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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!