Notes From The Primary

/Notes From The Primary

Winter in the Primary Classroom

Hello friends of the Primary Classroom! We are happy to have made it through a busy holiday season and be back with our students. They are digging in to so much good work in recent weeks. The level of concentration and gusto for the works is shining through each day and it has been such a joy to see all the excitement of our growing students.

As the start of our new year arrived we shifted our focus from the universe to the study of our planet earth and the air,land, and water features of our home planet. More specifically we have created a continent shelf in the room where students can find works to learn all about the seven continents. Students of all ages can be found could be pin poking continent shapes, using the 3-part cards to learn about the continents and land forms, or  doing hands on sink-or-float experiments.

In other areas of the room students can be found beading, cutting and tracing, using the geometric cabinet to create large illustrated story sheets, working through addition booklets, and building words with the moveable alphabet. We are also so pleased to be able to learn different styles of music with Mr Matthew and to have started our afternoon dance lessons with Ms Heidi! We will be incorporating African styles into these experiences as well as we being our African continent study this week.

During our group circle meetings we have been focusing on the topic of responsibility, grace, and courtesy! We are seeing the children become much more independent dressers and caretakers of the space. As the winter continues we hope you focus on fostering their independence at home as well. Thank you for your continued communication and enthusiasm for Montessori.

– Miss Yolie

By | February 5th, 2017|Notes From The Primary|0 Comments

Primary Classroom Happenings- October

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Fall is upon us at Garden City Montessori, and the primary classroom is in full swing enjoying the season. We have spent many afternoons frolicking in the golden foliage at Boyd Park, creating leaf rubbing works in our art section, collecting seeds from the garden, and even baking bread.
This month we began our group swimming lessons at the YMCA. It is such a treat to have a swimming facility nearby, and during the drizzly fall afternoons our trips to the pool are a wonderful release of energy! We are grateful to our families for preparing the children for swimming, and we also extend our thanks to our volunteers who make the transition possible. Seeing the children grow in their comfort and joy in the water has been delightful.
As we move throughout the Montessori year, we have made it a priority to focus on a different virtue each month. Our aspirations are to help the students grow in their care and respect for one another. This month we have concentrated on the virtue of kindness, and we often discuss what it looks like to be a kind friend in word and action. One of the memorable moments this month occurred when students were asked to give a compliment to another child before they were dismissed to lunch. It was heartwarming to hear what our young students appreciate about each other. We spend our days with truly sweet and loving children.
This month we are focusing on the author Eric Carle, the creator and illustrator of such books as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Nonsense Book.  Our library is full of his works, and many of our children are enjoying his recognizable style. Our reading of A House for Hermit Crab inspired a tracing and cutting work that permeated the classroom for a creative afternoon.
In the realm of cultural studies we have started our exploration of space! This is such an amazing unit which fascinates students of all ages in the primary classroom. We will spend a few weeks learning about our universe, our place within the galaxy, and the celestial bodies such as stars and planets. This unit lends itself perfectly to other areas of the classroom such as language and art, and it forms the basis for the continent studies throughout the rest of the year.
Upcoming is the start of our leveled reading program, and we are excited for this weekly event. We know our primary children will love the opportunity to work on their language skills with the older students. In the coming weeks we will continue to deepen our engagement with the works, focus on the norms of the classroom, and foster a sense of independent calm and concentration.
We see so many wonderful things happening daily and are enjoying the productive and peaceful work cycle budding in our classroom community!

By | October 31st, 2016|Notes From The Primary|0 Comments

Start of a New Year

 “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.”
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By | October 3rd, 2016|Notes From The Primary|0 Comments

Greetings From The Primary

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!
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By | March 8th, 2016|Notes From The Primary|0 Comments