The Elementary students and teachers got acquainted with each other, the classroom and procedures. Old friends and new friends came together to hear three of the Great Stories: “God Who Has No Hands”,” The Coming of Life” and “The Coming of Human Beings”. These stories engage the Elementary student’s imagination to grasp the amazing ideas of how the Earth, plants, animals and human beings came to be and ultimately depend upon each other within the laws of the universe.
Singing, book making and poetry reading have all commenced for the year. Students have received lessons in all of the areas of the classroom: History, Physical Education, Music, Art, Biology, Language, Geometry, Geography and Math. Excitedly, our class held its first “Community Meeting”, kicking off the year with a formal forum for students and teachers to come together and create our environment through peaceful communication, creative solutions and abundant opportunities for all.
After a fun holiday weekend with families and friends, Elementary students returned to school ready to work! Excitement built over the weekend as the previous week, students have dreamed up a goal: Beating the World Record of the longest finger knitting rope in the world. Thank you for all of the generous family donations to the students to support their knitting dreams.
The last two Great Stories piqued the interest of many students: The Story of Our Alphabet and The Story of Our Numerals where students learned the historical development of human recording of communication and amounts. All of the students have been brushing up on old Math concepts lost over the summer break and filling their Personal Dictionaries with new words to learn.
Taking advantage of our beautiful weather, students have learned how to play Australian Dodge Ball and tried their skills at Ultimate Frisbee. An experiment in States of Matter was observed and discussed by the students as we continue to develop an understanding of the Laws of Our Universe. Also, our class had the opportunity to enjoy our school garden’s generous reaping of carrots and tomatoes during lunch one day.
Recently, students have been discussing “The Fundamental Needs of Human Beings” which consist of Material Needs [Nourishment, Protection, Housing, Clothing, Transportation] and Spiritual Needs [Religion, Vanity, Art/Cultural] that all people share in their own unique ways. Students have been quenching their “Art Needs” through the use of Geometry tools and designing with our Metal Insets used for Math and Geometry lessons.
Their creations at https://yourdiamondteacher.com/ are evolving into beautiful ideas and gifts.
The Elementary study of the Earth and Life on Earth has commenced and students are looking forward to the opportunity of conducting Science experiments that parallel this focus. In addition to classroom lessons, our additional experts that joyfully share their knowledge have started visiting us: Music, Latin and Art. Our first class for self-defense (Tae Kwon Do) located at our Tallmadge campus has also begun.
Speaking of new starts, our classroom celebrated our first birthday of the year! Birthdays will be celebrated in a new approach and we hope you can assist your child with preparing for his or her birthday celebration. Each child will bring 3 pictures that define him or herself to class on the celebration day to share with us. None of the pictures have to be pictures of the student as each student’s perception of this will be unique. Unique is great! Your child will discuss each picture and fellow students will be able to ask questions about the birthday child. Our class will be gifting your student with blessings/good thoughts and compliments as a birthday gift for his or her special day. Do not worry. We will remind you as your child’s birthday nears.
After a long discussion of Science Experiment Safety, the students plunged eagerly into the new Human Body Science Experiments. Experiment Cards will appear on shelves throughout the year in all the areas of study, Biology being first. Many materials have been graciously donated by parents for our Science Experiments. The Elementary class as a whole would like to extend a huge “Thank You!” for past and future donations to our mad scientists at work!
Also, this week, students have started selecting words they would like to learn how to spell. On Fridays and Mondays, as applicable, students take a quiz on their self-selected words. Beware, your student may ask you to spell words; such as, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” or “galluses”. We are all learning new, interesting and unique words!
Lessons have continued in all areas of the classroom. A new interest has sparked in the classroom: Sewing. Some students have learned how to sew a button on fabric and others are making bean bags for our classroom to use during “Walking on the Line”. Measurement lessons have been paralleling this work. Students have been measuring things in the classroom with Small-Non Standard Units, i.e., identical paperclips, to relive how people may have measured things with everyday identical objects to communicate mathematical amounts predating our current standardized method of measurement. In the Story of Geometry, students also got to help demonstrate how the “Rope Stretchers” or “Harpenodapta” of Egypt returned the farmer’s fields to the correct size and space after the annual flood of the Nile through historical surveying processes.
Though students have been learning all kinds of skills and games in relation to Physical Education so far this year, they were excited for the first official class on Friday. With that said, we would like to personally remind parents to ensure that your student brings his or her water bottle to school every day and especially on Fridays. We have had some students forget their water bottles. We want to keep your student properly hydrated to promote their success in health. Students perform physical exertion daily at recess, spontaneous lessons and work; and also, more importantly, during scheduled classes. We like to keep the students moving to promote a healthy lifestyle!
This week, students have finished up their Hero letters and donned red, white and blue in our class picture for the troops. They shared personal thoughts and appreciation to our heroes overseas. Students have been busy working on the four basic operations of Mathematics: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. Some students are working on Fractions and Multiples, as well. The students have also been working on some basic Language skills, reading Poetry, Writing Creative Stories/Books/Plays and conducting basic Research on various topics.
Students are starting to show Mastery in new lessons. If your student shares his or her success about “Mastering” a lesson, rest assured, it is a big deal! This “Mastery” is one of the many things that make Montessori so different from the traditional approach of education. The teacher in traditional education gives information to his or her students to learn. Then the class as a group is assessed or tested in some fashion to see if the student has retained or learned that information. Whether all or some of the students have learned that information, the teacher is required to move on to new information as schedule in the traditional method.
Switching methods, in the Montessori method of education, the teacher shows the student how educational learning materials are used, tells stories, offers support, creates an environment conductive to learning and inspires. The student self-guides his or her learning at his or her pace and direction. The teacher observes the student and records the student’s progress. Mastery is attained when the student has mastered the concept or use of a material, lesson or idea. The next step of the learning process for the student is teaching and leading others. The students come to the realizations that there are always new heights learning can take place in and learning is for life. This idea is what separates the two methods vastly. Students do not “move on” when they do not understand information and students gain a self-propelled approach to learning that will last for life!
The two Latin classes have started a new year. For the first-and second-grade group the focus in September has been on learning basic vocabulary, especially words related to the Roman
family. The students have also learned to form and translate simple sentences using various forms of the verb “sum.” In the area of culture the class became familiar with maps of the Roman Empire and Italy.
In the third- and fourth-year class the emphasis has been on reviewing vocabulary first presented last spring. In addition, the group has investigated various aspects of ancient Roman food and
dining. The students helped construct a model of a Roman dining room, complete with Gumbius figures. Finally, the class participated in a banquet featuring foods from ancient Italy.