Has your child starting using the toilet? If so please let us know and, if you are able, take your child to one of our school restrooms before school starts in the morning.
Cold weather is coming and we plan to go outside as long as the temperature is above freezing. On colder days we still go out, even if for shorter periods of time, because we believe that the children benefit from the gross motor movement and fresh air. Please pack a hat and layer clothing for your child’s comfort. We will be on the playground for pick up for December.
Hope to see you at the SMS Christmas lunch Friday December 7th.
Thank you for coming to the conferences at the beginning of this month. It was wonderful to get to know each of you better and talk about your children. Speaking of talking, have you heard your children recently? We are hearing an increase in language in the classroom; repeating words during circle time, talking with friends, and singing songs. Words we are using in our classroom include bananas, apples (peel, stem, core, seeds), buttons, circles, dogs, cats, turtles, parrots, cylinders, triangle, pumpkin, slimy, hedgehog, fish, spray, wipe, pull, push, gentle, heavy, more, horse, rabbit, mouse, frog, hamster, leaves, red, orange, clouds, wind, and rain. We have been singing Leaves are Falling and One Little Owl from the Music Together program.
The physical environment shapes the children’s experience in the classroom. The works we choose to put on the shelves are age appropriate, geared toward what we have observed toddler children being drawn towards. We observe what this group of children chooses, and we create works that will complement or extend those works. If a work is not being used, we might move it to a different place, or put it away for a few weeks. This class of children loves to climb so we swapped out the bridge for a climbing triangle. This age child is curious about cause and effect and these children love water; we introduced the mirror washing work, spraying vinegar water on the mirror and wiping it off with the towel. The children are starting to pour water with more accuracy at the snack table, so we put a water pouring work with a small sponge on the practical life shelf. What we observed is that the children would prefer a water squeezing work instead of a pouring work so we exchanged the pouring work for a sponge squeezing work. One aspect of the language work is matching an object to its picture. This month the children have been matching typical household pets to their photographs. Sorting different objects with different tools, be it hands or spoons, is still intriguing for the children. The feel and color of the objects, the focus of moving the objects and the sound that it makes engages their senses and keeps them interested. Two new sensorial works we have introduced this month are the red knobless cylinders and part of the pink tower, but in our class it is natural wood. We use four of the ten red knobless cylinders which vary only in diameter and we use five of the ten blocks from the tower which vary in height, weight, and length. These works allow the children to develop coordination and precision of movement and visual discrimination as they discover the size differences of the objects.
One of the gifts of a Montessori classroom is the slow pace at which we move through our day. We invite you to find time each day to slow down and be with your young child. This time together fills your child’s need to connect with you and gives him or her the energy to enjoy time on their own exploring. You may observe this when you are at the park and we observe it in our classroom, a back and forth of the child to caregiver and then to the activity. As teachers we connect with each child throughout the morning, careful not to interrupt their work, to build our relationship as caregiver and guide.
Please let us know what else you want to hear about in the newsletters and feel free to contact us with any questions.
Catherine and Miho