SHOW AND TELL
Bring a green thing.
Let’s explore the European continent.
The value we’ll be studying is collaboration, which emphasizes the interdependence of all creatures, in this case, the elves and the shoemaker in our story.
For safety we’ll learn about calling 911.
Outside, we’ll play musical hugs.
The songs we’ll be singing are Pop Goes the Weasel, Are You Slepping, Brother John?, London Bridge, Green Grass Grows All Around, It’s a Small World.
For creative dramatics, we’ll act out The Elves and the Shoemaker.
Our art activities will be leprechaun ladders, pasta sculpture, Michelangelo creations, and a pot of gold.
For motor development, we’ll be working on strength exercises in European languages. In body movement, we’ll be working on bilaterality with jack in the box and hopscotch.
MONTESSORI OR PUBLIC KINDERGARTEN?
An important decision comes as your child approaches five years old. When your child is 5 on Sept. 1, you have the option of moving your child into a conventional public school kindergarten. Consider these suggestions from Aline Wolf, a long-time Montessorian, as you face this decision:
“It will be helpful to begin by observing your own child in the Montessori classroom during the spring months. Does she choose her own activities? How long can she concentrate? What math exercises can she do? What reading or language activities has she begun?
Next you should visit the kindergarten that your child could attend. How long do the children concentrate? What math and reading exercises are available as the next step to what your child is doing now? What art, music, and nature activities are in the class? Are there opportunities for independent work and for leadership?
The next step in this sequence is to re-visit the Montessori school. This time, rather than watching your own child, look at the classroom as a whole and particularly at what the oldest children are doing. How do they compare with the public school? What are they doing in math and reading? Are they leaders? Are they self confident? Are they choosing their own work?
Imitating an older child is only one aspect of learning in a mixed-age group. The book Children Teach Children gives many statistics that show that when an older child helps a younger child, it is actually the older child who benefits most from the experience. Besides reinforcing their academic knowledge, the experience of helping a younger child enhances self-esteem and develops self-confidence – two qualities which enable them to try new things in later learning.
The Montessori materials are so open-ended that it is almost impossible to imagine any of our children finishing or tiring of the academic materials. The golden beads, which illustrate the decimal system can, for example, be used for such difficult maneuvers as square root and long division. In a Montessori classroom, children gain an early understanding of many difficult concepts. Long before a child is faced with such abstract terms as peninsula, fraction, or planet, he meets them in simple concrete materials that are fun to manipulate.
When selecting a school for your child, the important thing to remember is that you and your spouse, as parents, are the only people who should make this decision. You, his parents, best understand his needs. You have the wisdom to choose the school which offers the best opportunities for your family.” Choose with confidence.
For Your Information
Calling 911 – In our new world of many of kinds of telephones to which children have access, it’s a real challenge to teach children how to call 911. We’ll be talking about calling 911 responsibly, but the actual process has to be taught by the adults in the child’s environment. Our media is full of examples of very young children who have rescued the day by being able to talk with an emergency responder at 911. Please support us in this important learning by teaching your child how to use the telephone in your environment. We’re working on the “responsible” part at the school.
Fire Drills – We have fire drills every month; in the event of a real fire at the school the students are learning what to do you’re encouraged to have fire drills at home even your toddler is not too young to learn what to do in if an emergency occurred at home.
St. Patrick’s Day – Please remember that we’ll all wear a little bit of green on Tuesday, March 17, to recognize the wonderful culture of the green island. If you have clover in your yard, a sample would be nice to share with our friends.