Children’s House May 2011
“The first duty of an education is to stir up life, but leave it free to develop”
We are privileged to be able to see the magic of a child development unfold under our very eyes. The past ten months showed us once again how time has different speeds for different ages, and it also has its own rules for each child. With the summer vacation closer in sight, we must get ready to bid fare well to some of our students, prepare to welcome back the returning ones, and open our arms and minds to the next generation.
May was the last straight line of our year’s curriculum, and we packed as much as we could fit in, all seasoned with songs, dances, rhymes, stories and games.
Among the highlights:
- Australia and some of the marsupials.
- Arctic regions, the differences and similarities (Why a polar bear can never eat a penguin).
- Learn how penguins take care of their young. (We tried walking with a stone egg on the feet – not an easy task!)
- Digging the soil, watering the plants, learning about friends and pests of the garden.
- We brought in dandelions, violets, tulips, lily of the valley, forget me not, and poplar.
- “Colors of Spring” – a paper in which we recorded the natural colors we found around the play ground.
We looked closer at butterflies and moths, talked about the need to keep away ants, mosquitoes and ticks.
All these, along with the regular Montessori materials, kept the children on their toes and turned us in their shadows. More than ever we sense the children feel empowered, self confident, and able to direct themselves. They can’t wait to take on new challenges, to prove what they can do and how good they can be.
In June we will observe the solar and eolian energy through simple experiments, and will talk about growing healthy in a healthy environment, human body and nutrition. A new round of measurements will show how much each child grew since September. We will ask the children to draw pictures and talk about what they want to be when they will grow up. You may want to keep those papers for their future career choices!
I am looking forward to having a good time for the remaining of the school year, and enjoying every minute with your children, since I know I am going to miss them over the summer.
Kindergartners and Junior Kindergartners
We started learning the value of money and the equivalencies among the coins (math, once again). The children show great interest for the various lessons, regarding this skill as a new benchmark in growing older. We set up a shopping exercise that has become a favorite activity and it is practiced well as long as there is a trusty shopkeeper (that means a child who knows the value of the coins well enough). A collection with recently minted quarters was a good opportunity to revisit the US map and the symbols for each state.
To give the KG graduating students a sense of closure we asked them to try an optional homework project. It is a review of some our topics throughout the past year. The children can make a report on an animal of their choice. I am attaching a three-page format (open/download the pdf file below) for you to print and give them to fill out, or follow the instructions as a guide and expand their work as they wish. Just help them with a trip to the library and/or provide them with books/magazines to look at. We encourage them to share their work in the classroom when they are ready.
Another task will be to memorize a stanza from a poem (check the Friday folder for the printed poem and the selected part for each child) for our graduation celebration.
Graduation ceremony is scheduled for Monday, June 13th, at 3:15 p.m. for the Kindergartners and their families.
Hot potato, hot potato... Miss Merrimack I love you forever