Greetings from the Upper Elementary!

It’s hard to believe it’s already October.

We have had a wonderful start to our year. Morning exercises have helped us start our day with fresh air and focus.
Our classical music listening curriculum is amazing. It was developed by David Brummitt and Karen E. Taylor. Every week we listen to a single piece of classical music each day. Before listening each day I read a different  paragraph of information about the composer and the composition. On Friday, we complete a written reflection about the piece.
The guiding principles of this curriculum are:
1. Believe in the power of the music of fine composers.
2. Trust in the value of repeated listening to the same composition.
3. Recognize the composer as a vital being, a creative person possessing skill and imagination.
Pieces for this program were selected based on their ability to speak directly to elementary-aged children. Ask your student about this fantastic music appreciation program!
An important part of our Upper Elementary experience is service learning. We have been fortunate to partner with the Montana Conservation Corps this year. Generally, our service learning outings will occur on Thursday mornings/afternoons. During swimming lessons, our service learning will be limited to the morning. So far this year we have gleaned apples and pears from neighborhoods in the Rattlesnake, pressed cider at the River Road Community Garden, participated in an ongoing City of Missoula revegetation project at Silver Park, and hiked to the “L” and learned about trail maintenance and invasive weed removal. I have been quite impressed with the curiosity, physical stamina, and polite behavior while on our excursions.
Inside the classroom, we have been working on math facts and advanced math operations, grammar, spelling, reading comprehension, mechanics of writing, and the big ideas in science (known as the 5 Great Lessons in Montessori education).
This Thursday, October 6th, we will be heading back to Silver Park to take a look at the native shrubs and tress we planted and make sure the plants are thriving.
Thank you for all your support! A special thanks to Christy Bradley and Betsy Milyard for helping make classroom materials! We are excited to have a computer in our classroom. Upper Elementary Montessori classrooms typically have computers to be used for general research, current events, keyboarding exercises and publishing projects. Our garage sale was not a huge success, however I am confident that if we put our heads together, we can brainstorm ways to raise money in order to purchase this important classroom tool. Please let me know if you have a brilliant fundraising idea!
Manda Davis
Upper Elementary Teacher
Garden City Montessori