“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!
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“The child has a mind able to absorb knowledge. He has the power to teach himself.” -Maria Montessori
A few years ago, I had a visitor ask me after observing Elementary children completing a morning work cycle, “But how do you know what each of them is supposed to be doing?” Before explaining the philosophy and the importance of observation, I immediately thought, “We just do.” As Montessorians, we plan lessons, set expectations, and then we wait. We wait to see what a child will do next. How will they show what they’ve learned? What did they gain from this lesson? Did it inspire some inner curiosity? Almost always, a child will go above and beyond our expectations. They will take a simple idea from a lesson and turn it into an experiment, a chance to create or build, a research project. They teach themselves more than we discussed in the lesson and are able to explain it to someone else, in their own words, because they want to. Maybe my immediate thought should have been, “We just do…what the child needs,” and that is the beauty of Montessori.
A Peek at Next Week
This week, our first year students will learn to construct bar graphs, will be introduced to the article, will learn the etymology of the days of the week, and will complete their study of the Geometric Cabinet. Second year students will discuss the difference between A.M. and P.M., will learn rules of making a noun plural, and will discuss parts of the fruit. Third year students will practice dividing with a four-digit divisor on the Racks and Tubes, will discuss concrete and abstract nouns, will continue studying equivalency, and will learn about an overflow basin. Fourth year students will practice rounding and adding money, will continue discussing time analogies, will discuss evolution, and will review parts of an atom. Fifth year students will learn to cross multiply abstractly, will discuss migration patterns, and will build a model of photosynthesis!
Our first Spelling homework is due Monday, 9/24, we will like to remind parents that if they happen to run out of time, Famed writings helps students to complete their tasks at any day in case of an emergency
Wednesday, September 26 – Picture Day
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“Education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment.” -Maria Montessori
This week we had many exciting lessons and spent time learning from each other. Our first graders worked with fractions, learned the history of clocks, continued their Geometric Cabinet work, and learned about the first plants on Earth! Our second year students practiced labeling Golden Beads as greater than, less than, or equal to, distinguished between feminine and masculine nouns, looked at the intersection of two straight lines, and classified animals on our Animal Kingdom Chart. Our third year students began adding and subtracting squares and cubes, learned about suffixes, were introduced to congruence, similarity, and equivalence, and studied the taxonomy of vertebrates! Our fourth year students further studied the Pythagorean Theorem, discussed basic life processes, and learned about acronyms. Our fifth year students continued their Native American research, continued studying acronyms, and found the formula for a decanomial using the Table of Pythagoras.
A Peek at Next Week
Next week our Lower Elementary students will work on telling time, alphabetizing, different types of nouns, and parts of flowers and fish. Our Upper Elementary students will practice estimating and learn rules of divisibility. They will learn about coined words and the history of the English language. The fourth years will learn the chemical composition of life. Fifth year students will continue studying plants. Next week all students will begin Spelling lessons and will have their first homework assignment sent home following their Spelling lesson on Monday. We have our first field trip Friday, September 21, to Ramseyer Farms! Please remember to dress your child for the weather and a day on the farm!
Friday, September 21 – Ramseyer Farms Field Trip
Wednesday, September 26 – Picture Day
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“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and strength, use it to create.” -Maria Montessori
My favorite thing about the Montessori Elementary Curriculum is the amount of opportunities students are given to use their imagination to learn, create, and grow. This week we have seen students take an interest in something and run with it. We had two first year students, inspired by the nest in our room, complete a research report about wasps. Other students that were inspired by their research spent time observing the nest. Our second and third year students were responsible for reading the laws of the universe and coming up with their own science experiment to demonstrate to the class how the law works. Our fourth and fifth grade students started their first “Word of the Week” project where they chose any word that they thought others wouldn’t know and needed to come up with a creative way to show what it meant. When students have the opportunity to follow their interests and use their imagination, they often create something that exceeds our expectations and combines skills from many areas of the classroom into just one work!
A Peek into Next Week
Next week, we will begin our Spelling Assessments. The following week, we will begin our first Spelling lesson and homework! First year students will learn about the history of clocks, the noun, fractions, and the first plants. Second year students will practice greater than and less than, feminine and masculine nouns, the intersection of two straight lines, and work with our Animal Kingdom Chart. Our third year students will solve equations with the squares and cubes of numbers, will learn about suffixes, will begin their study with congruent figures, and will study the taxonomy of vertebrates. Fourth year students will review the commutative and distributive laws of multiplication, will begin advanced grammar studies, will continue their study of Pythagorean Theorem from last year, and will study basic life processes. Fifth year students will complete the Table of Pythagoras, will continue studying Native Americans, will study energy on earth, and will begin studying advanced botany.
Our Ramseyer Farm Field Trip is Friday, September 21. Please make sure to turn in your permission slip!
Picture Day – September 26
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“Let us start with one very simple reflection: the child, unlike the adult, is not on his way to death. He is on his way to life.” – Maria Montessori
The first week of school is always one of my favorites. It is a time to welcome new friends, to catch up with old ones, and to see which children are almost as tall as me after a summer of growing. The first week, we always begin with “The Great Lessons.” These lessons were designed to give children an imaginative presentation of the beginnings of the universe, life on Earth, communication, numbers, and geometry. You can read more about “The Great Lessons” here. We also take a lot of time to build community during the first week. We play games together and have presentations from children of all ages to encourage collaboration and trust between all members of our classroom. Empowering students of all ages also enables children to feel confident in their ability to try something new before seeking help! We are so happy to have all of you back with us and are excited to learn more about our new families!
Ask your child about the fun games we played!
“A Peek into Next Week”
Next week we will begin a more typical schedule. We will begin art, music, and gym enrichment classes! Students that did not have a reading assessment in August will complete one with me next week. We will continue some of our supplementary lessons to “The Great Lessons.” We will discuss “The Story of Geometry” and “The Story of the Babylonians” to learn about rope stretchers in Egypt and the degree symbol. We will have our first Teacher-Student Conferences Friday. Please refer to the “Meet the Teacher Review” email if you need a reminder about these conferences!
NO SCHOOL – Monday, September 3 – Labor Day
Thursday, September 6 – First Art and Music Classes
Friday, September 7 – First Gym Classes – Bring a water bottle and tennis shoes!
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“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.” – Maria Montessori
This week we spent most mornings sharing different creations. First graders shared their astronomer and planet research, second, third, and fourth year students shared their Imaginary Islands and the history of those islands, third year students shared their “Build My Block” geometry projects, and our fourth year student shared his Early Human Research Report that he has been writing throughout the year. It is wonderful to see the difference in quality and imagination in projects, as well as with public speaking, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
We had SO much fun at Field Day. Thank you, parents, for making an event like this possible! We couldn’t have done it without you. Although it is sad to say goodbye to some friends for a few months and some for a little longer, it is such a pleasure to spend so much time with all of your children. I learn something new every single day from your children and know they are going to make our world a better place. Have a wonderful summer!
We just wrapped up our final full week of the school year! We can’t believe it! This week the first years started a chart to share all their knowledge of the external characteristics of vertebrates and invertebrates. The second year students completed their polygon and circle studies. The third years are compiling their knowledge of the internal systems of vertebrates and have completed their “Build My Block” geometry project. The fourth years completed their study of fungi and are ready to share their Early Humans Research!
A Peek At Next Week
Next week we will present many of the projects we have been working on. Our fourth year student will share his Early Humans Research and Tools. Our second, third, and fourth year students will present their Imaginary Islands. Our first grade students will present their planet and astronomer research with the help of a kindergarten friend! We will continue to work on estimating length, geometry command cards, and fourth years will finish studying fungi!
NO SCHOOL – Monday, May 28 – Memorial Day
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL – Thursday, May 31
This is also Field Day. Please refer to your email for the schedule of events and the changes in the event of rain. Please let me know if you are attending if you haven’t already.
Friday, June 1 – Kindergarten Graduation
*****I am also still looking for a family to take Vinny the Guinea over the summer. Splashy will also need a summer home. Both animals are very easy to care for and I will provide all of the materials that you need! Please let me know ASAP if you can help our classroom!*****
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 Pets” by Ainsley, Maddex, and Trevor
(Ainsley) This week we researched and wrote the taxonome of all the animals in the school, including a Wolf Spiter that Ms. Courtney found. This year the 3rd graders have been learning a lot of main characteristics and internal systems of animals. We learned a lot about different and most common pets.
Annelids by Ainsley
Arthropods by Maddex and Trevor
Mollusks by Maddex
Chordates – Fish by Maddex and Trevor
Chordates – Reptiles by Trevor
Chordates – Birds by Ainsley
Chordates – Mammals by Ainsley
“A Peek at Next Week” by Ms. Ashley
Next week will be our final full week of school! We will have Spelling Assessments Monday and Reading Assessments throughout the week. There will be no new Spelling homework, but please continue to have your child read and record their work on their reading log. Next week Lower Elementary students will add and subtract lengths, add and subtract squares and cubes, practice budgeting, learn more about circles, and complete some research charts as a Zoology review, where we will continue to study about different pets and how to maintain them properly. Since this week we focused more on chickens, next week it will be more about rabbits; since this was a popular pet among our classmates and share how difficult finding a suitable home for your rabbit can be. We will learn that a decent sized rabbit hutch is a good start and how to find the right one. Taking care of these pets can be pretty delicate but with the help of the class mates that already owns one, we’ll cover all of their specific needs in order to help them live a long, happy, and healthy life and many other fun facts about them.
“The child is truly a miraculous being, and this should be felt deeply by the educator.” – Maria Montessori
The end of the year is one of my favorite times. No, not because I am leaving behind my 5 am alarm for a few weeks, but because we are able to reflect upon the huge progress our students have made since August. All of our students have become more successful in so many areas – interpersonal communication, public speaking, planning, organizing, managing time, and with all of our wonderful areas of the classroom. It is inspiring to see the hard work and determination our students put forth every day. They are becoming more independent and knowledgeable every minute and it is really a privilege to be a part of it.
A Peek at Next Week
Our first year students will work on fractional equivalence, learn the different phyla of the animal kingdom, and discover new information about Antarctica! Second year students will begin dividing with two-digit divisors with the Racks and Tubes, will begin studying circles, and will discuss flower placement and arrangement. Third year students will divide fractions by a whole number, research different plants, build a Roman arch, and discuss economic geography. Fourth year students will continue discussing protists and begin discussing fungi. Next week all of our students will be writing letters to the incoming students to their grade! They will offer advice, share insight, and explain their favorite parts of the past year! Look for these to be delivered in June!
Final “Bring Your Parents to ‘Work Time'” sign up: Work Time
“When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.” – Maria Montessori
This week we have really enjoyed the weather together. It was nice to record something other than “gloomy,” “cold,” and “snowy” each day at Morning Meeting. We have begun many projects this week. First year students have been working on Simple Machine projects. Our third and fourth year students have been working on a Geometry project called “Build My Block.” These students are building a neighborhood out of cardstock and will be taking the area, perimeter, and volume of their completed neighborhood this month! Our second, third, and fourth years have also started working on their “Imaginary Islands.” This project has students take their knowledge of geographic features and use it to create an island from their imagination. All students will write a history of their island and the third and fourth years will find the area of their island. We also are finishing up Writer’s Workshop with biographies and autobiographies! Check out our autobiography displays towards the end of the month!
A Peek into Next Week
Next week, first year students will have another lesson with the Decanomial, will review Grammar symbols, and will discuss the parts of the flower. Second year students will begin their study of exponents, review Grammar symbols, continuing learning about quadrilaterals, and will discuss water pressure. Third year students will learn about the commutative and distributive laws of multiplication, discuss how to write broken quotes in paragraphs, will solve area word problems that include fractions, and will find the main characteristics of echinoderms. Fourth year students will continue work with integers and transitive and intransitive verbs, write their Early Humans research paper, and will study protists. All students will study Antarctica, including a virtual field trip to a science station!
Thursday, May 10 – Grandparents’ Day – Please have grandparents arrive by 12:45!
Friday, May 11 – Moms and Muffins – 7:00
We have ALL spots open for our FINAL “Bring Your Parent to ‘Work Time’.” Sign up here.
If you are interested in a final conference for the year, please sign up here.