First Week of School

First Week of School!

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It was a fun first full week of school!

The returning children went back to work right away! It is lovely to see them rediscovering old works such as mopping, cloth washing, washing a baby and doing addition and subtraction with the stamp game and small bead frame.  The new children learned many new things!  They learned some rules in the classroom (Grace and Courtesy) such as how to walk inside, how to ask someone to move, how to carry a tray, how to walk around someone’s work and how to ask for help from a teacher or older student.  The new children also had lessons in self-care such as how to wash hands, how to get a drink and how to cover your mouth (with your elbow) when you sneeze or cough.

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Here is a child washing her hands at a table.  This week she also learned how to wash her hands independently in the bathroom.

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These girls like to clean the tables.  It is such fun to use the squirt bottle!

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Hammering was a fun addition (golf tees and clay).

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This child learned to use the cylinder blocks which teach dimension.

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Watermelon cutting was fun and yummy!  This child used a dull knife to chop up the watermelon pieces.  It is a multi-step activity involving:  Carrying the tray to a table, putting on an apron, washing hands, using the tongs to put the watermelon on the cutting board, cutting, moving the pieces to a plate, eating, throwing away the plate, putting the tray on the shelf, pushing the chair in, taking off apron and washing hands again.  Many steps to remember!

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A returning child enjoyed sewing a straight stitch on burlap.  For the new children we have bead stringing as well as sewing on a piece of vinyl.  They progress to this type of work once their fine motor skills have grown.

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We talked about living things (a hamster) and non-living things (a table.) We sorted picture cards into living and non-living categories. We labeled the room with labels which read “living” and “non-living.”  Three afternoon children were inspired to make their own books that listed living and non-living things they found in the room!

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We went on a “dig!”  Children dig and then dust off dirt to discover a fossil, artifact or rock/mineral.

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The children seem very accepting of our transition to teaching cursive letters.  Some have written words with one of our three beautiful new cursive moveable alphabets and others have enjoyed writing the letters on the large chalkboard which is now lowered to their height.

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Taking the “chalk for a walk” involves holding the chalk sideways and using the whole arm.  This prepares the arm and hand for writing.  Dr. Montessori was known to talk about how the muscle memory digs the deepest groove.  More on cursive in upcoming posts.

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A child has traced the “t” and can now practice on the chalkboard.  The next work for this Kindergartner is to practice on a tabletop blank chalkboard then a lined chalkboard before moving to paper.  Writing this way becomes finer as the child gains more control.  From the whole arm (at the chalkboard) to the elbow down (table top chalkboard) to the wrist and fingers (paper).

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The Kindergartners this year are taking an active role in preparing our room for lunch. We are now using placemats along with our dishes, silverware and drinking glasses.  They are so excited when it is time for them to set the tables.  In one week they have begun to take charge of this and will be independent soon.

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We were able to play outside every day except one due to pouring rain.  We planted pansies!

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We ordered ice cream!

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We dug in the sandbox and so much more!

Also in the afternoon:

In Physical Science we explored three states of matter: solids, liquids and gasses. We read an excellent book entitled “What Is the World Made Of?  All About Solids, Liquids, and Gases”  by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfled.  We turned a liquid into a solid by making lemonade popsicles and observed (from a safe distance) a whistling tea kettle boil a liquid and turn it into a gas. When we teach science we strive to be inquiry based rather than didactic. When we observed that the cooled tea kettle no longer contained any water, instead of telling the children “the water turned from a liquid state to steam”  we asked them where they thought the water went.  It was great to hear their thoughts. “In the stove.” “In the steam.”  We also did an experiment inspired by the book where we opened a bottle of perfume on one side of the room and noticed how long it took for the smell to travel to the other side of the room.

First Week of School

We had an amazing but busy first week of school!  Everyone should sleep well this weekend! We really enjoyed getting to know the new children and seeing our returning students again!  The children all learned so many new things.  We had many grace & courtesy lessons on how the classroom works, painted many pictures, poured, transferred, poured drinks of water, matched colors, learned some phonemic sounds of letters, watered plants, washed tables, learned the Earth is made of land and water and many, many more things!  Here are a few pictures!

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walking through the maze

photo.JPG moveable alphabet

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having a snack

photo.JPG living & non-living

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watermelon slicing

photo.JPG brass polishing photo.JPG addition with short bead stairs