Our focus over the last month has been the United States of America. We have learned about and located various water and landforms, talked about the different biomes, viewed the flags of each state, and discussed U.S. history. The students have each selected a state and are currently gathering information for their state report that will be presented to the class next week.
Time and money are our hot new topics of study in the math area. The students are learning the parts of the clock and reading “half past” and “quarter to.” Older students are discussing elapsed time. Our first years are learning about the value of money, the second years are counting money and making change, and the third years are working with money using the various operations. One example includes viewing several menus and then creating a menu of their own to order from.
Our eBay business is in full swing, and we are excited to announce we have already sold three items and have another one pending. The children are thrilled about all the preparatory work that goes into listing an item: taking pictures, finding measurements, and writing the descriptions. We are even marking on our classroom map where each item is being shipped. Thank you for all of the items that have been donated and we would appreciate and benefit from any additional clothing our household items that are no longer being put to use.
Last week both elementary classes enjoyed a remarkable showing at the planetarium. The students have learned so much information about the planets and other objects in our solar system. They constantly amaze me! We will continue our studies as we shift our focus to the Earth’s moon and numerous constellations in the night sky.
Our first years are beginning to work with fractions; they are learning that wholes–like an apple–cn be divided into smaller, equal parts. The second years are studying circles and their various parts, while our third years have begun their work with angles.
The class’s zoology and botany studies are underway as we get to work exploring living and non-living objects, and we research different vertebrates and invertebrates. As the leaves continue to blanket the ground we are taking advantage of these close-up views of the varying shapes and vein patterns.
Our trips over the hills and through the woods have been both enjoyable and educational. No one made a single complaint as we strolled for four miles in cold temperatures into the North Hills. This impressive feat was as amazing as the students’ knowledge of the solar system!
The Lower Elementary classroom is rockin’ with energy and drive! The children are settling into the daily routines and working hard. Our morning visits to the track give us a wonderful way to start the day as students can begin their work time with a calm focus. Additionally, pushing back our recess break has allowed the children a longer uninterrupted work period. We’re seeing a tremendous amount of fabulous work!
Each year we begin our cultural studies with the “Big Bang,” the first of the five “Great Lessons.” This is an impressionistic lesson filled with a variety of science experiments. (And it happens to be one of my favorites!) The presentation initiates our study of the universe—and we have even “visited” the eight planets in our solar system! We are beginning to discuss creation stories from around the world and will soon shift to when life appeared on Earth. The second years are focusing on the relationship between the sun and the Earth while the third years are studying the composition of the Earth.
There has been terrific excitement from many of the students around reading! When Ms. Lori comes to read with the class, the kids beg her to read with them next. I so appreciate everyone’s diligence about returning the black reading folders on Mondays and Thursdays. It makes it much easier to fill the folders and support the growing hunger to read.
Finally, we would like to introduce and welcome our new bird, Neptune, to the classroom. Skya and Neptune are quickly becoming close friends!
As the fall progresses, we are eager to continue our energetic beginning to our Montessori studies.