A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of March 2

We are wrapping up our work with the World’s Fair. Below is information Ms. Kelly emailed to all of you that I wanted to pass along!

Take a trip around the world with us!
At the World’s Fair, representatives from countries in the mid 1900’s would come from all over to share about their Country’s greatness. Artwork, theatrical skits, inventions, and more were exhibited to all visitors. The Swiss once demonstrated a clock so accurate it detected inconsistencies in the movement of the earth. General Motors “World of Tomorrow” Pavilion was the most popular exhibit in 1965, where visitors sat in seats that moved through displays showing what the world would look like in 2024!
Over the course of the last few months, Kindergarten and Elementary students selected a country and began their research to prepare for our version of the World’s Fair. Many students, for the first time, learned how to collect data from various resources and how to put together a research paper from start to finish. Next, they prepared their visual aids for their “exhibit” and lastly will dress to represent their country with a prepared presentation for you!
You don’t want to miss out on this fun time! Be sure to invite family and friends to learn all about countries like Tanzania, Egypt, Greece, Spain, England and more!

Lower Elementary

These second year students are creating calendars to show the holidays for the months of January, February, and March!
These students are working on their trifold boards for our World’s Fair! They had to draw a sketch of what they wanted their trifolds to look like, print or draw their information, then organize and glue it all on.

Upper Elementary

The fifth year students are learning about volcanoes. This student is using our world map and a dry erase marker to mark all of the active volcanoes in the world!
Our fourth year students are studying bacteria. We did an experiment with M&Ms to discuss what happens when we use antibacterial soaps and sanitizers. We discussed antibiotic resistant bacteria!

Enrichments by Ms. Erica

Students are taking recorder practice very seriously.
Students are practicing drawing characters from children’s books.

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of February 24

“An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, which has the virtue of inducing concentration rather than fatigue, adds to the child’s energies and mental capacities, and leads him to self-mastery.” -Maria Montessori

This week we had so many wonderful opportunities to see children recognizing their mastery of work. We take time every day to observe children working to see when they are ready for something new or when they may need help reviewing something. Each Friday at their conference, we also go through their work individually to see how they are progressing, but the best way to discover a child has mastered something, is when they tell us! Students take such pride in their work and when they have figured out everything they can about a material, they are so excited to ask for a new lesson! Below you will see two instances of that from this week!

Lower Elementary

This week, the first years were introduced to the number line! They have learned to measure with it and will soon be learning to add and subtract with it. These first year students were measuring how far they could jump forward, backward, and sideways!
One of our third years was SO excited to learn how to divide on paper that I had to put it into the blog! After working extremely hard every day for two weeks on dividing with the pegboard, she told me she felt she had mastered it. I observed her doing some equations and helping friends, and agreed that she had. This week, she attended a review lesson with some fourth year students to learn this work! We love seeing students working towards their goals and feeling confident in sharing when they are ready for a new challenge!

Upper Elementary

Our fourth year students are finishing up their study of viruses by writing their final copy of a research paper and creating a 3D model of their virus. These students are using clay, Popsicle sticks, and hot glue to make their models. These will be displayed next week!
This picture is a bit tough to see, but it is some great work! Our sixth grade student has been working with square roots and was so excited to learn how to extract a quadrinomial from a square root in the ten millions! We began our lesson using the pegboard and pegs and our student realized he could do it all in his head and on paper! After we solved the “active” portion of our equation, we checked our answer by squaring the number and subtracting it from the radicand to find our remainder!

Enrichments

These students are practicing recorder songs to try to get their black belts in “Recorder Karate” with Ms. Lisa!
This first year student is completing her critique in art class. She shared how she completed her project and others offer insight into how she may improve next time or what they liked about her project!

REMINDERS:

  • Monday, March 2 – NO SCHOOL DAY FOR ELEMENTARY – We will hold our Student-Led Conferences. Double check your time here!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of February 17

“While we may come from different places and speak in different tongues, our hearts beat as one.” – Albus Dumbledore

This week we made a lot of progress on our World’s Fair projects! Lower Elementary students have worked on parts of their display by drawing, coloring, and painting famous items and landmarks from their countries. They have also continued to finish their research. Upper Elementary students have handwritten or typed their final draft, started their cover pages, and are completing their bibliographies! Next, we will all be moving on to creating trifold boards and memorizing a speech to inform you at our Fair! We have really enjoyed seeing the students learn about different people and places around the world and seeing them appreciating the similarities and differences they have discovered! We hope to see you there!

Lower Elementary

These second year students are working on a history assignment together. They learned about the origins of the names of the days of the week. For their follow-up work, they drew pictures to represent the meaning behind each day’s name!
This first year is working on her World’s Fair project! She is researching Italy. She has decided to draw and paint the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Come see her finished product on March 19!

Upper Elementary

These third and fifth year students are working with our landform models! They listened to a CD that came with our work to learn about landforms like a plateau, a canyon, and a volcano! They were able to locate different geographic features on each model and hear how they were formed. They loved this work so much that they spent three days with it!
This fourth year student is typing the final draft of her World’s Fair research paper! She has researched Japan and really enjoyed learning about their customs and culture! After typing her final paper, she will create a cover page and a bibliography before moving on to her trifold board!

Enrichments

Our students have completed their collage art project! They spent weeks studying collages, making pages of paper with the colors they would need, and cutting out each individual shape from those pages. Next week, they will complete an art critique with their peers!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of February 10

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the toughest things about working with children in this age group is helping them navigate through interpersonal relationships. It is hard to see students not getting along and we know it can be hard to hear your child come home and be upset about an argument with a friend. At school, we do our best to help students talk through what each person is feeling, what can be done, how we can continue throughout the rest of the day respectfully, etc. Although it is tough, it is important for children to learn skills to handle conflict resolution to be prepared for the rest of their lives. I found a good article about how you can help navigate these situations at home. You can find that article here.

Lower Elementary

This student is working on the Racks and Tubes. This material allows young students to understand the process of division in a concrete way. Students build the dividend with beads in a cup, then use “skittles” to mark a divisor, and take turns sharing the beads between the divisor. Learning division in a concrete way allows students to come to abstractly dividing on paper in a much easier way that they actually understand!
This first year student is working on our six square chain. This chain has all of the multiples from 6 x 1 to 6^2! Doing this work will help students recognize number patterns and memorize multiples of numbers! After he is finished counting the beads, he can write the equations for each bar or use our bead stamps to recreate his own chain.

Upper Elementary

Unfortunately, we lost our new fish, Dale, this week. One student emptied her lunch into a sandwich bag so we could use her container for a coffin. Many of the students worked together to build Dale a grave, found him a tombstone, and held a service for him where they each said what they liked about him.
These fourth and fifth year students are working on their World’s Fair project. Between the four of them, we are learning about Libya, Mexico, Sudan, and New Zealand! These students were asking each other questions and offering advice on the best way to write what they learned or which resources were best.

Valentine’s Party

The children were very exited for the Bounce House Rentals we hired for this party. Local residents, businesses, churches, and schools love having these games for the kids and see them enjoy their day.

Thank you to all the parents that sent in supplies!


A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of February 3

“Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate.”

Welcome to February! This week, I was reminded of the importance of humility, and that the students are always watching. Each Monday, we give new math lessons. This Monday was especially challenging with many of us being up late to watch the Super Bowl. For some reason, I had planned to present a lot of challenging math that day, as well. By the end of the week, I had two third graders get a long division equation correct, while I was wrong, and was unable (at first) to figure out the problem in an abstract square root equation that a sixth and third grader were stuck on. In both cases, it would have been easier for me to whip out a calculator to find the answer instead of solving it on paper like the kids had. But what would they learn from that? That I get to take the easy way out, while they have to check and recheck to find their mistakes? How would that prepare them to persevere as adults? Instead, with each group, I took the time on paper, using their work and mine, to walk through the equations to find the mistakes. In the case of the square root, it took us over thirty minutes, but we pushed through, we talked through it, we consulted others, and we finally got it – together. Then one of the most important considerations has to be the accommodation, we used this student accommodation in the UK city of Southampton and it was fantastic so well worth considering if you are studying there. Think about all of the life lessons they each learned in those extra few minutes that we didn’t really have to take. Give children something great to imitate.

Lower Elementary

These third year students are completing their human body research . This month they focused on the digestive system. We did an experiment to discover the properties of chyme and talked about the esophagus, the stomach, the small intestine, the large intestine, and the pancreas.
These second year students are working on their World’s Fair research! Each student has a country that they are learning about. We have researched their government, the geographic features, the languages, the customs, and much more!

Upper Elementary

Our fourth year students are studying multiples and factors. We have tables for students to record all the multiples of numbers 1 to 100, then another table to write down all of the factors of 1 to 100. When they complete the table of factors, we will talk more about prime numbers and how they can help us throughout our math work!
Our fourth year students are also studying viruses! Each student chose a virus, then chose to research a disease caused by the virus. In their research, they need to find the history of the virus, the symptoms, and the ways scientists are controlling it. After their research, they need to build a 3D model of their virus for their presentations. Here, to prepare, we made a model of Adenovirus, which is an icosahedral shaped virus with double-stranded DNA! Our model is one million times larger than an actual adenovirus, which is only as large at 90 nanometers.

REMINDERS:

  • “Parent Work Time” – click here to sign up!
  • Our student-only Valentine’s Parties are Friday, February 14! Your child can bring in Valentine’s for their friends if they wish! We have 10 students attending the first and second year party and 13 attending the third through sixth party. Please send in all items you have signed-up to donate by Wednesday, February 12, at drop off! Below you will find the links for each party, in case you need a reminder of what you signed up for.

 


A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of January 27

This week our “Peek” was written by our students! These students read our previous blogs, took pictures around the room, and filled in a blog template. The students did some editing together, and with a teacher, so what you will read below is their final product. There are still some misspelled words in their final product, but in a Montessori classroom we focus on the process, instead of the end result. Dr. Montessori believed when we put all of the emphasis on the final product, we devalue everything leading up to that point. This can discourage repetition which will make mastery of a skill difficult. The purpose of the students writing the blog is to provide you with a glimpse into the room through their eyes, to provide them with practice of real world skills, and to give them a deeper understanding of the materials in the room. We hope you enjoy their work!

“A Peek at Our Week” written by Ainsley (fifth grade) and Kenadie (second grade)

This week the first years learned the “Personal Family Timeline.” The second years learned the “Months of the Year.” The third years learned “Taxonomy of Invertibrates.” The forth years learned the “Geometric Decanomial.” The fifth years learned how to “Create-a-City.” The sixth years found missing ciphers in different base systems.

Lower Elementary

These second years are practising Racks and Tubes. They are setting up their next equation.
They are doing flash cards. One person show the other an equation and the other answers it.

Upper Elementary

He is doing Table A. It is a table of multiples.
They are doing spelling. They are making words for “Squid Sweep.” It was invented by one of our students.

REMINDERS:

  • No Piano or Music Classes – Weeks of February 3 and 10
  • Parent Work Time – February 11 and 13 – sign up here!
  • Upper Elementary Valentine’s Party (student only) – February 14 – sign up here!
  • NO SCHOOL – Monday, February 17 – Presidents’ Day

 


A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of January 21

“Art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else.” -Sydney Gurewitz Clemens

Each week, I learn more and more about the students through art. For follow-up work, students are often asked to draw their research, build models, or create displays. No two pieces of these assignments are ever the same between students or throughout the years. We are able to understand a lot of the thought process of a child when they have an open-ended art project for follow-up work in  the new rooms with wall cladding installers Melbourne. When I take pictures or walk around art and music classes, I can see which students have learned to push through frustration, which students enjoy wide parameters and which prefer step-by-step guides, and which students open up when they are able to express themselves through art and music. We are so lucky to have Ms. Dayna and Ms. Lisa to give our students these opportunities.

Lower Elementary

Here one of our second year students is leading two first year students through our key pockets. They are working on the sound /th/. Our second year student invited them and had them take turns reading the cards. While working together, our older students gain confidence in their abilities and our younger students learn from their example.
Our first kindergarten student has come to visit! Here one of our first graders is leading her through some cultural work. We love to see our first year students get to be leaders to the kindergarten friends that they had in their old classrooms! We are excited for many more weeks of getting to know visitors!

Upper Elementary

We often talk in the classroom about how pushing through a normal amount of frustration with work, helps our brains grow and helps make work easier the next time. Here, a third and a fourth year student are working with our Negative Snake Game. They observed the fifth years during their lesson and wanted to try it on their own. They created an equation of adding positive and negative integers using ALL of the bead bars in the box. They were a bit frustrated at times, but pushed through and finished out the morning focused on it.
This student has started his virus research. He has chosen to research the togavirus which causes German measles and equine encephalitis. He is learning about the history of the diseases, the symptoms, and what scientists are doing to stop the spread. He will then build a model and present his research to the class!

Enrichments

Our first recorder class has come! Some students tested on “Hot Cross Buns,” “Gently Sleep,” and “Merrily We Roll Along.” If they pass their performance of the song, they receive a belt, like in karate. Some students received all three belts for their songs!

REMINDERS:

  • “Bring Your Parents to Work Time” – February 11 and 13 – sign up here!

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of January 13

“Free choice is one of the highest of all mental choices” -Maria Montessori

Parents, I wanted to write about the importance of free choice in educating your child as a whole and a few other benefits of being in a Montessori environment for an entire three year cycle, but found an article that I liked even more (plus there are cool pictures and descriptions of materials)! Here you can read about what your child gains in a Montessori classroom and why our philosophy really makes a difference in this short article. There is also a video if you prefer that way of learning!

Lower Elementary

This first year student is working on her spelling assignment. She is doing an activity called “Michelangelo” where she tapes her paper under a table and writes her words three times each while lying down. Students love to practice spelling in creative ways!
This third year student is working on adding and subtracting time by completing word problems. Learning to add and subtract time helps our students keep track of how wisely or unwisely they are spending their days.

Upper Elementary

Our fifth year students have been researching classes of mammals. This student has chosen to research the Xenarthra group, which includes sloths, armadillos, and anteaters. These students researched topics like muscular and skeletal systems and reproduction, wrote a rough draft, completed a final draft, a visual aid, and will be presenting their project during an oral report. Head over to our Instagram to see more photos of her work!
This sixth year student has been working on “American Women in History” research. He chose to learn about Sally Ride. After researching, he wrote a five paragraph essay, created this trifold board, and will be presenting his research to his friends today!

 

Enrichments by Ms. Erica

Ms. Dayna is teaching the students about composition.

REMINDERS:

  • NO SCHOOL – Friday, January 17 – Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • NO SCHOOL – Monday, January 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Thursday, January 23 – Cleveland Museum of Natural History – First and Second Grade

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of January 6

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.”

Welcome back, families! We were sad to give up our days of sleeping past 5, but so happy to see your children back at school. So far this week we have started our research for the “World’s Fair,” the Lower Elementary are studying Europe, the third years are using the microscope, and the Upper Elementary dissected a squid. Check out the two first graders below to see the new things we are researching and using in our room.

Lower Elementary

This student is researching about Canada for her World’s Fair project. She will learn about the climate, geographic features, animals, plants, history, and many more topics to complete her study of Canada. At our World’s Fair, she will be dressed like a person from Canada and will share with you what she has learned!
Here a first grader is using our Peace Table. Our Peace Table is a space where students can go to refocus and calm down when they choose to. There is always a container for them to write down their feelings and thoughts without anyone reading them and another activity that we switch out. This month we have out a book of labyrinths made out of Mandalas. Students can use different pointers to find their way through each labyrinth. Solving puzzles like this requires intense focus and concentration, while boosting patience and persistence.

Upper Elementary

Yesterday at the Cleveland Aquarium, we dissected a squid! We spent time learning about the classification of animals before our dissection. During it, we were able to remove the ink pen of the squid and open its ink sac to write our names! After our dissection, we traveled through the aquarium to find invertebrates. We were able to touch stingrays and a sea urchin!

Enrichments

In art, the students are making paper collages. They each need to choose a section of a paper, redraw it with markers, and then cut out each section from paper to recreate the art as a collage.

REMINDERS:

  • Coming home today in Reading Logs is a paper with Ms. Lisa’s recorder policy. Please review this with your child, sign it together, and return it to school by Tuesday. There will be a folder in the piano bin (underneath where the teachers hang coats) to place it in.
  • NO SCHOOL – Friday, January 17, for Parent-Teacher Conferences. If you have not signed up yet, please do so below so we can be sure to prepare for your meeting. Remember, we will not have child care during the conference, so children may not attend.
  • NO SCHOOL – Monday, January 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • FIRST AND SECOND FIELD TRIP – Thursday, January 23

A Peek at Our Week | Elementary | Week of December 16

“The world is a university and everyone in it is a teacher. Make sure when you wake up in the morning, you go to school.” – T.D. Jakes

Wow, we are already at Christmas Break! For our last blog of the year 2019, I wanted to share some things I have learned from your children so far this year. I have learned that when the adults in my life do not care about dog vomit slime mold, the history of rabies, or tests you can conduct on the iron in your blood, the students all care and LOVE to know what I am learning. I have learned that you can make recess fun with just a tire, some rope, and a lot of creativity and teamwork. I have learned that you can never ask too many good questions, even if you have been on the same topic, in the same building, of the same field trip, for forty-five minutes. I have learned that when a student is struggling, a pep talk from a friend has the power to reignite a sense of confidence that seemed to be long gone. I have learned that when one of our own invites us to see one of their many talents, we never let them stop feeling like we are proud of them. I have learned when things get tough and I ask them what they are going to do about it, they are able to ask for help or come up with an idea using all of the skills we are currently working on because they really are listening.

Lower Elementary

This first year student is working on the follow-up work for his first Sentence Analysis lesson! He is writing sentences and labeling which part is the subject of the sentence and which part is the action. Later in these lessons, he will learn about direct and indirect objects in sentences and how they give more information about the subject and action!
This second year student is learning about the fundamental needs of Egyptians! She learned about their tools, communication, shelter, defense, and is now writing her name in Hieroglyphics!

Upper Elementary

Here three fourth year students have asked another Upper Elementary student to help them figure out the prime factors of a few numbers they chose. This student decided it would be best for him to reintroduce the lesson to them, instead of just telling them what steps he would take. The fourth year students were very respectful and our “teaching” student was incredibly patient! The lesson was such a success!
Here we have a fifth year friend explaining his work to a third year friend. This fifth year student recently had a lesson on squaring a binomial algebraically and realized he could solve a number of any size with the information he learned, not just a binomial. He chose a number with FIFTY digits! We cannot wait to see how many digits the product has!

Enrichments

Both our Upper and Lower Elementary students have been working for the past month with wire stretching! Throughout their time, they sketched what they wished to create, made a cube, created a project from their own imagination, and completed a self-reflection on the project. Check out their work near the sign-in tablet!

 

REMINDERS:

  • Christmas Break begins today! School resumes Monday, January 6
  • Upper Elementary Squid Dissection Field Trip – Thursday, January 9 – Please make sure to have permission slips in by the 9th!
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences are Friday, January 17 – Sign ups are below: