From the Toddler Room
I can't believe that October is over! Thank you for all the books you donated to our toddler community!
Also I hope that you enjoyed coming in to observe this month in the toddler community.
We would like to welcome Colton and his family to our toddler community.
We have been singing songs about fall, the children are chasing leaves on the play ground as they are falling from the tree's. They are collecting leaves on the playground and making piles of leaves. They've been enjoying painting and baking in the class room as well. This month we have made pumpkin bread and baked apples with the children's help and they are enjoying it.
From Primary A
The children of Primary A learned that the season we call 'fall', was once referred to simply as 'harvest'; to reflect the time of the year when farmers gathered their crops for winter storage. The word 'harvest' means "to gather or to pluck". In the early 1600's as more people started to move into cities, the word harvest fell out of use. Instead, city dwellers began to use the phrase, 'fall of the leaf', to refer the season of the year when trees lose their leaves. Surprisingly, we don't really know where the word 'autumn' comes from; but today American English uses the word ,'fall', while British English uses word, 'autumn' almost exclusively.
Along with the fall season comes the start of the holiday season. Some of the holidays that fall during this season are, Thanksgiving and Halloween. While the children know a lot about these festivals and how they are celebrated in the US; we discussed some of the festivals celebrated by other cultures around the same time; such as:
-The Jewish festival of Sukkot-an agricultural festival that originally was considered a thanksgiving for the fruit.
-The Moon festival of China- the mid autumn fest
-Chuseok- a 3-day celebration in South Korea. Normally falling around a full moon between September and October, this harvest festival involves honoring the ancestors and sharing feasts with family and friends.
-And Diwali- a 5-day Hindu Festival of Lights to signify the victory of good over evil.
Special thanks to Uchita (Sia's mom) for taking the time to come to our classroom and share with the children, some cultural aspects of Diwali festival such as Rangoli, Diya, etc and how each of the 5 days are celebrated in India. The children enjoyed the henna on their hands done by Ms. Mona and the workers were very excited to do the rangoli in our garden area!
I would like to conclude the newsletter by welcoming the Barrows Family to our community (Eliza) and thanking the Shawkat family for bringing in their newborn chicks to show the children. I would also like to thank all the parents for taking time out of your busy schedules to come observe our classroom. Hope you enjoyed your time in our class! I am looking forward to seeing you all at the upcoming conferences!
From Primary B
Thanks to all who came to observe the classroom this month. The children enjoyed having you as an observer. They showed such great enthusiasm when they were able to demonstrate what they could do and what they have learned! For those who missed the chance to observe the classroom this time, there will be another observation in February. Thank you for the great feedback and encouragement. This gives us a chance to make some adjustments so that we can make the classroom run even more smoothly and make the children more happy!
We would like to welcome Landon to our classroom. He is new to Montessori school, but his older brother has been in Montessori school when he was young.
Children are more comfortable with the routine of the work cycle, Spanish, lunch, outside recess, nap time and so on. Sometimes, a little help from home makes children more successful in the classroom, especially during transition. Children experience a totally different setting of environment in the classroom than at home. Almost everything that we have in the classroom is adjusted for children. The classroom environment is designed to help children be more successful and independent while building self-esteem. At home, we highly encourage parents to let children be as independent as possible when going to the bathroom. Most bathroom accidents in the classroom occur because they are in a hurry and couldn’t help themselves in time. Children need to wear simple and comfortable clothes and shoes for their activities and for bathroom situations. Elastic waist pants and tops WITHOUT buttons, snaps, or belts are recommended. Wearing simple clothes would help them undress quickly and easily in the bathroom. Giving children time to practice how to dress and undress themselves at home would help them succeed in the classroom. The more times they succeed, the more confidence children will gain. Velcro shoes and no-lace shoes are highly recommended unless they’ve learned how to do a bow tie knot. These are important skills for children to master and will reduce their stress and frustration during transition time. There were still quite a bit of accidents in the classroom in October, so hopefully these recommendations will help reduce the number of accidents in the classroom in the future.
We have enjoyed an unusual extension of warm weather. As leaves continue to fall from the trees, the days will grow shorter, and the air will become colder. It is time to think about warmer clothes. Please switch out the extra sets of clothes in the classroom to long sleeve shirts and long pants and guide the children to dress appropriately according to the weather. Thank you for your support. Parent-teacher conference is coming up. I look forward to seeing all of you again soon.
Ms. Manisha came to the elementary class and shared a few Diwali celebration traditions. She demonstrated how to make a wick from cotton to use to light an oil lamp for the festival of light. The children had a chance to try their hand at making wicks as well as watch Ms. Manisha create beautiful sand art meant to decorate one’s entryway to their home. Ms. Manisha is a talented artist and we all enjoyed watching her demonstrate her skills!
Lastly, with October being observation month, you all were given the opportunity to get a glimpse into your child’s typical day. The children at this plane of development learn by using their feet and are more social. Learning from one another, collaborating on projects, working together and conflict resolution are all part of the daily work of the elementary aged child. Learning to share materials, taking turns, selecting a place to work, who to work with, keeping one's work organized on the rug are all daily acts of growth in kindness, consideration and respect of oneself and others works and feelings. Life skills which are essential and necessary to enjoy good relationships with peers, future colleagues, family members and the community members are practiced, honed and applied in the classroom daily.
In tandem with the daily exercise of the children’s social and emotional skill building so too are their academic advancements, ahh haa moments and the joys of accomplishing a new skill. It’s so wonderful to see the building up of knowledge from introductory lessons. For example, one Forest Friday while gathering leaves the children would place them in the bag saying, “this is an Oak leaf” or “this leaf is palmately reticulate” or “the plural of leaf drops the f and adds ves” or those 2 veins make an acute angle” or this leaf is small, but this one is smaller and this one is the smallest!” Exploration, discovery and curiosity ignite the imagination at this plane of development and the classroom is ablaze with collaborative projects and curiosity driven research and astute observations!