Lead Teacher :: Romana Fareed :: rfareed@mdpsc.org

Assistant :: Tomasa Ramirez

September 2017.

August went by in a flash! Since the first day, the children have been hungry to work and learn and have already started working diligently with the materials. We are very pleased with how quickly your children are engaging in the Montessori classroom environment.

A few words on what Montessori Classroom Environment really means:

The Montessori classroom for ages 2 1/2 through 6 years old is a “living room” for children. Children choose their work from among the self-correcting materials displayed on open shelves, and they work in specific work areas. Over a period of time, the children develop into a “normalized community,” working with high concentration and few interruptions. Normalization is the process whereby a child moves from being undisciplined to self-disciplined, from disordered to ordered, from distracted to focused, through work in the environment. The process occurs through repeated work with materials that captivate the child’s attention. For some children this inner change may take place quite suddenly, leading to deep concentration. In the Montessori preschool, academic competency is a means to an end, and the manipulatives are viewed as “materials for development.”

 In the Montessori classroom environment, five distinct areas constitute the prepared environment:

 Practical Life enhances the development of task organization and cognitive order through care of self, care of the environment, exercises of grace and courtesy, and coordination of physical movement.

 The Sensorial area enables the child to order, classify, and describe sensory impressions in relation to dimension, temperature, mass, color, pitch, etc.

Mathematics makes use of manipulative materials to enable the child to internalize concepts of number, symbol, sequence, operations, and memorization of basic facts.

 Language Arts includes oral language development, written expression, reading, the study of grammar, creative dramatics, and children’s literature. Basic skills in writing and reading are developed through the use of sandpaper letters, alphabet cut-outs, and various presentations allowing children to link sounds and letter symbols effortlessly and to express their thoughts through writing.

 Cultural Activities expose the child to basics in geography, history, and life sciences. Music, art, and movement education are part of the integrated cultural curriculum.

 

Benefits of Montessori:

Montessori education offers our children opportunities to develop their potential as they step out into the world as engaged, competent, responsible, and respectful citizens with an understanding and appreciation that learning is for life.

 

  • Each child is valued as a unique individual. Montessori education recognizes that children learn in different ways, and accommodates all learning styles. Students are also free to learn at their own pace, each advancing through the curriculum as he is ready, guided by the teacher and an individualized learning plan.
  • Beginning at an early age, Montessori students develop order, coordination, concentration, and independence. Classroom design, materials, and daily routines support the individual’s emerging “self-regulation” (ability to educate one’s self, and to think about what one is learning), toddlers through adolescents.
  • Students are part of a close, caring community. The multi-age classroom—typically spanning 3 years—re-creates a family structure. Older students enjoy stature as mentors and role models; younger children feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead. Teachers model respect, loving kindness, and a belief in peaceful conflict resolution.
  • Montessori students enjoy freedom within limits. Working within parameters set by their teachers, students are active participants in deciding what their focus of learning will be. Montessorians understand that internal satisfaction drives the child’s curiosity and interest and results in joyous learning that is sustainable over a lifetime.
  • Students are supported in becoming active seekers of knowledge. Teachers provide environments where students have the freedom and the tools to pursue answers to their own questions.
  • Self-correction and self-assessment are an integral part of the Montessori classroom approach. As they mature, students learn to look critically at their work, and become adept at recognizing, correcting, and learning from their errors.

Given the freedom and support to question, to probe deeply, and to make connections, Montessori students become confident, enthusiastic, self-directed learners. They are able to think critically, work collaboratively, and act boldly—a skill set for the 21st century.

CURRICULUM NOTES:

Language:

  • Students are introduced to Metal Insets which help them develop necessary muscular control for the mechanism of writing, and also for art work.
  •  To make children aware  of the sounds in words, they are introduced to Sound Games,  which are also intellectual preparation for reading and writing.
  • Every day, in the afternoon, children  are given an opportunity to share news. This helps them to learn to express spontaneously and confidently; also, sharing news helps them later on with reading, writing and presentation skills.
  • Children are learning Vowels and Consonants.
  •  Many younger students have been introduced to Sandpaper Letters and Chalk boards to assist in letter formation/writing.
  • Zoophonics is a program being used to help students learn phonics with animal characters, songs and actions.

Maths:

  • The students are introduced to Geometric Solid Shapes.
  • The students are receiving specific lessons on categories of shapes in the Geometric Cabinet, starting with the shapes that have curved lines.

    Every day children are counting numbers forward and backwards with the help of the Hundred Days of School chart.

  • Children are introduced to the time clock.
  • Students are getting individual lessons with a variety of concrete math materials that will help them learn quantities as a whole and also help them understand previous concepts.

Culture:

  • Children have been given a lesson on Land, Water, and Air. They enjoyed completing the project that followed.

  • Students have been given a lesson on Living and Non-Living.

Practical life:

  • We have been implementing grace and courtesy lessons, which help the children refine movement and develop social skills and awareness.
  • Practical life lessons are helping the children to be responsible for themselves, others, and classroom materials.
  • Everything we are doing helps the children in developing coordination, independence, concentration, and order.

Virtues of the Month

During the month we will be discussing a virtue weekly with the children. Your help in reminding them about these virtues and how to practice them would be greatly appreciated.

  • Accountability – Accountability is the willingness to take responsibility for our choices. In class we talked about how when we make a mistake we do not hide it or avoid it, but instead have the courage to face it and the lessons it brings. With accountability people can also rely on us because we are responsible for our actions.
  • Tact – Tact is thinking before you speak. Tact is telling the truth in a way that does not disturb or offend people. It is knowing what to say and what is better left unsaid. Often you know things that you could say, but saying them may hurt someone. Rather than tell a lie, being tactful means that you look for a way to share the truth so that it helps rather than hurts the other person. This is especially important when you feel angry or upset.
  • Tolerance – Tolerance is being able to accept things that you wish were different. If you are practicing tolerance and someone annoys you, you just go on and don’t pay much attention.
  • Excellence – Excellence is doing your best. No matter what you are doing, excellence means you are giving it the best you have. Excellence is effort guided by a noble purpose. It is a desire for perfection. In class we talked about ways we show excellence through our work, and showed examples of works we think show us doing our best. Talk to your child about ways they can show excellence at home.

Composers of the Month

During the month of September, we will be discussing the following composers and compositions with the children.

  • Franz Joseph Hayden – Symphony No. 6 “Le Matin”
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Horn Concerto No. 1 in D Major, K. 412
  • Antonio Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, “Autumn”
  • Bela Bartok – Three Rondos on Slovak Folktunes

Important Dates in September and October

  • Monday, September 4th, 2017 – NO SCHOOL (Labor Day) *NO Extended Care
  • Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 – Early Release @ 11:30 am *Extended Care
  • Wednesday & Thursday, September 27th & 28th – Fall Pictures for entire school. Primary & Kinder can wear regular clothes. 1st-8th must wear their uniform.
  • Friday, September 29th, 2017 – NO SCHOOL (District In-Service) *NO Extended Care
  • Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 – Child as Teacher @ 3:30-6pm (See Bloomz to reserve your time)
  • Monday – Friday, October 9-13, 2017 – Fall Break *Extended Care
  • Friday, October 20th, 2017 – Character Parade @ 9-9:45am
  • Thursday & Friday, October 26th & 27th, 2017 – Early Release (Parent/Teacher Conferences)@ 11:30am *Extended Care ***See Bloomz for Conference Sign Ups****