank you to the Upper Elementary children from the main campus of the Muskoka Montessori School for organizing various picnic games. The “Chicken Dance” and the “Egg and Spoon Race”, were some of the favourite games. It was a beautiful afternoon, and an opportunity to say good-bye until September, 2013.
The children have been busy in the garden this week! The children will continue to be involved in the entire process. What a wonderful way to connect to nature and incorporate hands-on learning!
The goals of the garden include:
- outdoor, hands-on, concrete learning
- cycles of plants through the seasons
- preparing the soil, garden tools
- seeds and planting, and plant varieties
- learning about weeds
- garden rules and garden safety
- eco-friendly gardening and looking after the environment
- introduction to wholesome food
Watering the chives.
Filling the watering can with rain water.
As we complete the month of May, the children have been learning about life cycles (frogs, butterflies, plants). You may hear some new words at home such as metamorphosis, chrysalis or proboscis.
Over the final few weeks of school, we will explore Europe using the puzzle map, object box, animals of Europe, flags of Europe, art and stories. The children enjoy using the hands-on puzzle pieces from the map of Europe, and it provides a concrete way of learning the various countries. The most popular country seems to be Russia. It is the largest piece on the Montessori puzzle map of Europe.
We have enjoyed the last few weeks of Spring! The children have been very interested in observing new animals outside. One afternoon, they located two frogs, worms, snails, and lots of insects.
We have had a variety of birds visiting our bird feeders. In class, I will hear one child asking the other children to practice the Silence Game because he/she would like to observe a bird at the feeder.
The children have been busy preparing the garden with Nora. Thanks to Nora for volunteering to oversee the Community Garden on behalf of the children. It was very exciting to dig in the soil, remove weeds, and find some garden grubs! We have planted some fruits and vegetables, and will continue with the garden over the next few weeks. We are looking forward to planting some sunflowers.
The children continued work with the Montessori materials in all areas of the classroom. We continued our study on South America. The interesting animals of South America were very popular with the children. As well, the children enjoyed a visit to the library.
“Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.” Maria Montessori
This week the children all enjoyed new lessons with the Montessori materials. It has been fascinating to watch them grow in concentration, independence and confidence. The new art tray in the Practical Life area is always very popular. However, the standard Montessori materials such as the pink tower, broad stairs, and knobless cylinders are also explored by the children, with more in-depth interactions each time (this comes with repetition). It is in the repetition of the activity that the child will gain mastery and learn the concept.
The children were very excited to meet Mr. Mike at the Huntsville Fire Department! Thanks for the amazing tour of the firehall, trucks, and equipment. There were many highlights, but the children were most excited to spray the fire hose.
A big thank you to Martina Schroer for donating pansies to the children. They were so proud of the Children’s Flower Garden at the front of Sabrina Park. It was an exciting way to learn about weeding, gardening, flowers, and invertebrates (we found a few bugs and worms in the soil).
Happy Mother’s Day,
The children enjoyed the beautiful weather outside and discovered some new signs of Spring this week. Montessori placed a great emphasis on learning from nature. The Casa-aged children thrive from learning outside, and are able to use all of their senses while exploring new ideas. “There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.” Maria Montessori
An interesting book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv wrote about nature-deficit disorder where children are becoming increasingly disconnected from the natural world, resulting in attention difficulties and other problems.
Children can learn so much from nature, and Montessori felt that outdoor education can be an excellent extension of the classroom. This week, the children decided to create a sink/float experiment using some items from nature and watching them in the stream (we have a beautiful wooded area and stream behind Sabrina Park).
The children decided to experiment with leaves, some sticks, rocks and some fungus. One child exclaimed, “Look! Rocks sink and sticks float!” with great enthusiasm after his own discovery.
We have enjoyed a busy week with various activities. The class celebrated Earth Day on Monday and learned about recycling plastics, papers, The children worked on an activity sorting recycling into two blue bins (plastic and paper).
“There is a great sense of community within the Montessori classroom, where children of differing ages work together in an atmosphere of cooperation rather than competitiveness.” Maria Montessori
I feel privileged to work in an environment that allows children of mixed ages to work together in a positive ways. This sense of community in the Montessori environment allows for the following:
- younger children to become more independent and not to always rely on adults
- the younger children strive to challenge themselves and look forward to future activities
- older children learn to be patient and tolerant of others
- older children learn leadership