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SHOW AND TELL

Bring a tool Mom uses.

Topic: Female Role Models

The specialness of women

The value is justice, which is the quality of being fair and of being right.

For manners, we’ll practice rules of polite behavior like walk quietly and speak softly, be kind, listen, and be loyal.

Outside we’ll learn slide physics.

The songs we’ll be singing are Happy Talk, Consider Yourself, Getting to Know You, High Hopes, and Today.

For creative dramatics we’ll learn the story of Mothers Day.

Our art activities are macaroni necklace, baby in a cradle, salt dough handprint, abstract mask, and egg carton sculpture.

For motor development, we’ll work on strength with superman, plank, bridge, and sit ups. For proprioception we’ll do world on my shoulder, ball-of-war, bag of animals, and marching.

Computational Thinking Skills

Computational thinking skills is a new term coming to the forefront in the educational world. In our age of increasing complexity, it seems it’s going to be an essential skill up there with other thinking skills like the ability to compare and contrast, imagining “what if”, consider cause and effect, notice details, and verbalize thoughts. Computational thinking has to do with recognizing patterns and sequences, creating algorithms, devising tests for finding and fixing errors, reducing the general to the precise, and expanding the precise to the general.

Interestingly, Montessori has many of these specific skills inherent in its method. For example, early on children explore patterns and sequencing in using the pink tower and the broad stair. Later in the curriculum after learning the sounds of letters, blending those sounds into recognizable words and games of rhyming fit easily into the mode of computational thinking. The children develop algorithms as they learn to assemble the binomial and trinomial cubes, learn to count by two’s using cards and counters, and finally discover mathematical progression in decimal system work.

From the beginning, Montessori children learn to find errors in the “control of error” built into the knobbed cylinders, the spindle box, and the red rods. They quickly learn that if the equipment won’t fit back the way it was, there’s an error. If they spill there’s plenty of equipment with which to clean up so they can “fix the problem”. Because the Montessori method is so emphatic about real instead of cartoonish, children can trust that they can use pictures and equipment to go from general to precise. To move from precise to general concepts, in more advanced lessons children learn that all plants and insects have certain parts. Using sounds to create words makes the “precise to general” concept almost intuitive.

Laura Pappano in Inside School Turnarounds says, “Computing practices like reformulating tough problems into ones we know how to solve, seeing trade-offs between time and space, and pipelining (allowing the next action in line to begin before the first completes the sequence) have many applications. Consider the buffet line. When you go to a lunch buffet, you see the forks and knives are the first station. Some may find that very annoying. They should be last. You shouldn’t have to balance your plate while you have your fork and knife.” Dr. Jeannette Wing of Microsoft, who equates a child filling her backpack to caching (how computers retrieve and store information needed later), sees the buffet’s inefficiency as a failure to apply logical thinking and sequencing. Like computational thinking, the Montessori method is very precise in sequencing every lesson, making certain that no step is left out, making certain that the child arrives at the correct answer.

When we study the science professions, our children learn to apply the scientific method of turn observations into a hypothesis, design a control group, and do an experiment to test the theory. Practicing asking questions that have quantifiable answers is a part of the new computational thinking. So just like we study biology, chemistry, and physics, our preschoolers are effortlessly absorbing computational thinking skills, and in the process refining what we mean by digital native.

On the Calendar

Teacher Appreciation – Our teachers have been preparing the children for Mother’s Day tea, and they’re working with you on status reports for your child’s progress through the Montessori curriculum. Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week. A note from you would be a wonderful gesture to show how you noticed their hard work.

Mothers Day Tea – Our children get so excited to entertain the most beautiful woman in the world at our Mothers Day Tea. Please put Friday, May 12, on your calendar beginning at 3:00. Your child will have the opportunity to give you a lesson and then to entertain you with a lovely tea. It’s a time for just the two of you to focus on each other.

Got an Egg Carton? – We have a really cool art project this week that needs a lot of egg cartons. If you have any extras, please bring them in for us to use.

Memorial Day Holiday – Please note that the school will be closed on Monday, May 29, in honor of those who have sacrificed their all for the sake of our American principals

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