Our theme for the month of March is animals. Thursday morning they were delighted by the new artwork on the walls and the new work on the shelf. We’ve introduced a number of classified picture cards that the children play memory and language games with. The purpose of classified cards is to give the giant pattern-recognition machine that is the preschool brain a clear relationship to explore. We have domestic/wild animal cards, mature/immature animal cards, we have cards that are all mammals or reptiles or birds and as the children explore these relationships sensorially on the shelves we’ll go through them explicitly in morning circle conversations. I’m looking forward to a number of fun ‘aha” moments.
We played a really fun game last week where we explored the language for mature vs. immature animals. We took turns choosing an animal to impersonate and identified the “baby animal name” as a group–which meant I got to help them with the more esoteric names like Fish/fry. The children were excited to be able to name a baby cat without my assistance but they were most interested in the new words. The contrast between their reactions to the names they were incredibly familiar with like puppy, kitten and the more exotic ones like foal, tadpole, and fry, reminded me how hungry children this age are for language.
I’ve been struck, in the last week, by what an unexpectedly strong affinity the children–even those without much direct exposure–have for animals. More than in months past I’ve noticed children stopping to look at a picture, observing over a friend’s shoulder, or cooing at a “cute” animal.
Speaking of cute little animals, we’ve just met our newest neighbor! Many of you have no doubt heard about the tiny, adorable hummingbird who has taken up residence in the small court yard on the east side of the building.
The children brainstormed a ton of names and we drew one at random, our feathered friend is named Ruby, after a Wedgwood Montessori big sister! Hopefully you all get a chance to see her on your next trip to hang coats and change shoes. She’s often sitting in her nest towards the top of the tree near the hallway windows.
Reverend John Luopa of the Unitarian Church is planning on bringing us hummingbird feeders to place around the classroom windows so we can better take care of Ruby and, lucky us, it’s all just in time for this month’s theme!
This month’s theme will share the spotlight with our spring play. This will be our major project for the next 6 weeks. We’ve been reading the story, telling the story, talking about the characters and discussing the concept of an “audition.” But the children will also get to work on the set, rehearse, and eventually preform for all of you!
Our Spring Play will be held on April 13th from 6-8 pm.
Special Thank You!
Our Valentine Party was a great success. As always, we were in it for the preparations: the cleaning, baking, decorating and learning Valentine songs to sing for one another. I have to admit, as someone who hasn’t spent Valentines day in classroom since I was a child myself, seeing the incredible joy all the children had at the opportunity to celebrate one another and the adults in their life was incredibly moving. Montessori wrote “follow the child” and while she meant the child will lead us to their greatest gifts I keep finding, through the relationships I get to have with your children, that they lead us to so much more!
I would also like to thank all of you, on behalf of the staff, for thinking of us. We enjoyed and deeply appreciate the chocolates, cookies and the kind words.
This month in Music class we’re listening to Prokofiev’s masterpiece, ‘Peter & the Wolf’. It’s a fabulous musical story that really shows off some of the instruments of the orchestra. We will spend a ton of time this month on instruments and I’ll try and bring a different one in every week!
We are also learning some fun animal songs and are working on playing our percussion instruments and singing at the same time! We will be dancing and singing rhythm songs this month as well!
On the Horizon
April 13— School Play, 6-8 pm
April 16-20— Spring Break (no school)
April 27- Parent Teacher Conferences (snow make up day)
May 11 – Mother’s Day Tea Party