SHOW AND TELL
Bring a picture of a curious thing about Africa.
We’ll explore this continent.
The value is wisdom, which is the ability to judge rightly and decide what is best for the common good.
For cooking, we’ll learn about peanuts and make elephant ears and elephant heads.
Outside we’ll use drums to learn about how drums are similar to our speech patterns. We’ll also practice singing, clapping, and puffing to different beats.
The songs we’ll be singing are Circle of Life, Kumbaya, Zippity-do-dah, Green Grass Grows All Around, and It’s a Small World.
Our art activities are fruit bats, tarboosh hats, beads, and masks.
Creative dramatics will be the folktale How Spider Got His Thin Middle.
For body development, we’ll work on stamina with running. For motor development we’ll do postural response exercises with keeping balloons aloft, cloudburst, ball partners, and balance a balloon on your head
THE AFTERNOON CLASS
We’re scheduling our first day of kindergarten, but some of you may be aware that there have been children in the afternoon that are not “real” kindergartners. Our distinction between the “afternoon class” and “kindergartners” is not necessarily clear. So here’s a little primer on the final year of the 3-6 cycle in Montessori.
The mixed-age classroom is a beautiful thing. Younger children are inspired by older children who are so capable and competent in deciphering the secrets of how to tie a shoe, pour carefully, read books, and perform scientific experiments. No matter what the child’s age, he is free to progress as fast as his interests allow. So what’s in it for the older child? They have the empowerment of teaching the little ones, and there’s no faster way of solidifying skills than by making sure someone else is learning those same skills. Older children in the Montessori class are expected to be leaders and to take responsibility. They are given lessons in teaching and lots of opportunities to do so.
All of this can happen when a child begins to demonstrate that she has the social, emotional, and academic development to focus on more advanced lessons in the class. Ordinarily we teach the longer, more complex lessons in the early afternoon. The little ones are asleep and the directress can devote a lot of time to the older ones. Physically, a child should be beginning to demonstrate that he no longer needs a mid-day nap. As an astute observer of her children, the directress is well aware of the child’s abilities, regardless of the child’s chronological age. We’ll discuss with you if you think placement in the “afternoon class” is a good idea both for your child and for your family. You may prefer that your child continue to take an afternoon nap for a while so you have more family time in the evenings. Because your child is in Montessori, it’s not a big concern since your child still will be scholastically ahead of conventional kindergartners.
In that same afternoon class are real “kindergartners”, those children who are five by Sept. 1. This is the criteria most school districts use for placing kindergarten children. Our kindergartners have special work folders and perhaps special leadership responsibilities. We make sure they can answer the question “Where do you go to kindergarten?” Toward the end of the year, we’ll begin preparing them for transition into a conventional school system. This includes how to take tests and how to finish an assignment in one sitting. It’s a real honor to have achieved this leadership position, and the children gladly step up to begin developing the mindset that they are, in fact, leaders among their peers.
First Day of Kindergarten – Our children who will be 5 on Sept. 1 are officially kindergartners this year, even though they may have been in the afternoon class for some time. We’ll have an official recognition for them on Thursday September 6. It’s a quiet little ceremony to let everyone know about their new responsibilities as leaders in their class. You might want to have another little ceremony at home that night.
Labor Day Holiday – The school will be closed Monday, Sept. 3, in honor of all those who work.
Text Messages – In the event of an emergency at the school, like a power failure, we will notify you on our website our Facebook page and by text message. If you would like to receive an emergency text message please look for the form in the foyer for you to list as many numbers as needed along with the name of your cell phone provider. If you already submitted your phone numbers and you have not gotten a “test” text message from the school check the form to make sure we have correct information.
Parents Meeting – This month we talked about getting a whiteboard to list the toddler’s daily activities. The toddler progress sheets were shared to show the various many of the areas teachers focus on. We will meet again September 20, from 5-6 P.M.
Croc Exhibit – Lydia and Evelyn are bringing a crocodile exhibit to the school on Tuesday August 21. Ask your child about the experience.