This month we are studying our home, planet Earth. We picked up where we left off from last month, in space, and introduced the children to the concept of the atmosphere as “our planet’s skin.” We discussed how the atmosphere, like our skin, protects our planet from dangers outside, like asteroids, and keeps important things inside, like oxygen.
Throughout the rest of the month we’ll move closer and closer to the Earth’s surface until we end up right on the very inside! This is a fascinating month because the theme encompasses a wide a breadth of material: clouds, land and water forms (strait, peninsula, bay, mountain, valley, etc), volcanoes, weather, and the layers of the earth!
Like every other unit we do, we’ve got songs and crafts to keep the children engaged and thinking about all of this when they’re on the playground or riding home from school. That is the real purpose of our monthly themes. While it is thrilling to hear the children run with a topic in the classroom, our real aim is to give them a sampling of the wider world. What we are hoping to do is plant a seed of interest for them to make their own. Through creative play on the playground, curiosity that leads to a family trip to the planetarium, or just a spark of re-ignited interest when a 3rd or 4th grade teacher brings up the difference between deciduous and evergreen trees.
While it is eminently satisfying to see a room full of smiling children vying for their turn to name a word that starts with the sound “guh,” I frequently remind myself that content learning is a secondary, maybe even, tertiary aim in Montessori education.
So, what is the point? Good question!
Stay tuned for this month’s second blog post I’m going to talk about my very favorite topic in the whole world: attention!
Your brain’s attention network is responsible for more than multitasking, it’s the seat of your inner executive. The voice that walks you through unfamiliar tasks, keeps you focused in the last two hours of the workday, and chimes in to remind you that two cookies is really plenty. Well, it turns out your child’s attention network is in it’s fastest period of growth between the ages of 2 and 7. In fact, by age 10, attention is likely to be as stable over a person’s lifespan as IQ!
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. If you’d like to get ahead of me too, check out Dr. Stephen Hughes’ lecture: Good At Doing Things: Montessori Education and Higher Order Cognitive Functions. This talk ges into greater depth than the one he gave here in town last month so enjoy and I’ll meet you all back here sometime after Valentines Day!
See you soon,
♫ ♫ ♫ Music Notes ♫ ♫ ♫
February is JAZZ month in music class!! Because there’s such a wide variety of music in this genre, I let the kids choose what we listen to! I bring in a ‘grab bag’ of CDs and each class have a student reach in and grab one! I’ve got a huge variety, starting with recordings from Louie Armstrong in the twenties! It’s a lot of fun, because none of us know what the listening example will be!! We’re also learning some Valentine’s Day songs and will keep singing plenty of our old favorites!
Please email me if you’d like to know what we listened to in each class- I’ll know after the fact!!!
♥ We will be open Monday February 20th as a snow make up day
♥ Please remember to submit Fall and Summer Registration forms
♥ April 13th Spring Party (6-8 pm)
♥ April 16-20th Spring Break (No School)
♥ April 27th Parent Teacher Conferences (No School)