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Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 31, 2011

Today we practiced American Sign Language to a Owl City song called "Fireflies". We marched and clapped to songs in 8 count and played "the uh-oh song". A friend served kiwi for grace and courtesy and we made a rain gage for the garden.

This afternoon we spent a day in Japan.  Activities included a Japanese photo story, Japanese ink painting,  making and tasting cream cheese sushi, and making origami.

Round Robin Brainstorm
My favorite part of a day in Japan was:
bird pictures
paper boats

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Little Bird, Little Bird - Elizabeth Mitchell

March 30, 2011

Sabemos Opuestos! (we know opposites) by Dr Jean was a great start to our morning. Children danced as she called out opposites in English and Spanish. Next we had a group lesson on color matching and color words.

In honor of Dr Greg's journey through the mountains of Pakistan we participated in a P4P obstacle course complete with an "airplane flight" and "carrying rocks over the bridge". At the end of the course each child added a penny to the jar.

In the afternoon we counted the pennies in our classroom jar and found a total of $1.43 so far!
Finally we prepared and snacked on "ants on a log" (celery with cream cheese and raisins) and learned the parts of the guitar.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011

This morning we started the day off with celery chopping and serving. Then we welcomed our new pets...sea monkeys! We sang the decimal system song and formed complex numbers.

I Like Decimals How About You?
to the tune of "skip to my lou"

I like units, how about you?
I like units how about you?
I like units how about you?
Lets all go to the bank
(children each bring a unit from the bank game)
continue as above with tens, hundreds, and thousands
This song and activity combines movement, music, and math "base 10".

As a continuation of our study of the water cycle, we focused on condensation and headed outside to observe the clouds. When we returned to the classroom, we read a book about light refraction and raindrops. Children used a glass prism to observe refraction.
Then, some children drew the water cycle on BIG paper, others drew different types of clouds, and still others glued fluffy clouds on cardboard.

Round Robin Brainstorm
Spring makes me think of:
the pool
fresh air
games outside

Overheard during work time:
A child was working with the life cycle of the frog. After setting out the different stages from tadpole to adult, she turned to a friend nearby and commented
"Wow this work has all different ages of frogs. Its like our classroom, the big frog is a role model for the tadpole"

Monday, March 28, 2011

Montessori Sensory Activities : Hand Bell Montessori Activity

March 28, 2011

Today learned about the water cycle. Children sang the "Water Cycle Boogie".

Water Cycle Boogie
water cycle boogie (echo) X 4
evaporation (echo)
condensation (echo)
precipitation (echo)
accumulation (echo)
water cycle boogie (echo)X2

We made finger paint raindrops and talked about different types of precipitation. Then we attended the peace gathering with Peacemaker Puppet.  We learned all about Dr. Greg and 3 cups of tea. We sang a new song called "pennies for peace"

Pennies for Peace
(to the tune of row row row your boat)
Pennies, pennies, pennies for peace
Sipping a cup of tea.
Pennies, pennies, pennies for peace
Building a child's dream.

Upon returning to our classroom we added pennies for peace into a big jar!

In the afternoon we explored hand bells and read sheet music.  We played our new pennies for peace song on the bells!

New Works Included:
the lever
sink and float
parts of the frog
mouse and fish x-ray

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Google Founders Talk Montessori

Today's Photo Story

Rock Collection

Rice Sensory Bowl

Biome Puzzle

Baking Soda Trials

"Soda Shooter"

Nutmeg Grating



Map Tracing

Watercolor Map

Watercolor Map 2

Japanese Nature Art

Japanese Nature Art

March 24, 2011

Children made great use of the shortened school day. After arrival they got right to work (omitting morning circle time). We had a student teacher come and observe from 9am-10am. Her words as she left were "I wish I were a child again!"

We painted Japanese "nature art" using red and black paint and q-tips. We also tuned the guitars and polished the bells.

New works included:
parts of the fish cards
nutmeg grating
flower poem

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Natasha Bedingfield Unwritten (With Lyrics)

March 23, 2011

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." - John Ruskin

What a refreshing rainy day! Children began the morning with lesson extensions on the Zen Garden. Then, a friend served strawberries as a grace and courtesy and we went to work. We opened the windows and listened to the gentle rain fall as we worked right up until lunch.

In the afternoon, we enjoyed a visit from rooms 1 and 2. They joined us for work time, and we had fun playing musical instruments, doing yoga, and visiting! 

New Works Included:
baking soda+water; baking soda+vinegar (with a shocking result)
shaving cream writing
US coin "sort and match"  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lisa Loeb & Elizabeth Mitchell - Catch The Moon

March 22, 2011

Today we explored many aspects of Japanese culture including the symbol of the carp fish. We learned that the carp is a symbol of strength and the human spirit. Families typically have a carp displayed for each male in the family. Children made a carp fish windsock as a reminder of this Japanese custom.

We heard a story called "The Crab and the Monkey" from the book Japanese Children's Favorite Stories. Children took turns acting as different characters in a live drama production.

After the story some children tasted cherry tomatoes as a grace and courtesy lesson, and we wrote a song about Sushi.
I Love Sushi Rolls
(to the tune of "I love Rock and Roll")
I love Sushi rolls,
take another dip in the soy sauce baby.
I love Sushi rolls
wasabi and ginger and chomp on me!

Over heard at the snack table:
Q (child age 4): "why are we having bread and butter?"
A(child age 6): "because no man can live on bread alone"

We would like to do Ikebana Flower arranging. This will work nicely if each child has a shallow dish or tray to use. Please consider donating shallow plastic containers similar to ones that hold greek yogurt, or frozen dinners. We hope to have 20 collected by next week.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Montessori Sensory Activities : The Silence Montessori Activity

March 21, 2011

Today we began with making silence.
Our group project of "Swimmy"  was revealed and hung on the bulliten board. Children were able to see thier work and respect the work of others. (see the bulliten board to admire the final project)

We examined Japanese artwork and children commented on how each piece of art made them feel.
Afterwards, children worked together to make Japanese Fukuwarai Masks. They helped one another through the entire process and many classroom leaders emerged.

New works included:
Circle designs
Botany Pin poking
Asian Animal Matching

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Montessori Mom

Montessori Moms (and Dads)

Hope everyone has enjoyed the weather over the last few days! I have spent time getting garden supplies together, and preparing for indoor planting this week.
If you would like to donate seed packets please send them in with your child. We will cultivate indoors, and transfer the plants outdoors when the time is just right.
I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to an online resource for Moms (and Dads too). 
The website is:

 On this site you will find articles, free downloads and instructions on how to make Montessori Materials for your child at home.

There is a fun little quiz on the site called "what type of mother hen are you" :

and another called "what is your child's talent":

The site is filled with information... have fun :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Jenny Jenkins

March 18, 2011

We started the day by "spring cleaning" our classroom. We opened classroom windows to let the breeze in while we scrubbed tables, chairs, and shelves. Then we headed outside and had snack together at the picnic tables. After snack, some friends played while others stood by the fence and watched the pre-primary children work in the garden.

In the afternoon, we counted from 1-10 in Japanese and explored the "parts of the butterfly".

New works included:

  • saltwater and freshwater fish
  • absorbency
  • Zen garden
  • circles and spheres
Have a great weekend!!

1-10 in Japanese
1- ichi
2- ni
3- san
4- shi
5- go
6- roku
7- shichi
8- hachi
9- kyu
10- ju

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Elizabeth Mitchell: Little Liza Jane

March 17, 2011

Today children learned the art of Irish dancing. We listened to an Irish Reel by the Chieftains, and practiced 3 steps (digs, stars, and jig). Some friends traced shamrocks and others made rainbows.

New works today included mirror crayons and a hand whisk.

We ended the day by drawing pictures of our families and enjoyed ice cream outside on a beautiful day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Elizabeth Mitchell - Three little birds

March 16, 2011

"Swimmy" book by Leo Lionni

We received an email from Hiroko today. She told us about midnight food rations and the snow that had fallen over the region. Some children enjoyed the Japanese dolls on the Museum shelf , while others fashioned slippers and kimonos. Kindergarten students worked on headliners for our class newspaper.

Montessori Dictionary: The Sensitive Period
Sensitive Periods for learning
Birth to 3 years:The absorbent mind-the mind soaks up information like a sponge
Sensory learning and experiences: The child uses all five senses-touch, taste, feel, sight, and hearing-to understand and absorb information about his or her environment
1 ½ to 3 years:Language explosion-a child builds his or her future foundation for language at this period.
1 ½ to 4 years:Development and coordination of fine and large muscle skills, advanced developing grasp and release skill spawns an interest in any small object (usually dangerous ones on the floor).
2 to 4 years:Very mobile with greater coordination and refinement of movement, increased interest in language and communication (they love to tell stories- true or not!), aware of spatial relationships, matching, sequence and order of objects
2 ½ to 6 years:Works well incorporating all five senses for learning and adapting to environment
3 to 6 years:Interest and admiration of the adult world, they want to copy and mimic adults-such as parents and teachers. One of the few times most children are very open to their parents and other adults.
4 to 5 years:Using one’s hands and fingers in cutting, writing and art. Their tactile senses are very developed and acute.
4 ½ to 6 years:Reading and math readiness, and eventually, reading and math skills.