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SHOW AND TELL

Bring a thing that sounds funny, or looks strange, or feels different for our lesson on senses.

Topic: Healthcare Professions

The work adults do

The value is collaboration, which means that we all work together for the common good.

For science we’ll talk about how our body understands sight, sound, touch, taste, and balance.

Outside we’ll do animal walks and work on the balance beam.  

The songs we’ll be singing are Brush Your Teeth, It’s a Small World, Them Bones, Kumbaya, and Do Your Ears Hang Low?

Our art activities are glue overs, people rocks, toothy mouth, splatter bugs, and construction sticks.

Creative dramatics will be to be a health-care professional.

For motor development we’ll build flexibility with yoga postures. For body development, we’ll work on vestibular function with log rolls, spell with your head, spin and pass, walking dizzy, and run in circles.

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO – BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

It’s an exciting time to learn why all the things we do at Montessori Morning Glory School really work. Scientists are finally discovering why stimulation of young children, even infants, is so critical. When a baby comes into the world, her brain is a jumble of neurons, all waiting to be woven into the intricate tapestry of the mind. They are pure and of almost infinite potential, un-programmed circuits that might one day compose rap songs and do calculus. If the neurons are used, they become integrated into the circuitry of the brain by connecting to other neurons; if they are not used, they may die.

It is the experiences of childhood determining which neurons are used that wire the circuits of the brain as surely as a programmer at a keyboard reconfigures the circuits in a computer. Which keys are typed – that is, which experiences a child has – determines whether the child grows up to be intelligent or dull, fearful or self-assured, articulate or tongue-tied. Early experiences are so powerful that they can completely change the way a person turns out. The emerging paradigm is that there are “critical periods” which are windows of opportunity that nature flings open and then slams shut as various brain regions mature. Sensory areas mature in early childhood; the emotional limbic system is wired by puberty; the frontal lobes – seat of understanding – develop at least through the age of 16.

Neurobiologists are at the dawn of understanding exactly which kinds of experiences, or sensory input, wire the brain in which ways. They are, however, confident that cognitive abilities work much like sensory ones. In language, for example, children become functionally deaf to sounds absent from their native tongue by approximately 12 months old. Babies whose primary caregivers speak to them a lot seem to build up neural circuitry that can absorb more words than babies whose caregivers are more reserved. There seems to be a strong connection between music and higher-order thinking. Children who sing and listen to classical music patterns seem to strengthen circuits used for mathematics and spatial reasoning.

Emotions are really interesting. Apparently, the brain uses the same pathways to generate an emotion as to respond to one. If an emotion is reciprocated, the electrical and chemical signals that produced it are reinforced. But if emotions are repeatedly met with indifference or a clashing response – Baby is proud of building a skyscraper out of Mom’s best pots, and Mom is terminally annoyed – those circuits become confused and fail to strengthen. Between 10 and 18 months, a cluster of cells in the rational prefrontal cortex is busy hooking up to the emotion regions. The circuit seems to grow into a control switch, able to calm agitation by infusing reason into emotion. It’s possible that parental soothing trains this circuit, strengthening the neural connections that form it.

Although the brain retains the ability to learn throughout life, children whose neural circuits are not stimulated at the appropriate “critical period” are never going to be what they could have been. At MMGS babies feeding themselves and three-year-olds learning conflict resolution skills may seem over the top, but this is why we do what we do.

 

Coming Up

Water Play Begins – The first Friday in June begins our season of this simple life pleasure. Sun and water and mud are wonderful sensorial experiences in which our students delight immeasurably. Please plan for your child to arrive in swim clothes bring a towel and water friendly shoes all labeled with your child’s name.  We’ll have water play every Friday, beginning June 7.

Father’s Day Affair – On Friday June 14 we’ll recognizing fathers, we’ll begin the event at 3p.m. and it should last about an hour.

Professions Series – This week begins our series on the work adults do. We’ll cycle through science professions, health professions, service, and social professions. Science and health professions are pretty obvious. Service professions are mostly those that are non-profit or tax supported, such as teachers, police and firefighters, judges, and soldiers. Social professions are those that we could do ourselves but we choose to pay someone else to do them, such as carpenter, accountant, farmers, and entertainers.

Memorial Day Holiday – The school will be closed on Monday, May 27, in honor of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice serving in our nation’s armed services.

Reading – Parents have told us how they are encouraging reading while at home.  At school the first priority is not to teach the name of the letters but instead the sounds once a few sounds are internalized students begin connecting the sounds to make two and three letter words. The important thing is knowing the correct sound for every letter. You can find that information on our website. (click curriculum, scroll down to Language under “how to make sounds”)

 

classroom news

     Ellie W. used some of her class time to work with the alphabet puzzle where she matches the shape of each letter. Trinay, one of the newest students in the toddler class used some of his class time to work with the peg insert work; this work will help improve his attention span and his fine motor skills. Tyler used some of his class time to work with the water pouring work. Water Pouring is a material from the Practical Life area of the classroom this work helps with concentration, eye–hand co-ordination, patience, and hand control

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