Alligator Pie
Alligator, alligator, alligator pie.
If I don’t get some, I think I’m gonna cry!
You can take away the green grass,
Take away the sky,
But please don’t take away my alligator pie!

Continent Song
Tell me the continents, tell me the continents,
Tell me if you can.
North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa.
Don’t forget Australia,
Don’t forget Antarctica.
Tell me the continents, tell me the continents,
Tell me if you can.
Chicken and a chicken
Chicken and a chicken and a crowd of crows,
I went to the well to wash my clothes,
But when I got there, my chicken was gone,
What time was it, Old witch?
It was 1 o’clock, 1 o’clock,

The month of September has served as a beautiful introduction into the school year.  The children have transitioned seamlessly into their new classroom environment and community.  It has warmed our hearts to see new friendships being made and old ones growing stronger.  Our younger children appear comfortable and confident in their new space, while our older students are happy to step into their roles as classroom role models and helpers.

Much of our focus this month has been on the basic expectations and procedures of our classroom.  In the Montessori curriculum, these lessons are referred to as “Grace and Courtesy.”  We started with our most basic expectations of using and rolling a floor mat for work, pushing chairs in, returning work ready for the next person, and walking in a line.  In having these lessons become routine for the children, they can begin to focus on the tasks of the actual work or activity at hand.  We have also introduced our daily “Helping Hand.” Each child has their name on a card and each day we flip the book of cards to see who that day’s helper will be.  This child will sometimes assist the teacher in giving a lesson, is a line leader, and can also offer assistance to others during work time, if needed.  This year the helping hand is also our class greeter.  Before the greeter gets ready for the morning, they stand at the classroom door and greet each child, offering a handshake and a “good morning.”

Our science area has been buzzing with activity as we have been discussing living and non-living things and also completing our first science experiment.  The children have noticed that most living things: breathe, drink water, grow, and need sun to live.  As a class we sorted and pasted pictures of living and non-living things.  To prepare for our experiment we talked about how we put our leftovers from snack and lunch into our compost bin and what happens to the compost when it goes into the garden.  This fueled our experiment exploring decomposition.  We had six objects: a Lego, rice cracker, orange, plastic piece, paper clip, and leaf.  Each object was placed into a baggie with moist soil and we discussed which ones we thought would decompose and which ones wouldn’t change at all.  Each child chose one object to draw in their science journals and observe over the course of a week.  After a week we came together to discuss what had happened to the objects and possible explanations.  Many children offered insight that metals and plastics won’t decompose and that these items are not good because they create more “bad trash” on the earth.  Next month in science we will be exploring trees, leaves, and roots.

In geography we began discussing the continents with our continent song (see below) and the introduction to our continent puzzle map.  We also discussed that a globe is a round model of the earth while a map is a flat picture of an area, such as the earth.  Our land and water forms have also been introduced as the children have been exploring the island, lake, peninsula, and golf.

Our Explorers began working on their own “All About Me” books during our classroom time on Tuesdays.  On Wednesdays they visited the Old Salem visitor’s center and our large school garden, adjacent to the cemetery.

Click on the photos for a slide show:

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