SHOW AND TELL
Bring a picture of a bird and its name
How feathered creatures are
adapted to their habitats.
The value is wisdom, which is the power of judging rightly.
For science we’ll make rainbows and a bird in a cage.
Outside we’ll pretend to be feathers and play hot and cold.
The songs we’ll be singing are Do, Re, Mi; Zippity-do-dah; He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands; Down by the Bay; Bluebird; and Where is Thumbkin?
Our art activities are nature collage, amate paper painting, clay figures, and bird feeders.
Creative dramatic activities will be the story of the Eagle’s Nest.
For body development, we’ll work on flexibility with yoga poses. For motor development we’ll do motor planning exercises with body crayons, musical beats, make body shapes of numbers and letters, and copy our teacher’s movements.
CONTROL OF ERROR
There is a book by Ralph Nadar (social activist from the 1960’s) in which he talks about the impact his parents had on his thinking skills. We work a lot with our children in the school to develop a life-long pattern of being able to evaluate situations and come up with excellent results. It’s inherent in the Montessori classroom where control of error is built into much of our apparatus. If a knobbed cylinder is placed in the wrong hole, something will be left over. The child doesn’t have to ask anyone or confess an error. He’s left with a cylinder sitting by itself on the rug, a cylinder that won’t fit into the hole that’s left. If the spindle box has an error, the child might be short a spindle for the 9 slot. If the pink tower has been stacked incorrectly, the sequence of large to small is glaring with its inconsistent progression. The child can be autonomous in making the decision to correct his error. Issues of humility in observing the error, courage and perseverance to find and correct the error, and the integrity to complete the work to its logical conclusion are all inherent in this design of the material. In the pre-eminent words of our Ms. Yvette, “Constant encounter with the control of error on the material makes a child increase his capacity to distinguish his mistake even when these are not the material he is working with but the whole environment itself, from the furniture to movement to order in the classroom.”
Ralph Nadar’s book talked about his parents’ expectations of their children to think and to articulate. One of our teachers tells a kindergartner that an answer on the work page is incorrect. A short while later, the child has found her error and corrected it. “Now,” she says proudly, “They’re all right.” Another child comes to tell his teacher that his friend is not sharing. Her response is, “What can you do about that?” A discussion follows about several options, and our young friend charges off to try the option he thought was best.
If you have an interest in having children who one day, like Ralph Nadar, can talk about how their parents molded them to uncompromising standards, these are the results you can expect from a cultivated critical thinker:
- voices important questions, verbalizing them clearly and precisely,
- gathers and assesses relevant information and interprets it effectively,
- considers alternatives with an open mind, and
- comes to well-reasoned conclusions that can stand to be tested.
It’s a pure joy to meet people who have this self-directed, self-disciplined, and self-monitored thinking. Hopefully, they come from Montessori. Maybe they grew up in your house.
For Your Information
Security Door Lock – Our security lock is now installed, the next step is to master the software required to program the lock. If all goes well we’ll be able to give you your six digit entrance code by Monday April, 2. Please note; the front door is now self-closing so you’ll want to be attentive when infants and toddlers are nearby.
About Judging Wisely – The children will be discussing whether the person in their story judged wisely or not, so all week we’ll be focusing on how to make wise judgments. You might want to continue this discussion in your family.
Easter Egg Hunt – The heavy overnight rain did not damper our Easter egg hunt, using the front yard colorful eggs were scattered. After filling up their Easter bags the toddler students proudly opened their bags to show what was inside they were all happy with what they achieved. The primary class waited with much anticipation for their turn to hunt the colorful treasures, as they rushed out the door and begin filling up their bags “ I love Easter” a child declares “me to” was the response from her classmates. Some students were not able to fill up their bags and some classmates choose to share.