Community

Helping in the Classroom

The children enjoy helping others and taking care of their environment.  In a Montessori classroom, we teach the children how to take care of themselves and others.  They learn how to clean up a spill and where things are stored.  They take such pride when they can help a younger child tie their apron.  All of these tasks give them confidence!  Here are some children being helpful in our classroom:

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Folding cloths

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A stack of cloths that have just been folded.

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The cupboard where the cloths and other supplies are kept.  The children have learned that once they have cut paper, they can get a new piece out for the next person.  They also have polishing cloths and other supplies in this cabinet.

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One Kindergarten child has had some experience baking bread in the bread machine.  Here she guides two other Kindergartners along this process.

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A vase with a flower and water was knocked over.  Several children get a blue cloth and help to wipe up the spill.  When it is dry, they place the wet cloth in the dirty clothes hamper.

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Here a child is taking care of the rug he used.  He is being very careful when he rolls it up, making sure the sides are just so.

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Here a second year child helps tie the apron of a first year child who wants to do a food prep work.

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This first year (3 year old) child wanted to wash cloths.  He really enjoyed washing and hanging them up to dry!

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This second year child enjoyed washing a chair.

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More cloth folding with a friend.

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This second year child enjoys wood polishing.

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Even if you are the youngest child in a classroom you can help clean too!  This child notices very tiny paint spots on the art table and doesn’t want to stop washing until they are all gone!  She is in a sensitive period to notice small tiny things and order.

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This child saw someone drop a moveable alphabet on the floor.  He stopped what he was doing so he could help her pick it up.  He made piles and then later helped place the letters in the correct spot.

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Here a third year (Kindergartner) helps a first year child get a snack.  She is explaining what the choice are and is showing her how to use the tongs.

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This first year child enjoys feeding the animals each morning.  Once he changes into his indoor shoes, he heads to the classroom to see if the food is out for the animals.

We see these spontaneous acts happen all day long.  The children are not usually asked to help another child out, they just do.

 

 

 

A community Halloween party

A Halloween party in a Montessori classroom may look different from parties at other schools.  We believe that the classroom belongs to the children and it is their community.  We allow and encourage the children to be a part of the planning and preparation.

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This child’s mother brought in cider to share with the group.  Here she is using her pouring skills to pour cider for her classmates.

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We decided to have a little sweet treat and candy corn has been a big lunch hit lately.  Here two Kindergartners use their math skills to divide up the candy corns between the cups.

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This Kindergartner wanted to do more to help so he made sure to count out the correct number of napkins for everyone.

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The afternoon children baked pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins the day before.

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The teachers did help by carving out two jack o’lanterns.

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We also provided small pumpkins for the children to take home as a treat.

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He chooses one from the bowl to put in his backpack.

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During the celebration, we had our snacks and cider.

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We also played games.  Some children took turns drumming to a Halloween song.

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A teacher plays the ukulele while the children sing.

Overall it was a lovely Halloween celebration that was enjoyed by all!

The Great State of Michigan!

We like to end the year with a study of where we live.  For us, that is Michigan!

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We provide a sensorial activity of Michigan.  The children place paper over the sandpaper upper and lower peninsula and rub the crayon.

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You can see and feel our state come through the paper.

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We also learn about the Mackinac Bridge!  If you are a parent, you may have heard the song we sing by now.  The children learn that the upper and lower peninsulas are connected by this bridge that is 5 miles long!

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We provided another art work of Michigan.  Here the children color the land and use watercolor paint for the Great Lakes.

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This year we also baked Michigan cookies!  Here an older child helps a younger child with the baking process.

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We hope you all enjoy your summer and are able to travel around Michigan a bit!
See you in the fall!!

Japan and Setsubun

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Two of our wonderful parents came in today to talk about a Japanese holiday called Setsubun.  In our Montessori classroom, we try to expose our children to different cultures and give them an idea or create an impression of people from other parts of the world.  This helps them to become a citizen of the world!

Setsubun is celebrated on February third and Japanese people celebrate it to help bring in the spring.  Several hundred years ago the Japanese believed that around Setsubun monsters or Ogres in the mountains came down to town.  These monsters were called Oni.

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People threw “Mame” or soybeans to drive the Oni away.

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At school children wear Oni masks that they make and chase away pretend Oni who come to visit by throwing soybeans at them.

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At the shrine, some people dress up like Oni and come out so all the people can throw soybeans at them.  People also throw beans at shrines and temples after a special ceremony.

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They brought Oni masks for all of the children to wear.

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After the children throw the beans, they are supposed to eat the number of beans equal to their ages plus one.  In Japan, they believe they can be happy and healthy if they eat the beans.

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When throwing the beans, there is a chant they must do:

Oni wa soto!  (Get out, Monsters!)  Fuku wa uchi!  (Come in, happiness!)

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It was a very fun presentation and day!  Thank you to Kana and Yoshiko for exposing us to this Japanese holiday!

We have been learning a bit about Japan this week at school as part of our Asia study.

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Here is an art project involving making our own cherry tree blossoms.

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We also had nori cutting as a food prep activity.

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The afternoon children made furikake which is a Japanese seasoning to go on rice balls or Onigiri.

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The children enjoyed eating the rice balls!

Winter Weaving

Weaving is always popular! It engrosses many children and they enjoy all of the work we have to offer.  The children learn about the weft (yarn or paper that goes right and left) and the warp (top to bottom).  This work allows a child to have time to sit and build concentration and fine motor skills.  Some sit with a friend and chat together and some prefer to do it alone.  Either way, weaving is enjoyed by many children!

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Paper weaving, individual weaving and a large community project.

 

Helping a Friend

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Socialization happens very naturally in our classroom. We teach grace and courtesy such as how to ask for help, how to walk around someone’s work, how to give a compliment… As these children have learned to tie, they are now able to ask each other for help tying bows or knots!

We are thankful!

We are thankful for all of these wonderful children and their families! To celebrate Thanksgiving, we decided to make vegetable soup and bread to share together. The children participated in the chopping of the vegetables and helped to make the bread. When it was time, they helped to bring the tables and chairs together. Our previous napkin folding activity worked out well as we used them while having our soup.

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YUM! Some children really enjoyed the soup, some didn’t and that is okay. We encouraged them to have a taste before deciding if they did not like it. We also showed them how to dunk the bread in the soup for a yummy bite.

Again, THANK YOU and have a great Thanksgiving!