Sarah Klahs, recent UMA graduate and lead teacher at Willowwind Montessori School in Iowa City, IA, sends out a weekly newsletter to parents to keep them informed of what's happening in their child's classroom. There is always something to be learned from fellow Montessori teachers. Thanks to Sarah, and her associate Drew Fischels, for sharing this.
Marblewing Weekly Newsletter - Montessori A Montessori Education is one that is wholly reality based. Dr. Montessori firmly believed that preschool-aged children were not ready to easily differentiate between fantasy and reality concepts. Our curriculum and works are firmly based in scientific study of both development and the natural world and hope to offer insight into how the world works and how individuals relate to it.
Toy-Free Zone Though I have been more lax in the past, I have certainly learned my lesson. Hard plastic toys at school are a distraction to the child to whom it belongs, as well as the rest of the interested class. At nap they decrease the chance of rest, counter to many preschooler's hypotheses, and throughout the day encourage many distracting cubby trips or attempts at stow away in pockets or underarms. Drew and I are officially declaring our room a "toy free zone."
At Line At line we have been focusing on some large motor, full body movement with song. We started talking about the right and left side of our bodies and played hokey pokey with that concept in mind. We have been talking a lot about how to use different features of our room and how to ask to work with someone at school.
Outside Outside we have been rolling down the grass hill, taking out our compost and practicing kicking a ball. We have done some soccer like drills and attempted a game. We have also been drawing with chalk and collecting leaves.
New Works/Curriculum I have added some seasonal books about Fall and some related to our Earth history curriculum that talk about early sea life. We have also been doing leaf rubbings with melted crayon disks. Some works that were added due to interest or need were: small colored wooden blocks, bubblemaking, smelling bottles, trinomial cube, and the large bead stair. I have also added more complex parts to some of the pre-existing works in the classroom like the red and red and blue rods.
Talking to your preschooler about school Some great opener questions to start a conversation about school with your child might be:
- What work did you like the best today?
- Did you work with anyone?
- Do you remember any songs you sang today?
- Did you sing an animal song today?
- Did you do a sorting work?
- Did you do a pouring work?
- Did you do a number work?
- Did you do some art work?
- Did you do a letter work?
- Did you do a matching work?
- Did you do an animal work?
- Did you do a map work?
- Did you do a plant work?
Spanish Colores y números! This week we clapped our hands for the syllables of the color words. This helps students feel the rhythm of the words and divide long words in smaller chunks. For example, (clap, clap), "A - NAR - AN - JA - DO", (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap.) We also practiced our 1-10 hand jive which is fun for everyone.
Music The Monarch, Marblewing, and Otto Skipper classes are continuing to work on beanbag passing and have now been introduced to the first two rhythms in the Montessori curriculum. We have worked on the quarter note and eighth note pair this week and learned about a percussion instrument called a Guiro.