SHOW AND TELL
Bring a mineral (rock, crystal, or made from a mineral like glass, sheetrock, or cast iron, etc.).
It’s everywhere in our world.
The value is self-reliance, which means we must make our own decisions about what we think and what we do.
For science we’ll do experiments about exploding gas, evaporation, and stalactites and stalagmites.
Outside we’ll make a water brigade, work on cause and effect in rivers, and explore shapes made by sand combs.
The songs we’ll be singing are This Land Is Your Land, Catch a Falling Star, Today, Down by the Bay, and Do Your Ears Hang Low? We’ll also practice patterned clapping and breathing.
Our art activities are crystals, Epsom salt geodes, volcanoes, color migration, and painting rocks.
Creative dramatics will be to imagine being a river or a volcano.
For motor development we’ll build flexibility with yoga poses including breathing practice. For body development, we’ll work on vestibular function with beanbag toss, wind-up top, don’t let the ball drop, and twist and shout.
ON MONTESSORI EDUCATION
One of the basic tenets in the Montessori classroom is that the classroom must always be inviting. Children – indeed people – approach and study most joyously those things that are interesting to them. Things that are out-of-the-ordinary or about which we’ve been curious to learn beckon us to come closer. The teacher in the Montessori classroom observes what piqued a child’s interest or what skill the child seems to practice over and over until she perfects herself. With the knowledge from this observation, the teacher makes available to the child that learning which the child intuitively knows he needs to function and contribute to the world.
For the tiny child, it might be an exercise in categorizing various shells into their individual types. As adults, we know that this sorting skill enables us to categorize everything from our daily tasks to the biologist categorizing life forms. For the little child in our classroom, it’s a joyful visual and kinesthetic exercise. For an older child working with sink-and-float equipment, the dawning understanding of density, surface tension, and displacement becomes a part of her being and she thinks she always knew these principles of physics. Likewise is the understanding of what an island is, where is Sri Lanka, and how scary it was for Christopher Columbus to explore the edge of the world. Between our Montessori classrooms and the enrichment curriculum, our children are exposed to an incredible range of history, anthropology, sociology, chemistry, biology, geology, poetry and music, and many art forms. As their adult guides, both parents and teachers, we can share the excitement and adventure that comes from exploring the boundaries of our minds.
When our children go on into elementary schools, teachers frequently are amazed at their broad knowledge. This is the basic stuff of intelligence – to know a lot about a lot of things so that our creativity has many tools with which to concoct new solutions to the situations before us. It’s called education, and it begins with our school’s tiniest infants. It goes on throughout our entire lives.
For Your Information
Enrichment Curriculum – We’re beginning a science series that the topics might be curious to you for our preschoolers. Geology begins the series, and your show-and-tell gets your family thinking about the importance of rocks and minerals in our world. Prehistoric, Physics, Machines, and Ways We Go themes for the rest of the month give us visibility into things we might have never considered because they’re so much a part of the background of our lives. We’ll do Astronomy in the winter when our children can see the night sky. Never consider that these topics are too complicated for our children. Presented properly, they’re simply fascinating.
Unique to Montessori – Integrated, spiraling curriculum: From infant to toddler through kindergarten, the children are exposed to interrelated topics repeatedly over time. With each repetition, a new piece of information or complexity is added so the children are brought into an expanded awareness and understanding of the concept. In this way each level of mastery builds on each other, leading the child to continuous new insights, discoveries, competence and confidence.
Multi-Age Groupings: Students of multi-ages, usually 3-year groupings, are in a classroom community where they naturally learn with and from each other. The atmosphere in the classroom is one of collaboration and cooperation. The older children freely share their knowledge, which not only benefits the younger children, but also deepens the older child’s knowledge and enhances their leadership and confidence.
Hands-On Learning: Children learn through their senses, they satisfy their natural curiosity by touching and manipulating concrete objects. Because of this, Dr. Montessori created a unique approach to education that is developmentally appropriate, hands-on, interactive and sensory based.