From the Director
A few chess students at the Montessori School of Cumming chose to attend the GA Chess Club-Northside Scholastic Championship on November 26th with their chess instructor, Mohua Maity. Agata and Sid received 2 ½ points out of 4 possible points as well as a trophy to commemorate their experience. Eli, Adam, Agata, and Sid are all members of the United States Chess Federation and all received a progressive rating. This was the first chess tournament experience for these students.
The children are practicing daily with the many activities available in
practical life, language, and sensorial, as well as supporting their budding
social skills. At any moment you might see someone preparing and baking
muffins, another pouring beans, and yet another cleaning the water he
spilled on table and floor while pouring. Meanwhile, a friend across the
room is building a puzzle near another who is arranging flowers and then
rearranging flowers yet again. There might be a couple children working
hard at food preparation. One will be juicing her orange while the other is
washing his dishes after bread dough making. Of course, someone could
be enjoying the comfort of wandering and looking at work and all the
possibilities. Another might be sitting in the reading area to peruse a book,
while someone else is taking care to clean his own nose and then wash his
With all of this activity, there are always opportunities for the spontaneous
grace and courtesy lessons the children love!
Outdoors their growing strength and courage is repeatedly evident.
Climbing the wall, running across the bridge, and swinging on the big swing
for the first time are all evidence of the constant growth and development
that these challenges provide. Here they run, chase, roll, and giggle with
abandon. They clump in friendly groups to dig, pretend, or roam in
Thank you all for great Grandparents’ Tea turnout. The toddlers enjoyed
serving tea and snacks to their loving grandparents.
JUST A FEW REMINDERS:
Your prompt arrival & swift drop off at the door, is most appreciated. Let
your child open the door and walk inside the classroom.
Please label all of your child’s belongings.
As always, thank you all for your continued support.
From Primary A
First of all I would like to thank all the parents for attending the conferences. I hope you enjoyed hearing about your child’s achievements and discussing the future goals as much as I did!
November being the Thanksgiving month and the month in which we celebrate our Grandparent’s day, the children were all in very high spirits. They had fun making the tokens for their respective grandparents, preparing the song for them and trying out a new recipe for them to take away on grandparent’s day.
Apart from cooking for the grandparent’s day the children of Primary A have been baking other things too like muffins, granola, apple crumble....yummm! This lead to a thought that even at home it is easy to send your child off to play while you make a meal, knowing you can get it done in minutes. But with a little preparation and forethought, it is just as easy to incorporate your child in the meal making process. For, sure you may be adding few more minutes and mess into your cooking routine, but what the child gets out of it is pretty amazing experience .
For when you are making food, you are teaching your child the science in action , helping to lay down basic math, reading and time telling skills, encouraging healthy food choices, building confidence and creativity, enhancing communication and deepening connections with your child.
What happens if you forgot to add baking powder to the bread? Why preheat the oven? Cooking is great time to ask questions and test out results. Often recipes include fractions, some ingredients measured in weight, and some in volume. Time is a challenging concept for young ones; but the experience of setting a timer and waiting for it to alert you when your food is done, helps children to form an understanding of something very abstract. Plus seeing math in context of real life helps lay foundation of basic math.
Reading recipes aloud is another opportunity for the child to enrich their vocabulary and get a new format to practice. Further, the most selling reason to include your child in the cooking process is that he or she is more likely to eat food they have prepared, even if it is something they may not taste otherwise. Working side by side , talking through a receipe, measuring, mixing and pouring are all opportunities to connect with children. Busy hands often lead to stories of the day and beware!!! May bring out failure recipes tried at school too!
All in all the mess, extra time spent is good on so many levels. So hoping this newsletter motivates you all to include your precious ones some more in the cooking process for the upcoming holiday season!
From Primary B
I hope everyone had fun catching up and sharing good food with their families during Thanksgiving break. This month provided us with a wonderful opportunity to express gratitude and give thanks, a practice that not only benefits our relationships, but our mental and physical well-being as well. Did you know that the simple act of expressing gratitude activates neurons in our brain that shift our thought patterns from a sense of lack to one of abundance? Try it and see for yourself!
In the primary classroom, we talked about what being thankful means and what we are thankful for. One of our favorite, grace and courtesy lessons is that of teaching the children how to say, “thank you” when they feel appreciation for something or someone. Young children typically begin by showing appreciation for tangible items such as their toys, their blanket, or their favorite snack. As they grow older, they begin to express appreciation for more abstract items such as friendship and kindness.
We had a successful and fun Grandparent Tea Party! I would like to thank all of the grandparents and special friends who came out to participate in this event. Everyone enjoyed drinking tea and received a present that was made for them. This was an exciting event for students and grandparents to spend some time together outside of school. Hopefully, this event turned out to be another happy memorable experience for everyone. After the tea party ended, I gave the grandparents a tour of the classroom and talked about the benefits of Montessori education. Some of the grandparents asked me what the purpose of sensorial materials is. I would like to share that discussion here with the parents, as well.
Aristotle said “The senses are gateways to the intelligence. There is nothing in the intelligence which did not first pass through the senses.” During the years between three and six, as children develop their senses, their attention is directed toward the environment. The purpose of the sensorial activities is to help the child in his/her efforts to sort out the many varied impressions given by the senses. These materials are specifically designed to help the child develop refinement, order, and to broaden and refine the senses. These materials also help prepare him/her to be a logical, aware, and a perceptive person.
When children join the primary classroom, they started working with Practical Life activities, and I also introduced some of the sensorial materials. Sensorial materials are concrete materials that children use their hands to discover length, width, area, volume, color and sound variation, and textures while they are working. We have a color tablet, smelling bottle, tasting bottle, sound cylinder, and sorting tray activities which help children refine visual senses, olfactory, gustatory, auditory, and stereo gnostic sense, respectively. The sensorial materials help the children focus one sense on a particular property of matter through a purposeful activity.
By manipulating sensorial materials, not only do children explore the world with their senses, but they also expose themselves indirectly to the decimal system in math, in contrasting and comparing, and to grading which are necessary for understanding language. The sensorial activities also lay the foundation of math and language. Usually, children start with cylinder blocks and pink tower. They are easily attracted to the beautiful wooden and colorful materials. Pink tower is a set of ten wooden materials that are precisely in increasing increments of 1 cubic cm as the tower goes bigger. Sensorial materials are scientifically designed to help children understand each goal of each material such as length, dimension, or volume. By discriminating the size and shape, color, and patterns, children develop their ability to distinguish subtle differences in letters such as letter “b”, ”d”, ”p”, etc.
The sensorial materials provide purposeful movement and exploration. Children love to pair, grade, and sort materials and do games with peers. For example, children’s all-time favorite activity is the color tablet box number II. After children match the colors, they do a game. They spread tablets in the environment by putting them on the shelves. Students need to go find what they need to bring to match the color on the rug. Sensorial materials help children become aware of their environment and develop intelligence.
During the month of November, children in Primary have been very busy at work. They are moving at a fast and steady pace. As the Primary school year rolls along, the newest in the classroom have now become more comfortable. Their time in the classroom is occupied with lessons and works that are inviting, purposeful, and meet the needs of the Primary aged student.
Please look for the next event coming soon. Please come and join us to see how much your child has learned so far. Children will show their recent works. As always, I appreciate your continued support. Your participation means so much to the children. We look forward to seeing you at the next event!
This month the children’s Great Lesson was the story of human beings. The story describes the special gifts we have, a mind that can think and a heart that can love. Human beings have the ability to imagine all types of things with their minds and to have hands free to make the things they could imagine. Soon after the lesson we were discussing Veterans Day and why and who is the celebration for and from this discussion the children began to show an interest to do something special for the men and women who are presently serving our country (gift of showing love to people you do not even know) and participating in operation shoebox fit the need. To highlight a few details from the flyer sent home: ● Each child is to fill one ziploc gallon bag with provisions that a soldier would find useful and a joy to receive (refer to list sent home). ● Please send in donations on Friday, December 8th. ● Your child is welcome to put a self addressed postcard in their donation bag so the service member can write to them. ● Due to packing and shipping costs please choose to send in lightweight and easily packaged items. ● Thank you in advance for your support and participation! The children continued to show their gift of love to family and special friends by making from scratch Pumpkin Spice mini loaves for the Grandparents/Special friends tea. We hope that everyone enjoyed the tea and mini loaves as much as the elementary community enjoyed preparing and baking for those whom they hold near and dear. I enjoyed seeing familiar faces and getting to meet some Grandparents who traveled across the state, over state lines and internationally to spend the morning with their grandchildren. November concludes with celebrating Thanksgiving. In the story of the first Thanksgiving in the New World the Pilgrims and the Native Americans had a celebratory feast to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. The Native Americans shared with the pilgrims their fall harvest companion crop known as the Three Sisters. Corn, beans and squash were planted together because of their support of one another. In the case of the corn, it literally was the support as a trellis for the beans and as the beans grow through the tangle of squash vines and wind their way up the cornstalks into the sunlight, they hold the sisters close together. The squash leaves are rough and help keep away the rascal raccoons who don’t like how they feel on their feet. The children are learning to do for one another and others what the Three Sisters do for one another in order for all to thrive...supporting, collaborating and protecting.