“It is hard to believe that nearly a month has passed in our Primary classroom here at Garden City Montessori. Our beautiful community of students surprises us everyday with the strides they are making within the Montessori environment. From pin poking and cutting, to the red number pegs and the beginning sound boxes, we have been hard at work introducing students to the rich and diverse works in the Montessori classroom.These early weeks have been full of excitement, including the beginning of our gardening curriculum and starting music with Mr. Matthew. You will soon to be hearing many of our new songs!Thank you for sharing your children with us. It has been a joy learning about their interests and personalities, and we look forward to continuing the Montessori journey with them throughout the fall.”
It’s official: Garden City is expanding through grade 5 this fall. Manda Davis will lead our Upper Elementary and she is so well prepared for this position! She is a Montessori student herself, and has training and experience at both the Primary and Elementary 1 levels. In addition to her work in Montessori, Manda has a masters in Curriculum and Teaching from the University of Montana, and as begun work on a doctorate from Columbia University. Over the course of next year she will complete requirements for American Montessori Society Elementary 2 Certification.
In the coming months we’ll prepare a beautiful classroom space for 10 students. With 8 spots spoken for already, we are able to enroll just 2 additional students. This is an incredible opportunity for your child to become fully prepared for middle school via an outstanding Montessori education. The Montessori Elementary 2 curriculum is specifically designed to meet the developmental needs of children ages 9-12. While the work in Elementary 1, ages 6-9, is extensively supported by the Montessori manipulative materials, students in the upper elementary transition to more abstract thinking, utilizing books and other resources to conduct independent research projects which naturally incorporate language, math, and scientific reasoning.
Children at this stage of development have enormous potential for intellectual, social, and emotional growth. The Elementary 2 program offers a comprehensive approach to meeting the academic needs of this age group while providing an abundance of opportunities to explore and understand the community through field trips and various outreach activities. Confidence and a strong self-esteem are defining marks of Montessori education this level. We look forward to learning alongside our upper elementary students as we launch this exciting new program.
The Elementary room is buzzing with excitement. The students are very enthusiastic about our continent study of Asia. In addition, they are focused upon their steady progress through the core Montessori materials. Our study of invertebrates has evolved into a research project in which pairs of children are creating posters and presenting them to their classmates. Please keep an eye out for these posters which will soon be on display.
The 3rd and 4th year students are studying the presidents. They are working with timelines, learning about various presidents, and selecting a particular president to research. Money has also been a topic of study these days. The class is learning about the value of money, how to count money, and how to make change with hands on experience during our monthly bake sales.
Getting out into the community has been a priority for us as well. We are making monthly trips to the library for research and enjoyment. Our class just paid a visit to the Missoula Art Museum to see the incredible work of local Montana artist, John Buck. The children have become very comfortable riding the bus and navigating downtown. Our next field trip will be to Pattee Creek Market where the students will put their money skills to work, purchasing items for the upcoming bake sale.
In the coming weeks we’ll continue our continent study of Asia, researching the fundamental needs of people there, exploring the water and landforms of the continent, and studying the plants and animals which live in it’s various biomes.
Greetings from the primary classroom. Ms. Reina, Miss Yoli, Ms. Bev and Ms. Manda would like to thank you for your support and enthusiasm for our wonderful program. Your children come to school excited, curious and ready to learn. We have recently been enjoying and exploring our outdoor spaces and observing signs of spring.
As part of a school wide cultural studies curriculum, we have been learning about the continent of Asia. We began with a focus on the country of India and learned about the physical geography, clothing, food, shelter, musical instruments, literature, and festivals of this fascinating country. A few highlights include learning a song in Tamil called “Anilae, Anilae” (Chipmunk, Chipmunk), tasting a delicious Indian dish called dahl, and having the opportunity to hear a real sitar, tabla and other traditional Indian instruments performed by a local musician named Mohan. We are currently taking a closer look at the country of China. We have learned a song called “Fong Swei” (After School), created many beautiful Chinese inspired art works, studied the geographical features of this enormous and diverse country, and delighted in learning about the lantern festival and the customs of the Chinese New Year celebration. Next we will be learning about Japan. It is very auspicious that we have Ms. Reina, our lovely assistant from Okinawa, and Anne, our lovely office-everything woman who spent years living in Tokyo, to help enrich our understanding of this captivating country.
Here in the primary classroom, we spend a lot of of time concentrating on being peaceful and calm. We talk a lot about what words to use when we are feeling emotional, how to solve problems when they arise using both peer and teacher support, and ways each of us can contribute to creating a peaceful, loving, joyful classroom. There is a great book called “Honoring the Light of the Child” by Sonnie McFarland that we have been using in the classroom to give our students specific, nonviolent ways to express the way they are feeling. This curriculum is designed to encourage dialogue about emotions and help each child develop the coping skills and strategies needed to establish and maintain healthy relationships. We love seeing the positive interactions that occur in the classroom among the students.
P.S. Ask your child(ren) to sing some of the Asian songs they are learning… you won’t regret it!