“The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.'” -Maria Montessori
It is a busy time of year for all of us, inside the classroom and out, but it is refreshing to see students still so hard at work. As the end of our first half of the year grows closer, we are finishing up some projects and learning new skills. Our Lower Elementary students have been studying South America and are completing research projects about the continent. The first year students have started researching Mercury and Venus and will continue researching different planets every few weeks throughout the school year, ending with a research report about a famous astronomer. Our second year students are continuing their rock study by testing and identifying rocks. Our third graders have been introduced to the compound microscope and will be testing their knowledge to earn a microscope license to use the microscope independently. Our Upper Elementary students have completed a five paragraph persuasive essay about whether or not animals should be kept in cages to end our novel study of “The One and Only Ivan.”
A Peek at Next Week
Next week, our first year students will review multiplication lessons, will be introduced to Sentence Analysis, and will discuss mechanical energy. Our second year students will subtract fractions with unlike denominators, will write a biography about their classroom mentor, and will discuss types of seeds. Our third year students will continue multiplying on the Large Bead Frame, will write a biography about their classroom mentor, and will research platyhelminthes. Our fourth year students will find the prime factors of numbers, will determine relationships between humans and apes, and will discuss the characteristics and energy of cells. Our fifth year students will create a pictograph on Excel, will define Latin and Greek affixes, and will learn about reciprocals of fractions.
Wednesday, December 12 – Christmas Show Rehearsal. Please check your email from the school office for information about drop off and the rehearsal. Make sure to take your child to the restroom BEFORE you bring them to the auditorium. Ms. Lisa will have all piano music for piano students. They will not need their books.
Friday, December 14 – Elementary Box Top Pizza Party – We will have pizza (including gluten free), veggies, and snacks to celebrate collecting the most Box Tops at our campus. We will also be wearing Christmas Sweaters! Please do not feel the need to buy a special sweater for this day, it is an optional dress up day.
Friday, December 14 – Christmas Show.
Take your child to the restroom before dropping them off.
Bring your child in their “12 Days of Christmas” costume
Bring your child’s pajamas or “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” costume in a separate LABELED bag. If you have multiple children in our classroom, please put each of their clothes in a separate bag to make things easier for us while they change. Students will change themselves for our play and for Kids Bop in the back dressing rooms.
Look for more info from me on Remind later this week and from the school office.
“We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself.” – Maria Montessori
We enjoyed being back together this week. This week has been busy with students presenting lessons, students presenting research, students assisting in lesson presentations, and of course, Christmas Show practice! Three of our reading groups have completed the stories they have been working through so far this school year. Our “Rocket Readers” group has completed the book “Tornado” by Betsy Byars. After completing their story, they wrote a research book about tornadoes which included information about what a tornado is, how its severity is tracked, and how to stay safe when one is spotted. They shared this information with our class! The “Six Scoops” group finished reading “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” and researched the historical figures mentioned throughout the story. The “Senior Readers” group completed “The One and Only Ivan” and are writing persuasive essays about whether or not animals should be kept in cages.
“A Peek at Next Week”
Next week, we will begin new novels in our reading groups that finished their books. The second year students will be joining each other in a reading group and will be voting on the book they want to read. The third year students will join our Upper Elementary students in reading “A Fish in a Tree.” Our lower elementary students will write biographies about their peer mentor, will study sentence analysis, and will discuss light and friction. Our Upper Elementary students will study portmanteaus, interjections, density and matter, and decimals.
“We give gratitude to things that came before us like the jellyfish, whose cells began one of the first types of division of labor or the earthworm for continuous digestion. We also show gratitude to the Phoenicians for the start of our alphabet or the Greeks for their democratic government. We try and help children understand that someone or something worked very hard in the past to give us what we have today.” -Chesapeake Montessori School
On Thanksgiving, my dad never made us go around the table and say what we are thankful for. I assume this was because he knew I would say something like, “I’m thankful for my Game Boy,” or “I’m thankful Zach isn’t talking right now (my brother and I REALLY loved being around each other),” but as someone that spends so much time with your children, I wanted to share the things I see each day that make me thankful. I am thankful that, although they sometimes bicker like brothers and sisters, your children are able to step aside and talk through concerns and problems with children and adults. I am thankful I get to constantly see older students helping younger students be more independent. I am thankful for the times when students are disappointed in themselves and another child takes time out of their day to go see how they can help or to give some words of encouragement. I am thankful for Community Meeting and the chance it gives me to see students solving their own problems and voicing their concerns, without needing any adult intervention or assistance. I am thankful that our students feel so comfortable in our environment that they plan and execute lessons for other students as if they spent years studying education and child development. I am thankful to spend every day showing new lessons to your children and seeing how much they can do with the information they are given, almost always surpassing my expectations.
A Peek at Next Week
Next week, first year students will use the Subtraction Snake Game, review the use of a verb, continue studying fundamental needs, further investigate the Five Kingdom Chart, and begin planet research. Second year students will continue studying geographic features, will label the parts of a seed, will bisect an angle, and will start multiplying on the Checkerboard! Third year students will research the eye, ear, and tooth, will find irregular past tense verbs, and will perfect their measuring skills with measuring cups and spoons. Fourth year students find discuss adverbials in sentences, the unit as part of a base 10 number system, and will discuss elements in our universe. Fifth year students will use the order of operations, will research mammals, will be introduced to genealogy and will write figures of speech.
“The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.” – Maria Montessori
One of my favorite things about the Montessori Elementary Philosophy, that also might be the toughest thing to adjust to as a new Elementary student, is the amount of responsibility and freedom our students have. I envy that they have the opportunity at the age of 6 or 7 to begin learning how they learn best, how to manage their time, how to prioritize, how to ask adults or peers for help, how to work with people that aren’t your best friend and still produce a great project, how to reflect on your week of work and social interaction and find ways to improve, things to be proud of, and to set a goal for the following week. While this is a struggle for some new students more than others, they are always, always trying again the next week. Their peers are asking how their conference went and asking them what they think they could improve, or telling them they did a good job and that they noticed how hard they worked on a certain assignment. I see students asking others if they can help them plan their time or if they can explain what they have found to be successful in the past. I hear older students saying things like, “Oh, I remember that work. I had a hard time with it, too, but it gets easier when you practice.” Imagine if, at their age, you had the support system of friends, that you may have known longer than your own siblings, that are (almost) always willing to encourage and guide you when you struggle, and that never stop believing in you. Why weren’t we all educated this way!
“A Peek at Next Week”
Next week, first year students will subtract on the Small Bead Frame, will practice dividing syllables, will continue studying the Fundamental Needs of Humans, will begin dinosaur research, and review the external characteristics of mammals. The second year students will review Rainbow Factoring, will study past and present tense verbs, will continue studying the Fundamental Needs of Humans, and will draw angles with a protractor. Third year students will add fractions with like denominators, continue studying Fundamental Needs of Humans, will discuss singular possessives of nouns, and will discuss the main characteristics of cnidarians. Fourth year students will find common factors, will practice writing commas and quotation marks in dialogue, will continue studying area, and will classify kingdoms of living things. Fifth year students will find the divisibility rules of 11, will study garbology, will find the parts of a circle, and will research mammals.
Thursday, November 15 – Operation Christmas Child Packing – please check out the messages in Remind from Ms. Lisa to get more information
Friday, November 16 – Parent-Teacher Conferences – This is a No School Day for students and there will not be childcare available. Please send me any lessons you would like to see during our time together!
Tuesday, November 20 – Ms. Courtney’s room and our room will cook and bake together to celebrate friendship and the things we are thankful for. Your child will not need a lunch this day. Please look for the sign-up list soon to help us make this possible.
This week our “Peek” was written by two of 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” by Ainsley (4th grade) and Andre (3rd grade)
This week we had a lot of language lessons. The first graders had a lesson on multiples. The secont graders had a detective triangle game lesson.The thierd graders had adjective suffexes. The forth graders had finding humans. The fith graders had plotting points on a graph.
11/15 – OCC Packing
11/16 Parent teacher Confrences/No School
11/21-11/23 No School
“A Peek at Next Week” by Ms. Ashley
Next week we will begin practicing for the Christmas Show (yes, already!). Please look for an email in the next two weeks to see what your student will need to wear or practice. Next week first year students will subtract with the Stamp Game, will discuss fall and winter holidays, will begin the study of the fundamental needs of humans, and will learn about different animals. Second year students will have their first Checkerboard lesson, will discuss contractions, will practice using a protractor, and will study South America. Third year students will multiply on the Large Bead Frame, will learn new capitalization rules, will use grids and coordinates in mapping, and will create animal riddles for younger students. Fourth year students will continue working with multiples, will discuss the characteristics of vertebrates, will review the area of plane figures, and will classify different objects. Fifth year students will continue to study factors, will be introduced to archaeology, will classify mammals, and will study density and matter.
“Let the teacher not lose sight of the fact that the goal sought is not an immediate one, but rather to make the spiritual being which she is educating capable of finding his way by himself.” -Maria Montessori
This week was full of exciting lessons and events. We completed lessons with taste tests, challenging math works, and continued our exploration of the history of Earth. We were thrilled to perform “Caps for Sale” for our families and all the Primary Classrooms. We decorated for the Halloween party, prepared the food, and played games together. Putting on all student performances and planning student only parties, gives children the opportunity to learn how to work and collaborate with others. This also gives them real life experience about what happens when a team or group doesn’t work well together or communicate! Thank you to all the parents that helped us sew and that provided the materials we needed for our Halloween party!
“A Peek at Next Week”
Next week our blog will be written by two students! You can look for a student written blog at the end of each month! Our first year students will be creating a noun family chart, will continue their study of the constructive triangles, and will complete their continent study of North America. Our second year students will discuss the four types of sentences (exclamatory, interrogative, imperative, and declarative), will review the Detective Triangle Game, and will finish their research of a country in North America. Our third year students will learn to measure in grams and milliliters, will discuss adjective suffixes, and will begin studying equivalence with our metal insets. Our fourth year students will change mixed fractions to improper fractions and improper fractions to mixed fractions, will review homonyms and indirect objects, and will discuss the creation of the universe. Fifth year students with begin plotting points on a graph, will review homonyms, and will study adverbials. Upper Elementary students will also take their first note taking quiz which will show them if they are taking notes effectively or not. This will give students an opportunity to learn which information is vital at lessons and prepares them for middle school and beyond! All students will begin typing lessons next week!
Book Fair next week!
Parent-Teacher Conferences – Friday, November 16 – No School Day for students. I will send out a sign-up genius for conferences in next week’s blog!
“It is our choices that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Albus Dumbledore (J.K. Rowling)
As we have discussed in conferences, Parent Education Nights, and in our blog, the Elementary aged child is in a new stage of development where social connections are extremely important. When a child is just beginning to navigate these waters of what is fair or unfair, right or wrong, socially acceptable or not, there are plenty of times when they make the wrong decision and need guided through the proper way to handle situations.
This week in our classroom we discussed “The Four Agreements.” These are four standards we have all agreed to hold ourselves to in the Elementary classroom to help us be kind, caring, and productive members of our classroom and of society. We discussed what each agreement means and that we would continue to practice them together every day. Please take some time this weekend to discuss them with your child!
The Four Agreements:
Mutual Respect – We recognize and appreciate our differences and similarities. We consider and honor all values, beliefs, and needs of others. We respect individual skills, talents, and contributions. We offer feedback to each other that encourages growth.
Attentive Listening – We pay close attention to others and let them know they have been heard. We maintain eye contact, withhold our own comments, and paraphrase key words to show we’ve been listening. We listen with our ears, eyes, and our hearts.
Appreciation/No Put Downs – We show kindness and respect. We avoid negativity, name calling, and hateful gestures or behaviors. We treat each other kindly. We state appreciation for all individuals.
Right to Pass – We have the right to share or pass while still participating. Choosing the right to pass means that the person prefers not to share personal information or feelings or to actively participate in the group at a particular moment. Being a silent observer is still a form of participation and can lead to greater learning.
This week we had our first “Bring Your Parents to ‘Work Time’!” Take a peek below at the fun we had!
Thank you to all of our parents that were able to make it! Your students really love showing you what they do each day and we love having you!
A Peek at Next Week
Next week, we will have our two “Caps for Sale” performances. Make sure you check your email for the details!
Lower Elementary students will study adjectives, constructive triangles, nutrition, and weather. Upper Elementary students will discuss decimals, greatest common factors, etymologies of words, the adverb, and the structure of the Earth!
“Caps for Sale” Parent Performance – Wednesday, October 24, at 8:30 in the gym.
“Caps for Sale” Cuyahoga Falls Student Performance – Friday, October 26. Drop off at 8:15
Halloween Party – STUDENTS ONLY – Friday, October 26 – Afternoon
“He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.” – Maria Montessori
This week was such a blast. We began practicing for our play “Caps for Sale,” started making berets for the performance, went on our first Elementary only field trip, practiced hammering and drilling, and had a lot of lessons! At the Cleveland Zoo, the first and second graders worked together to observe and discover what the basic needs of elephants are, while the third through fifth grade students observed elephants to find out how they spend most of their time, as well as, discussing the issue of clean water in Africa. After completing our self-guided inquiry into African animals, we were able to visit the rest of the Zoo! In the classroom this week, students have continued work on their Tallmadge Circle projects and have started their continent study of North America! We have created a website ranked with The Best SEO Agency in Wellington.
“A Peek at Next Week”
Next week is our first “Bring Your Parents to ‘Work Time’!” You must be signed up by today (October 12) to be able to come next week! If you have signed up, please check your email on Sunday to see the guidelines and expectations of visiting the Elementary Classroom. First year students next week will study the Hand Chart, will practice measuring, and will continue studying the constructive triangles. Second year students will edit sentences for punctuation and capitalization and will discuss how a leaf is the “food factory” of the plant. Third year students will discuss prime numbers, will continue learning about equivalence, and will learn about the functions and types of stamens in flowers. Fourth year students will learn about euphemisms, will solve word problems involving angles, will finish their review of The Timeline of Life, and will discuss energy in the universe. Fifth year students will begin coverting bases in math, will review possessive nouns, will continue finding the area of decagons and pentagons, and will study the layers of the Earth.
Final chance to sign up for “Bring Your Parents to ‘Work Time’.” Please sign up here.
Friday, October 26 – “Caps for Sale” play at Cuyahoga Falls Campus
Friday, October 26 – Halloween Party (STUDENTS ONLY) – Our decoration, food, and game committees are planning an afternoon full of fun! Please remember no scary/gory costumes or weapons! Our committees have been formed so keep your eye out for what students may need!
“The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” – Maria Montessori
I like to refer to the three to six year old age range as the “Meadow Years,” where everything is light, fun, maybe a little breezy at times, but overall a calm, pleasant walk in a meadow. I like to lovingly refer to the elementary age range as the “Monster Truck Years,” where everything is a mess, no one can hear anyone else, and you aren’t entirely sure if what’s happening is supposed to be happening or if something has gone terribly wrong.
Joking aside, this is a very different time in your child’s life. They are craving independence and to push boundaries. They want to learn more about the world outside of their family, neighborhood, or school. They want to try new things to see what is acceptable, or what they can get away with. One of my favorite ways to quench this thirst for new experiences and knowledge is through walking trips. This week some of our students joined us for our annual trip to the Tallmadge Circle to reinforce previous lessons on using a compass and designing a map key. Students had the experience of walking a little further than they probably do around their neighborhood, had to pay attention when crossing roads, and had to follow multi-step directions at each exit of the circle. Student only field trips, going-out experiences, and having pen pals are other times we encourage students to be independent in their exploration of the outside world!
A Peek at Next Week
Next week, the first year students will work on memorizing addition facts, will practicing reading with “Magic E,” will do the Dance of the Molecules, and will continue studying North America! Second year students will begin multiplying on the Large Bead Frame (they are so excited!), will research how animals satisfy their needs, and will study a country of North America or a state. Our third year students will multiply by a four digit multiplier on the Checkerboard, will continue studying equivalence between the Constructive Triangles, will study porifera, and will research a place in North America. Fourth year students will discuss factors, will continue studying Euclid’s Theorem, will study another time analogy, and will discuss matter. Fifth year students will review the BCE/CE Timeline, will discover math patterns in the Sieve of Peter, will continue studying equivalence of a decagon and pentagon, and will begin an in-depth study of the animal kingdom.
STEM begins today, October 5! Your child will sign themselves out at 3:00 so you will not have to worry about that at pick up. All parents who have a child participating are required to sign up to come to a class and to provide snack. You can sign up here.
Upper Elementary ONLY Bowling Event is tonight, October 5! We will see you at 6:30 at Sto-Kent (3870 Fishcreek Rd. Stow, Oh 44224 ).
Tuesday, October 9 – Cleveland Zoo Field Trip – This is a student-only field trip. We will take a bus to the zoo around 9 and will return at 2. Please make sure your child wears comfortable shoes and is dressed for the weather. Please pack their lunch in a disposable bag with disposable containers.
Tuesday, October 16 and Wednesday, October 17 – “Bring Your Parents to ‘Work Time’.” You must be signed up to attend to ensure that we do not disturb the other children while they are working. The Monday before these days, you will receive information on how to observe and our expectations from visitors. Please be sure to read all of the information before coming! Sign up here.
Friday morning, October 26 – “Caps for Sale” performance for Cuyahoga Falls Primary classes. Details will be emailed out closer to the event. “Caps for Sale” performance for parents – TBA
Friday afternoon, October 26 – Elementary Halloween Party – Elementary parties are student only. These events are planned and executed by the students, but we may need your help with supplies. Ask your child next week what committee they have joined!
“The child seeks for independence by means of work; an independence of body and mind.” – Maria Montessori
A Montessori term that you may come across in your research of our philosophy is “normalization.” This is a term that means the students are functioning independently throughout the day without needing frequent assistance and guidance from a teacher. As we enter into October, we usually are beginning to see normalization of our new group of students with our returning students. Our breaking up of the first two weeks of school into short periods of discussion, work time, and team building, helps lead to the independence and trust needed to allow the students to normalize. I can always tell when it is happening in our classroom by the work choices children are making. When a classroom is normalized, students are completing their assigned work and are choosing independent projects and research to fill their time instead of wanting to color, chat, or wander. This week I saw a project two second graders are working on where they have drawn the United States, colored in the states as the flags of each state, and are now drawing the state birds onto their map! Two third graders have started their own imaginary island map inspired by a game they both like. A fourth and a fifth grader are seeing which fruits that they bring to snack can be grown in our classroom. As these projects begin to emerge, it is always great to see the leadership, cooperation, organization, and independence that the students have gained since last school year!
A Peek at Next Week
Next week, all students will begin practicing and auditioning for our October play (“Caps for Sale”) that we show all Primary classes. Ask your child what they are auditioning for next week! Lower Elementary students will explore the Timeline of Life. In Language, they will be introduced to the dictionary, will analyze phonemes, and will write different types of sentences. We will be working on adding with the Stamp Game in Math, adding fractions with like denominators, and will review rainbow factoring. For Geography, we will work on using a compass and a map key. All Lower Elementary students will begin a continent study of North America. Upper Elementary students will take their microscope test to show their knowledge of a dissecting microscope, compound microscope, and how to make a slide. Fourth year students will study commas in a direct address, begin studying multiples and factors, and will review Euclid’s Theorem. Fifth year students will begin studying the animal kingdom, will review the use of apostrophes, will begin studying patterns between the squares of numbers, and will find equivalency between polygons.
Friday, October 5 – Upper Elementary Bowling Event – If you have a fourth or fifth grader, please check your email for this invitation and respond to Brandy to RSVP!
Tuesday, October 9 – Elementary ONLY Field Trip to Cleveland Zoo – This is a bus trip. Reminders will be sent out next week!
Come work in our classroom with your child. In order to participate in “Bring Your Parents to ‘Work Time'” you’ll need to sign up here.