I have to begin with gratitude for the incredible birthday all of you helped to give me. Your thoughtfulness and generosity was overwhelming and completely above and beyond. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
The very best part was seeing the children’s genuine and deep excitement at the opportunity to give and love. Watching your children march into the building proud of their flowers and cards filled my heart and was a wonderful culmination to our studies. Last month our theme was “Awareness of the Self and Others.” We studied the human body in songs and stories and revisited our Grace and Courtesy lessons.
Different Montessori schools treat Grace and Courtesy lessons differently, we always tie lessons to our Golden Rule which is to “be safe, happy, and comfortable.” In these lessons we give the children opportunities to practice using their words in a fun, neutral setting with the intention that the practiced behavior is easier to access when they find themselves in an emotionally charged situation.
Some of this month’s lessons were:
1. What to do if someone calls you a name that isn’t yours (i.e “silly head”)
“My name is ______ and that’s what you can call me”
2. What to do if someone hurts you or your feelings. Or, “How to Have a Conversation”
Child 1: “I’d like to have a conversation with you”
Child 2: “I’m listening”
Child 1: “You did _____. I didn’t like it. Don’t ____ again.”
Child 2: “I’m sorry, can I give you a hug?”
We present these lessons and others (how to greet a visitor, how to use the bathroom necklaces, how to get a teacher’s attention) as large group role-play opportunities. While we’re teaching valuable behaviors the children are laughing and jockeying for turns to invite their teachers to conversations and show us “how to remind friends to use their inside voice.” There you have it, role play, the secret to Montessori classroom management.
While we were talking about how we take care of our feelings we also discussed our bodies. And the children worked on puzzles, both flat and 3d, as well as making macaroni people and exploring a model heart, stomach, and tried their hand at manipulating a skeleton hand to do transfer work. (Pun very much intended).
Children of the World
June’s theme is one of our favorites, we look at life here and abroad through songs and stories and hopefully a visit or two. If you grew up in another country, or have lived abroad, and want to share a piece of the culture with us we’d absolutely love a visit. Both morning (9:20am ) and afternoon circle (3:10pm) lend themselves to show-and-tell kinds of visits but if you’d like to work with me to plan an activity, like cooking for example, please let me know, we’d be thrilled.
Last year, Sarah Alder (Liam Adler’s mother) came to circle and showed the children beautiful dance headgear from her time studying in Indonesia and taught us a wonderful days of the week song, Nama-nama Hari. I’m also looking forward to teaching one of my favorite songs to the children, an Ethiopian jumping game called Gulberte Berta Berta which means “my knees be strong.”
For moms only:If you haven’t already, please be sure to send in your super-secret contributions to the Father’s Day gifts. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, shoot me an email and I’ll fill you in (and check my database to make sure I have your email address correct!).
Dads may begin reading again here—please follow the link below to schedule your Father’s Day Picnic. We’ll be doing groups of up to 10 dads on the hour at 7:00 am, 8:00 am, 9:00 am, and 10:00 am. And, just like with Mother’s Day, please let me know if none of the times work for you, we can be very flexible about scheduling picnics.
For some of you, this is our last month together. Like with everything else, we use role play to ease the transition. We’ll be practicing Kindergarten all month and talking about how our friendship circle grows and grows. During this time we go back to the welcoming songs we sing at the beginning of the year like “Make New Friends” and “I am Special” to remind the children of their past success with transitions.
Maintaining relationships with the friends at their elementary school and fostering friendships with those classmates your child may not have known so well before is another wonderful way to support their transition. I’ll be posting a sheet by the door for those of you who’d be interested in developing those relationships to write in where you’re headed next year.
Dates on the Horizon
Friday, June 14th Father’s Day Picnic
Thursday, June 20th Graduation & Multicultural Potluck 6-8pm
Friday, June 21st Last day of School
Monday, July 1st Summer Camp begins