We enjoyed March’s theme immensely, there always seems to be some natural affinity between children and animals. I mentioned last month that we started March discussing the oldest of animals—the dinosaurs. From there we moved onto classifying animals by where they live. In circle, Martha spent a week each identifying and exploring which animals we’d expect to see on a farm, in the jungle, and in a desert.
We love riding the wave of interest in theme topics from circle into work time. My favorite example of this is using theme related shapes in our pinning work. Pinning is a classic Montessori fine-motor skill activity where children use large, dull push-pins to make (hyperbole warning) hundreds of tiny holes around the outline of a shape or picture. But the best part of the work only comes if they’ve spaced the holes close enough to one another. That painstaking pinning is rewarded when the child runs their pin through the holes and is able to remove their shape from the paper. Each ratty-edged piece of paper is a monument to concentration, evidence of a child’s moving meditation and will to complete. And, what’s more, they’re also practicing proper pencil grip, visual tracking and developing the muscular endurance to write!
This is a fun participative song that John brought to his sing-a-longs with the Bananas, I’ll get you started with the lyrics but if you want the tune you’ll have to check the new Facebook group for a video John said he’d let me take next week.
A camel is a mammal and so is a cat
A dog, lion, rabbit and a bat
A whale might seem like a fish to you
but a whale is really a mammal too
Then of course there is a chimpanzee
He’s a mammal like you and me
A cow is a mammal and so is a horse
A deer an elephant well of course
A sheep a goat and a kangaroo
and many others we see at the zoo
It seems to me I’ve named quite a few
How about you name some too!
[and this is where the naming begins!]
This month we’re studying Plants! We started germinating seeds last month and have begun transferring them to small soil pots and a few are almost ready to go into the garden. Of course, as always, there are also songs and stories, books and activities on the shelf. But I think what makes the Plants unit so special is the close tie in to the real life activities of eating and of gardening. Though, I imagine the children might say it’s special for all the digging they get to do. But, of course, who doesn’t love digging up a big, juicy worm!
Hop A Thon
Every spring Wedgwood Montessori participates in the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Hop-A-Thon, we use this an an opportunity to model compassion, help the children create an awareness and comfort with the idea of ability based differences and practice sharing their endeavors with friends and family.
In preparation we’ll watch a few short videos from the MDA and coach the children on sharing about the Hop-A-Thon and asking for sponsors. This year the MDA has made sponsorship incredibly easy, they’ve created a Wedgwood Montessori website to allow parents, grandparents, and friends to easily donate.
The money raised goes to providing summer camp experiences to children with Muscular Dystrophy, thank you for your support of your children and the children they’ll get to help. In light of our growing obsession with Peter and the Wolf, I’ve decided to push our hopping day back to April 24th, the Wednesday after Spring Break.
Our Spring Play is just a week away, we’ve been pretty much obsessed with all things Peter since the beginning of March. And it’s starting to pay off! We begin dress rehearsals next week and find we’re still short a few items for costumes, if you have any dress up items you’d be willing to share, the characters we still need help with are the Duck and the Cat. So if you’ve a set of duck bills, wings, cat ears, tails or any other such fun in your dress up box, let us know!
Additionally, we’ll be building and decorating backgrounds, props, and costumes from 4-6pm (either in the big room or, if it’s nice out, on the playground) next Monday April 8th, please feel free to join us whether you’re usually at school or not! I mean paint,glue, and children. What could go wrong?
Dates on the Horizon
April 8th, 2013 Peter and the Wolf Craft Party (4-6pm)
April 12th, 2013 Spring Party and Play (6-8pm)
April 15-19, 2013 Spring Break (NS)
April 24th, 2013 MDA Hop-a-Thon, 10-11am
April 26, 2013 Parent Teacher Conferences (NS)
April 30th, 2013 TBA Parent Night 6-7:30pm (You’ll hear more about this soon…..)