As we recap the month of November, we think of how the year has flown by. It seems like just last week when all the children were taking their first steps into the classroom. Now they are all touring their parents around the classroom showing them the different work stations. The Student Led Conference days were held over two weeks in early November, and were a wonderful opportunity for parents to visit during class time. As the children guided their parents around the classroom, Mums and Dads got to see and experience the classroom through their child’s eyes, and to meet friends so often talked about at home. Traditional Montessori observations have a parent watch the children with no interaction. We feel that like children, adults also get a much clearer understanding through concrete learning. Thank you parents for coming in and being part of the class. We hope you got a little more understanding of what your child does when they are here by touring the classroom and working with the materials yourself. Hopefully some questions have been answered or clarified. It is a really fun time and should never be missed.
Our continent study of South America has now come to a close with the famous Carnaval of Rio de Janeiro. Our art project for South America was a carnival mask. The children painted wood masks with two primary colours with the objective to make a secondary colour, which they had selected. Then the glue, gems, rhinestones, glitter, and feathers came into play. Every single mask was absolutely fabulous. We talked about the people, the cultures and clothing, but our main focus is always on the very diverse and unique animal life. Exploration of the tropical rainforest occurs with the help of our classroom diorama, which allows interactive investigations of the forest, from the floor to the emergent layer. Thank you Sara for the delicious Alfajores cookies. A special treat from Sara’s grandparents who brought them all the way from Argentina. The children also made brigadeiros, a South American chocolate fudge, which was rolled into balls and trimmed with chocolate bits. Simple to make and not too sweet. No baking required for this yummy treat. As requested, the recipe is being sent as an email attachment to all families. South America has been a fantastic journey. Our travels will take us to Africa in January.
Our Celebrations of Light continue with Diwali, for which each child made a diya with two colours of modeling clay twisted together and wrapped around a tea light. Diya candles are commonly found at the homes of families celebrating Diwali. We have many ‘Celebrations of Light’ in December. Hanukkah, Khushali, Kwanzaa and Christmas. The many events will include art, projects, crafts, new songs and baking. A very, very busy month. The children have already started practicing their concert songs. Winter projects begin in January.
Daily Circle has a focus on the changing seasons with support from our rotating Helping Hands, assisting with the calendar, days of the week and daily weather watch. Thank you Fern and Winter for bringing in fresh branches of sage for the nature tray, adding a new level of sensory experience. The children made applesauce with the winding apple peeler. Carrot peeling and nutmeg grating are available daily as shelf materials. Phonetic sound games and materials continue building to more challenging levels. Pre-K children are printing and some have started .sounding out three letter words. First year math continues with concrete and abstract number matching. Pre-Ks have been introduced to teen numbers, sequencing and patterning.
Our final Scholastic Books order was due on November 19th. Normally orders are back the following week, but may take a bit longer this year. We are expecting them any day.
Every year we introduce the Remembrance Day poppy by explaining that we wear a poppy to remember people we love that can’t be with us. A concept that can be frightening to young children is introduced in a gentle and age appropriate manner. Children do understand the concept of having a reminder of someone you love can be comforting.
An information sheet for the Winter Concert and Christmas Party went home last week in home folders. The pizza form is at the bottom of the sheet and must be returned by Friday, December 14th. The last day of classes will be on Wednesday, December 19th. We will be having our Christmas Concert on Thursday, December 20th. This will be our last day together for 2018. The potluck sign-up sheet is available at the front door starting Monday, December 3rd. Students are welcome to invite siblings, family members and friends. The more the merrier. The hall is big enough for everyone to join in. Just be sure to include the numbers of people coming as we have to set up chairs before everyone arrives. This is a very hectic time of year and planning, simplicity and timeliness are essential (for everyone).