The month of March began with a flurry of art activities. Students added the beautiful finishing touches to their paper mache globes and imaginary islands we had been working on in our geography studies. We also placed the last of our human organs on each student’s body tracing project. Origami was a very popular activity as students designed patterns made from.
origami boats, butterflies, and birds. These patterns were framed and part of our auction. Along with several masterpieces constructed in Art class with Ms. Michele, the students proudly displayed their handiwork at our annual Art Extravaganza.
We completed the book Robinson Crusoe in February. Each student chose a final project about the story.
Many of them built Crusoe’s island or his house, while others wrote their own adventure stories. Crusoe at the end of
Each student then presented their project to the class, explaining each detail of their design. It was a great project!
Geometry has continued to be focus for all of us. Typically geometry is not thought of as a subject of study for children in grades 1-3, but Dr. Montessori wanted to open up the child’s mind to the world of mathematics. Along with arithmetic, geometry and algebra are all expressions of the same “mathematical mind” Dr. Montessori desired each child to develop. Geometry is the link in the child’s mind between thinking arithmetically (specific quantities) and thinking in algebraic formulae (generalized ideas/rules of solving algebraic problems).
This is why geometry is so important in our classroom: geometry made specific becomes arithmetic; geometry made general becomes algebra. This month we focused on the study of lines and angles. Students learned that a line is not just a line, but can go on forever, unless cut, then it is a ray, with a distinct origin. We labeled several parts of lines and built them using our Box of Sticks. Next we discovered relationships between lines that are parallel, convergent and divergent. We made up stories about two friends who were walking on these lines to help us remember that convergent lines come together and divergent lines separate. We even drew little stick people to place on the lines we built.
Research is a wonderful way for children to explore and discover. Children are full of questions and they ask them almost constantly. In our classroom, students are encouraged to look up the answers to their questions, first in a book J, then online. It is rare that I just answer their questions. If I answer them, I become the resource, but if the child discovers the answer themselves, not only will they remember it, but they will become resourceful themselves.
This month we began a research project on the Natural Wonders of the World. Each student chose a natural wonder to research and, with a partner, wrote a research paper and skit, as well as designed a display board showcasing their discoveries. The Natural Wonders selected were The Grand Canyon, The Amazon Rainforest, Djavolja Varos (unique rock formations in Serbia), Victoria Falls, Mount Everest, The Great Barrier Reef, and The Aurora Australis (southern lights). The students will present their research skits at our International Festival on April 25th.