Children's House March 2012
“Creativity is not just a good idea, it is the future”–Maria Montessori
The daily living area is busier than ever, with new activities added in coordination with the unit studies or the arising needs: sink and float, washing leaves on house plants, making bubbles in soap water, grating soap to make soap flakes, sorting and transferring, opening and closing jars and boxes, or hanging decorations.
Our sensorial materials are explored with new ideas on how to use them, combining different sets as the children become familiar and more skilled in manipulating them. Air and water, gas/vapor, solid and liquid, warm and cold, heavy and light, were words used to describe sensorial experiences in conjunction with our science lessons.
To understand how changes in weather occur as a result of heat, wind, pressure and moisture, we started with simple experiments with air and water. A balloon, an empty plastic bottle, a piece of paper, soap bubbles, can perform magic tricks that capture attention, raise questions, and keep the thoughts moving. We finished the dinosaur projects by digging a pretend fossil out of a petrified egg, looked at aquatic invertebrates, and begun the vertebrates with the study of fish.
After a few more short stops in Europe we moved through Turkey to Asia. Ms Parna talked about India, the seventh largest country in the world and the second largest in population. India, a land of diversity, is a rich mixture of cultures, with Hindi as national language and English used for political and commercial communication. The children had fun greeting each other saying “namaste” which means “hello”. They learned that some people in India wear western fashion and others wear traditional saree and loose pants known as pyjamas and shirts, “kurtas”. Mrs. Carla had fun trying a saree on, and children had fun trying traditional Indian clothes and fancy jewelry. We also learned about Taj Mahal, a shimmering white marble tomb which is the biggest attraction in Indial. We also learned about Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea, and China.
Language progress is showing at all levels: with more sounds and letters being recognized by the newest and youngest children, with movable alphabet writing without pencils, with better pencil control for the hands not yet used to writing, with better letter formation and space control for the oldies, and the joy of reading on their own for pre-K and kindergartners.
The new attractions are fractions. Using different wooden pegs cut in halves, thirds and quarters the children learn how to put them together to reconstitute the whole.
The snake game has also taken wings, and is checked out most of the time by old and young alike, since it can be done at different levels of ability. More of the middle age children are following the older ones in lessons with the decimal system. The pairing between a less experienced child and a more advanced one happens often in working with math materials. They find each other themselves, or with some guiding hints from us, and we are left to admire them.
Arts & Crafts
The children tried their own clouds, rainbows, monochromatic shades of blue for the sky and the ocean, made their own invertebrate creatures and a school of fish, a scaled classroom fish, forsythias, and doves with peaceful thoughts.
Thank you for taking your time to come for conferences. It is the best time to touch base with one another, and always a good exchange that helps all of us, and most of all your children.
Getting older at this age it is an everyday celebration of the brain’s conquests. We see children making more complex connections and getting enthusiastic about their self-discoveries. Following them, we extend the topics of the morning class or develop new ones.
Following the visit to the Ben’s Sugar Cove the children wrote thank you notes that were put together into booklet and sent to Mr. Ben. We learned in the process how write a letter and how to address an envelope. Researching a book for a subject and writing about it is the newest favorite activity during the afternoon hours.