tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-75735107836611890732015-09-05T14:07:05.138-07:00A Montessori Musing Place “Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world” Dr. Maria MontessoriCynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.comBlogger82125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-21802440491905938162015-09-05T12:43:00.004-07:002015-09-05T12:43:53.469-07:00It's almost that time again!Another summer has flown by and it is almost time for school to start a new school year.<br /><br />The teachers have been very busy making sure the materials and classrooms are all neat and tidy for the students.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zN1wt-gNwX8/Ves_7_476pI/AAAAAAAADYg/3gU_546ngyI/s1600/2015-09-02%2B14.34.37.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zN1wt-gNwX8/Ves_7_476pI/AAAAAAAADYg/3gU_546ngyI/s400/2015-09-02%2B14.34.37.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DVYDxbCJlqk/VetE1SD22II/AAAAAAAADZY/jfzK8Bp5cWQ/s1600/2015-09-04%2B09.53.42.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DVYDxbCJlqk/VetE1SD22II/AAAAAAAADZY/jfzK8Bp5cWQ/s400/2015-09-04%2B09.53.42.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">(I must point out that just after I took this picture, the teacher giggled and said "Are you taking a picture of my bells all out of order?" &nbsp;I made a note to myself to point out that this picture was taken <u>after</u> the second day of orientation.)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ziQSHJ7h1cY/VetA5Ghmr1I/AAAAAAAADYw/bq6G6ifCetg/s1600/2015-09-04%2B09.52.52.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ziQSHJ7h1cY/VetA5Ghmr1I/AAAAAAAADYw/bq6G6ifCetg/s400/2015-09-04%2B09.52.52.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Our new middle school teacher returned from her amazing adventure at Hershey Montessori School to spend many, many hours getting the new classroom ready for our first 'batch' of middle school students.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-y1tyOHZvCgw/VetBFrj-wcI/AAAAAAAADY0/mQhpEGeiaLg/s1600/2015-08-28%2B15.53.09.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-y1tyOHZvCgw/VetBFrj-wcI/AAAAAAAADY0/mQhpEGeiaLg/s400/2015-08-28%2B15.53.09.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-p9Gszg1dIfY/VetBHVUHzNI/AAAAAAAADY8/c1NgFfYv-10/s1600/2015-08-28%2B15.53.28.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-p9Gszg1dIfY/VetBHVUHzNI/AAAAAAAADY8/c1NgFfYv-10/s400/2015-08-28%2B15.53.28.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And we've already had the first two days of orientation for the new Casa students. &nbsp;A few years ago, we changed the way we introduce new children into the Casa program. &nbsp;Instead of bringing them in two by two a few days after the beginning of school, we now invite only the new children to spend two days with their teachers before school starts. &nbsp;This allows the teacher to show them the basics such as where the washrooms are, how we handle snack, how to roll a mat, how to take and return work from the shelves, etc. &nbsp;It also gives the new children space to get to know the classroom, the teachers and make a new friend or two.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-77fy4d9AVWk/VetCZuoF8lI/AAAAAAAADZQ/Zyy5_RMCx24/s1600/2015-09-04%2B09.03.03.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-77fy4d9AVWk/VetCZuoF8lI/AAAAAAAADZQ/Zyy5_RMCx24/s400/2015-09-04%2B09.03.03.png" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I am very much looking forward to the coming year and wish everyone the very best year yet!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-59197002712047123122015-05-31T12:08:00.001-07:002015-06-14T16:50:11.870-07:00Baking Bisquits<span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Last week, I had the pleasant task of stepping into one of our primary classrooms to sub for one of our teachers. &nbsp;It is especially pleasant at this time of year because the classrooms virtually run themselves. &nbsp;Rather, I should say, the children are working as though we aren't there. &nbsp;;)</span><br /><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">For the most part, I sat on a chair and observed which gave me the opportunity to watch one of the Master year children make baking powder biscuits. &nbsp;The teacher has cleverly set up a tray with all the ingredient needed and equipped the classroom with a small toaster oven so an older child may make biscuits with very little assistance. &nbsp;The activity is for an older child who has had lots of practise transferring, spooning, measuring, pouring, carrying, and washing dishes.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The activity starts by putting on an apron and lifting the tray down from the shelf. &nbsp;The child then finds the teacher or assistant and asks the to turn on the toaster oven so that it is warm by the time the biscuits need to be baked.</span><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FlvystZj4Xo/VWtIb0UgvRI/AAAAAAAADWY/B5DRYcXLsE8/s1600/tray.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FlvystZj4Xo/VWtIb0UgvRI/AAAAAAAADWY/B5DRYcXLsE8/s400/tray.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Everything needed has been assembled onto one tray. &nbsp; The child measures out the right amounts by reading the recipe and using the correct measuring spoons to mix everything in a bowl. &nbsp;The photo below shows that the recipe is written out in cursive. &nbsp;This is another great way for the children to practise reading cursive.</span><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UJc5oHrKfJ4/VWtIY4aoFrI/AAAAAAAADWQ/QDeb7mDTm4w/s1600/readingrecipe.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UJc5oHrKfJ4/VWtIY4aoFrI/AAAAAAAADWQ/QDeb7mDTm4w/s400/readingrecipe.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Once all the ingredients are mixed, it is transferred by spoon to a silicon muffin tray. &nbsp;I particularly like this touch because the silicon removes the chance of fingers getting burned and the individual depressions help to keep the biscuits a uniform size.</span><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yVkpCk1RAWM/VWtIUPkyA9I/AAAAAAAADWA/Ag_WXGWU4_E/s1600/muffintins.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yVkpCk1RAWM/VWtIUPkyA9I/AAAAAAAADWA/Ag_WXGWU4_E/s400/muffintins.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Next, our baker dons oven mitts (purchased from <a href="http://www.montessoriservices.com/practical-life/food-preparation/baking/oven-mitts" target="_blank">Montessori Services</a>) and places the tray into the toaster oven. &nbsp; Then a timer is set to a alert him when the muffins need to come out of the oven. &nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jGehIfL0TY4/VWtIRRBxYxI/AAAAAAAADV4/qAZW1t2lcW4/s1600/oven.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jGehIfL0TY4/VWtIRRBxYxI/AAAAAAAADV4/qAZW1t2lcW4/s400/oven.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><br /><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Finally, the hot oven signs are placed in front of the oven to remind the other children that the oven is hot.</span></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-O8O6RVlxFXY/VWtIWOBpZ7I/AAAAAAAADWI/8Jkc0Ja0JG4/s1600/hotoven.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-O8O6RVlxFXY/VWtIWOBpZ7I/AAAAAAAADWI/8Jkc0Ja0JG4/s400/hotoven.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">While the biscuits are baking, the child washes up the dishes and places them back on the tray for the next person. &nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GOpJiSQ0ExM/VWtK_eMR89I/AAAAAAAADWk/LoeyNJs6QRw/s1600/washingup.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GOpJiSQ0ExM/VWtK_eMR89I/AAAAAAAADWk/LoeyNJs6QRw/s400/washingup.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">When the biscuits are finally ready, they are taken out of the oven and placed somewhere to cool. &nbsp;The child may eat one of them in the classroom, share one or two with friends, and take the remaining three biscuits home to share with the family. &nbsp;(Unfortunately, the photo I took of the final product, didn't turn out. &nbsp;I'll post a better picture next time a child makes biscuits.)</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">This is one of the advanced Practical Life activities that shows how effective and important are the preliminary and applied practical life lessons. &nbsp;Without the skills of spooning, pouring, measuring, &nbsp;tying, washing, sweeping, etc., &nbsp;the making of six biscuits would seem almost impossible to a young child. &nbsp; &nbsp;This activity also underlines the importance of the third year in a Montessori primary classroom because this is the time when those early lessons combine to become a permanent part of the child's understanding.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogger.com%2Fblogger.g%3FblogID%3D7573510783661189073%23editor%2Ftarget%3Dpost%3BpostID%3D5919700271204712312&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-FlvystZj4Xo%2FVWtIb0UgvRI%2FAAAAAAAADWY%2FB5DRYcXLsE8%2Fs400%2Ftray.jpg&amp;xm=h&amp;xv=sa1.35&amp;description=" style="background-color: transparent; background-image: url(data:image/png; border: none; cursor: pointer; display: none; height: 20px; left: 203px; opacity: 0.85; position: absolute; top: 342px; width: 40px; z-index: 8675309;"></a><a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogger.com%2Fblogger.g%3FblogID%3D7573510783661189073%23editor%2Ftarget%3Dpost%3BpostID%3D5919700271204712312&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-FlvystZj4Xo%2FVWtIb0UgvRI%2FAAAAAAAADWY%2FB5DRYcXLsE8%2Fs400%2Ftray.jpg&amp;xm=h&amp;xv=sa1.35&amp;description=" style="background-color: transparent; background-image: url(data:image/png; border: none; cursor: pointer; display: none; height: 20px; left: 203px; opacity: 0.85; position: absolute; top: 342px; width: 40px; z-index: 8675309;"></a>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-1193143616388931772015-02-21T13:18:00.002-08:002015-02-23T07:28:37.060-08:00The Snack Table<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Recently, on the school's Instagram account, I posted a picture of children having snack in one of our Primary (preschool) classrooms. &nbsp;I've been asked several questions about snack time since then so I thought it might be helpful to write a post about how snacks are handled in our school.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Each week, a different family brings in enough snack food for the week. &nbsp;They know what to bring because the teachers supply them with a list of favourite foods ( allergies taken into consideration). &nbsp;We encourage the parents to take their children with them to buy the snack, whenever possible so that the child feels she is &nbsp;a part of the process. &nbsp;As I've told many parents, I've heard children pointing out the food at the snack table saying something like "Look! &nbsp;Strawberries. &nbsp;You like strawberries, don't you? &nbsp;I picked them for you!" &nbsp;Once the food is brought into the classroom, the students help to clean and prepare it.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Snack time is always by choice in a Montessori classroom. &nbsp;The children quickly learn to watch for a space to come free at the snack table before preparing a plate. &nbsp; In our Parksville school, the children find their name tag in a basket and place it on the table while they go to wash their hands. &nbsp;This tells other children that the place, although empty, &nbsp;is actually being used. &nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QKvW8Op_-oE/VNAW7J1Xr0I/AAAAAAAADSU/9F5DIhxKA4I/s1600/2014-09-16%2B09.31.13.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QKvW8Op_-oE/VNAW7J1Xr0I/AAAAAAAADSU/9F5DIhxKA4I/s1600/2014-09-16%2B09.31.13.jpg" height="320" width="240" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XigYu7Z5ekI/VNAWt2iCQCI/AAAAAAAADRk/_JqlJ6eotyo/s1600/2004-01-26%2B21.24.27-2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XigYu7Z5ekI/VNAWt2iCQCI/AAAAAAAADRk/_JqlJ6eotyo/s1600/2004-01-26%2B21.24.27-2.jpg" height="240" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Once her hands are washed, the child takes a plate from the shelf and helps herself to snack.</div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hC7r0wNVAMc/VNAW8tFmbcI/AAAAAAAADSg/VVQnt7qC3ZU/s1600/2014-09-16%2B09.33.18.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hC7r0wNVAMc/VNAW8tFmbcI/AAAAAAAADSg/VVQnt7qC3ZU/s1600/2014-09-16%2B09.33.18.jpg" height="320" width="240" /></a></div><br />Numeral cards are placed in front of each bowl to help the children remember how many pieces of each type of food may be taken. &nbsp;This ensures there is enough food for all the children and that a child doesn't spend the entire morning at the snack table. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kr1B1eMfJ08/VOjv1YKg1AI/AAAAAAAADTM/APEDIoBrpL4/s1600/2014-09-16%2B09.33.39.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kr1B1eMfJ08/VOjv1YKg1AI/AAAAAAAADTM/APEDIoBrpL4/s1600/2014-09-16%2B09.33.39.jpg" height="320" width="240" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Then the child takes her plate to the snack table to eat.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0VYYdRhV45k/VNAWyjGsrxI/AAAAAAAADR8/3wqO9524Ejg/s1600/2004-01-26%2B21.30.39.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0VYYdRhV45k/VNAWyjGsrxI/AAAAAAAADR8/3wqO9524Ejg/s1600/2004-01-26%2B21.30.39.jpg" height="240" width="320" /></a></div><br />The little yellow circle on the floor by the snack table helps the youngest children make a pile of crumbs when they sweep up after their snack. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tBDQi_22p0A/VNAW1YgFbqI/AAAAAAAADSE/kyE_hihdEWs/s1600/2014-09-16%2B09.30.09-2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tBDQi_22p0A/VNAW1YgFbqI/AAAAAAAADSE/kyE_hihdEWs/s1600/2014-09-16%2B09.30.09-2.jpg" height="320" width="240" /></a></div><br />When snack is finished, the children clean up their spot. &nbsp;They then rinse off their plates and place them in the drying rack. &nbsp;The table is wiped free of crumbs and any bits on the floor are swept up. At the end of the morning, all the dishes are put in the dishwasher to be cleaned. &nbsp;Finally, their name is put into the basket on the snack table. <br /><br />In our Nanaimo classrooms, there is only one spot at the snack tables. &nbsp;There is a 'waiting' chair nearby. &nbsp;The teachers have found that this works very well and has saved them from having to remind a lingering child that others are waiting to have snack. &nbsp;Other than that, snack is handled the same way as in the Parksville classrooms.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CRFCASSWvBg/VOj09QeQ2iI/AAAAAAAADTc/GS1KgXnAu5s/s1600/2014-10-07%2B09.20.51.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CRFCASSWvBg/VOj09QeQ2iI/AAAAAAAADTc/GS1KgXnAu5s/s1600/2014-10-07%2B09.20.51.jpg" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-u2QIN0DjxHg/VNAXBkcI6jI/AAAAAAAADS0/1-WOWv12CqA/s1600/2014-10-07%2B09.20.59.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2G1zz2pvAW8/VNAXAoqcc6I/AAAAAAAADSs/Zve4dQuoJcY/s1600/2014-10-07%2B09.19.40.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2G1zz2pvAW8/VNAXAoqcc6I/AAAAAAAADSs/Zve4dQuoJcY/s1600/2014-10-07%2B09.19.40.jpg" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0TIcbCdnyLk/VNAWuOgNgOI/AAAAAAAADRo/fhu-uShqzHo/s1600/2004-01-24%2B22.33.23.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0TIcbCdnyLk/VNAWuOgNgOI/AAAAAAAADRo/fhu-uShqzHo/s1600/2004-01-24%2B22.33.23.jpg" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><span id="goog_1597339708"></span><span id="goog_1597339709"></span><br />Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-18207597935774884252014-11-27T13:56:00.001-08:002014-11-28T15:27:00.028-08:00<div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0px;">Every year about this time, I am asked for&nbsp; suggestions of “montessori-style’ gifts to give to children.&nbsp; Usually, I suggest an atlas or a globe geared for children, child sized cooking utensils, books, etc. &nbsp;All very good gifts but .........</span></div><div style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 11px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qlXdQkOseOA/VHecygWFxmI/AAAAAAAADQI/I-h0qBo9q5E/s1600/pretty-female-model-wearing-santa-hat-tired-yawning-35944180.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qlXdQkOseOA/VHecygWFxmI/AAAAAAAADQI/I-h0qBo9q5E/s1600/pretty-female-model-wearing-santa-hat-tired-yawning-35944180.jpg" height="200" width="133" /></a></div><div style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 11px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px;"><br /></span></div><div style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 11px; min-height: 13px;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px;"></span><br /></div><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0px;">This year, I decided to strap on the old thinking cap and put together a new list. &nbsp;Everything here has been child tested and declared 'cool' by my own children and others. &nbsp;Hopefully you will find this helpful.</span></div><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0.0px;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px;">1.</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0px;">&nbsp;</span><b style="letter-spacing: 0px;">A child-size stethoscope </b><span style="letter-spacing: 0px;">and a book about the heart or body. (There is one of each in the <a href="http://www.forsmallhands.com/stethoscope" target="_blank">Smallhands catalogue.</a>)</span></span></div><div style="min-height: 13px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px;"></span><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0.0px;">2.&nbsp; <b>A building toy.</b>&nbsp; Now lego is great but take a look at some others, as well.&nbsp; A couple of sets <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>I’ve seen (and wished I’d found when my boys were younger) are ‘<a href="http://www.mindware.com/keva-structures-200-plank-set-a2-50089.fltr" target="_blank">Structures by Mindset,</a> and KEVA colour planks.</span></div><div style="min-height: 13px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px;"></span><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0.0px;">3.&nbsp; <b>Make a felt story </b>to go with one of your child’s favourite books.&nbsp; Felt stories are a great alternative to the bedtime story, are great for waiting in terminals and on planes, and can be played with by the child even when a parent is busy.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jugglingwithkids.com/2013/10/the-secret-to-cutting-felt-making-felt.html" target="_blank">Here </a>is an excellent guide to making felt stories.</span></div><div style="min-height: 13px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0.0px;">4.&nbsp; For the older child - <b>professional quality art materials</b>.&nbsp; These can be paired with how-to book for beginners.&nbsp; (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1878257447/metafilter-20/ref=nosim/#" target="_blank">Watercolor: For the Artistically Undiscovered by Klutz is one suggestion.</a>)&nbsp; A few lessons with an artist would make a nice accompanying present from a close relative.&nbsp; Better yet, if there is an adult artist in the family a few formal lessons with that person could be a great gift.</span></div><div style="min-height: 13px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px;"></span><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0.0px;">5.&nbsp; <b>A REAL musical instrument</b> (don’t cheap-out and get a toy) and a few months of music lessons.</span></div><div style="min-height: 13px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px;"></span><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0px;">6.&nbsp; <b>A set of their very own rhythm instruments.&nbsp; </b>Again, try to get as little plastic as possible. Wooden rhythm instruments feel and sound a lot better than plastic counterparts.</span></div><div style="font-size: 11px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0.0px;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SCtoRxo1gbo/VHebzmMiMiI/AAAAAAAADP4/-ISQdpTecj0/s1600/wooden-musical-instrument-box-set-4560-p.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SCtoRxo1gbo/VHebzmMiMiI/AAAAAAAADP4/-ISQdpTecj0/s1600/wooden-musical-instrument-box-set-4560-p.jpg" height="213" width="320" /></span></a></div><div style="font-size: 12px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0px;">7.&nbsp; <b>A complete sewing kit</b>. With real scissors and needles.&nbsp; If there is a younger sibling in the house, there will have to be some rules about where and when the sewing kit is used.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="min-height: 13px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px;"></span><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0.0px;">8.&nbsp; <b>Any game by Ravensburger.</b>&nbsp; (Why <a href="https://www.ravensburger.com/start/index.html" target="_blank">Ravensburger</a>?&nbsp; Over the years, I have found their standards to be in line with the Montessori principles of non-violence, family values, and purposeful occupation. ) &nbsp; Better yet, give several game with the promise of a weekly Family game night (if you haven’t already).</span></div><div style="min-height: 13px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px;"></span><br /></span></div><div style="min-height: 13px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-D5uPRN7ZBFI/VHecWplYneI/AAAAAAAADQA/ZZuMDA26p48/s1600/51Wkd2vU0qL._SY355_.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-D5uPRN7ZBFI/VHecWplYneI/AAAAAAAADQA/ZZuMDA26p48/s1600/51Wkd2vU0qL._SY355_.jpg" height="320" width="310" /></span></a></div><div style="min-height: 13px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0.0px;">9.&nbsp; <b>A microscope and lots of slides.</b> I still remember the one we had as children.&nbsp; Yes, I broke many slides by twisting the lens too close but I soon learned to be more careful.</span></div><div style="min-height: 13px;"><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px;"></span><br /></span></div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><br /></span><br /><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0px;">10. &nbsp; <b>The ultimate dress-up box</b>.&nbsp; Princesses and knights are okay but to make a truly spectacular dress-up experience, consider child-size national costumes.&nbsp; Some examples are a child’s kimono, sari, dishdasha,, salwar kameez, a kilt and sporin… the list is endless.&nbsp; Complete the box with some good books full of pictures of people,&nbsp; from around the world, dressed in their traditional clothes. (i.e. <b>People around the world from</b> Macmillan Publishing).&nbsp; You might also consider throwing in a few adult size costumes so the whole family can join in the fun!</span></div><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0px;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; letter-spacing: 0px;">Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!</span></div>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-10066546559186622014-09-16T19:50:00.000-07:002014-09-17T11:17:42.238-07:00Process over Product&nbsp;In the Parksville school today, I had the pleasure of watching a 4 year old quietly painting at the easel. &nbsp;It was her relaxed posture that drew my attention at first but then I noticed the large, blue triangle she had painted in the middle of her picture. &nbsp;It was a nearly perfect &nbsp;isosceles triangle. <br /><br />Transfixed, I watched as she completely filled in the triangle and then painted another one, upside-down and smaller, jutting out of the top of the big one. &nbsp;I wondered if she was going to continue filling the page with blue geometric shapes or if she would turn the shape into something else. <br /><br />Never try to predict the creative direction of a four year old child.........<br /><span id="goog_1676482073"></span><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">The triangles began to sprout appendages.</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-teZlhN0lXoc/VBi6E0pVNSI/AAAAAAAADIs/cQHSlsOp70Q/s1600/At5f82l4CTwFyGe-s_s3M0jzKwU0pPY1Y12eeLD_Aro.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-teZlhN0lXoc/VBi6E0pVNSI/AAAAAAAADIs/cQHSlsOp70Q/s1600/At5f82l4CTwFyGe-s_s3M0jzKwU0pPY1Y12eeLD_Aro.jpeg" height="640" width="480" /></a></div><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">The appendages looped in upon themselves and were filled in with colour.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-D5Fc9DtJhEw/VBi6NvL8N0I/AAAAAAAADJM/fVV6P_G9lz4/s1600/O2VT1CpLJVi20Lc6lo-hl0YzkK16CTcs4hEjgSvNqgE-1.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-D5Fc9DtJhEw/VBi6NvL8N0I/AAAAAAAADJM/fVV6P_G9lz4/s1600/O2VT1CpLJVi20Lc6lo-hl0YzkK16CTcs4hEjgSvNqgE-1.jpeg" height="640" width="480" /></a><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RGo7rR0DXP0/VBi6UH_np3I/AAAAAAAADJc/1aSF_qE5Gv8/s1600/Z_IglHp6gzb0Z58TP0V_bZ6YrfYB1Bw8MxAU4s_W6Os.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RGo7rR0DXP0/VBi6UH_np3I/AAAAAAAADJc/1aSF_qE5Gv8/s1600/Z_IglHp6gzb0Z58TP0V_bZ6YrfYB1Bw8MxAU4s_W6Os.jpeg" height="640" width="480" /></a></div><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">At one point, the artist realized she'd painted onto the easel so she carefully lifted the paper to clean before she resumed painting.</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-39V7wAro0Hg/VBi_F_cjyUI/AAAAAAAADJo/09a_ENmHt88/s1600/lm07RHrz4uzgBKqX84MVXsct7KJCn4NtpMoIXOijygI.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-39V7wAro0Hg/VBi_F_cjyUI/AAAAAAAADJo/09a_ENmHt88/s1600/lm07RHrz4uzgBKqX84MVXsct7KJCn4NtpMoIXOijygI.jpeg" height="640" width="480" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: center;">Now long lines began to emerge at the bottom of the blue.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lLzi9gCX1Xc/VBi6HLY-8OI/AAAAAAAADI0/aUbYslTMdDI/s1600/cRdlD6TZj37UlTi5ofnfiCwQYz1Yzd0bOuo1R2D88CA.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lLzi9gCX1Xc/VBi6HLY-8OI/AAAAAAAADI0/aUbYslTMdDI/s1600/cRdlD6TZj37UlTi5ofnfiCwQYz1Yzd0bOuo1R2D88CA.jpeg" height="640" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">The lines became rectangles and were quickly filled in with paint and..........</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hocnS9229g0/VBi5-R94XtI/AAAAAAAADIM/8RIbGYBr4bM/s1600/-tNS_Jn3h6HeP8OW6gQ_NtDoQg2VL7OdJZ0JoXxm2J8.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hocnS9229g0/VBi5-R94XtI/AAAAAAAADIM/8RIbGYBr4bM/s1600/-tNS_Jn3h6HeP8OW6gQ_NtDoQg2VL7OdJZ0JoXxm2J8.jpeg" height="640" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Well, I'm sure you've realized where this is going.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;Eventually, the entire paper was filled in with beautiful blue paint.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AWIEF_wZU2g/VBjBKDgvTVI/AAAAAAAADJw/LrS8ePuUVew/s1600/cuah3TQX-OEEPnrKo77UZv7K7j79ovA7t31FImkUPcY.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AWIEF_wZU2g/VBjBKDgvTVI/AAAAAAAADJw/LrS8ePuUVew/s1600/cuah3TQX-OEEPnrKo77UZv7K7j79ovA7t31FImkUPcY.jpeg" height="640" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;Only then was the painting finished. &nbsp; A wonderful example of a young child focussing on the process involved in a task rather than on the finished product.</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">We often hear the phrase 'process over product' in reference to the creative arts. &nbsp;However, in a Montessori classroom, children can be found completely absorbed &nbsp;in the process of just about anything. &nbsp;It is the DOING of something that is important because doing leads to mastery. &nbsp;Doing is the reason why teachers will allow a child to work with an activity for great lengths of time. &nbsp;As long as constructive learning is taking place, a child will not be purposely interrupted.<br /><br />I have witnessed a child engrossed in the feeling that scissor make when being used to cut different kinds of paper. &nbsp;On another day, I've watched a child immerse himself in the process of washing a table, lost in the full arm movement required to make little circles with the brush over the table's surface. &nbsp;I have even watched a child completely absorbed in sweeping the smallest particles into a dust pan. &nbsp;Process is the most important part of any learning in which a child engages.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">In the example of the painting (above) the child never invited a teacher or another child to see the picture. &nbsp;In fact, while she painted, the little girl was almost oblivious to the rest of the classroom. &nbsp;She was totally focussed on the process of painting blue. &nbsp;When she was finished, the child matter-of-factly cleaned up and went on to her next activity never giving the painting another look.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">I wonder if she even remembered to take the painting home.</div><br /><span id="goog_1676482072"></span><br /><a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/" style="background-image: url(data:image/png; border: none; cursor: pointer; display: none; height: 20px; line-height: 0; min-height: 20px; min-width: 40px; opacity: 0.85; position: absolute; width: 40px; z-index: 8675309;"></a><a href="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/" style="background-image: url(data:image/png; border: none; cursor: pointer; display: none; height: 20px; line-height: 0; min-height: 20px; min-width: 40px; opacity: 0.85; position: absolute; width: 40px; z-index: 8675309;"></a>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-77701309802687608402014-01-26T21:39:00.002-08:002014-02-12T16:10:58.488-08:00Montessori and Social Justice<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:RelyOnVML/> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings></xml><![endif]--><br /><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-CA</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> 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<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 6"/> </w:LatentStyles></xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]><style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} </style><![endif]--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal">Over the past few weeks I have been reflecting on the role of social justice in our Montessori classrooms.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>As I understand it, social justice concerns the ability of individuals to realize their potential within their own society, to lead fulfilling lives and be active contributors to their communities. Simply put, people are responsible for one another and should ensure that all have equal chances to succeed in life. So, with that in mind, does the Montessori curriculum afford enough opportunities for students to develop a sense of social justice?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Do we, as teachers and parents, do too much?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Do our students and children do enough? <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>How do we offer enough lessons around social justice without ramming it down their throats?</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">It begins with the training of Montessori teachers.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>In proper training courses, emotional and spiritual preparation of the adult is essential to the education of future teachers. To be a Montessori teacher, one must discard thoughts of “teaching” in the traditional sense (filling children with information) and replace those thoughts with a commitment to and trust in a child’s developmental impulses. Montessori teachers are trained to recognize their own limitations and prejudices, to give up their need to control children and to guide the child as each sensitive period appears. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>“The preparation of the Montessori teacher involves personal change, learning to be an astute observer, and learning to identify in oneself qualities that might be an impediment to fair observation and understanding of children” (2005, Lillard, p.286).</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-061eu_WTcq8/UuXw91W-vHI/AAAAAAAAB_0/j--0YIu3umQ/s1600/100_6696.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-061eu_WTcq8/UuXw91W-vHI/AAAAAAAAB_0/j--0YIu3umQ/s1600/100_6696.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">In the classrooms, teachers spend an inordinate amount of time preparing the environment to meet the needs of each child – to level the learning field, so to speak. The activities all have a built in control of error which allows the child to learn a concept by themselves rather than relying on (or worrying about) an adult stepping in to correct a mistake. Teachers are also expected to observe the children often and regularly so as to recognize and honour the rights of each child </div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Through all of these preparations, Montessori students are guided to help one another, to prompt their classmates who don’t know an answer, to cheer for one another, and not to compete for prizes or rewards.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They are introduced to, presented with and surrounded by social justice.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">However, there are more overt ways for schools to continue fostering social justice in their communities.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Here are a few of the events and actions in which our elementary students take part.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><u>Jump Rope for Heart</u></div><div class="MsoNormal">A fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke foundation that promotes healthy living to the students and raises money to help the greater community.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><u>The School Store</u></div><div class="MsoNormal">Every other year, the elementary children set up a craft store to sell all the cards, ornaments, jewelry, and handcrafts that they’ve made.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Not only do the students learn valuable lessons around working as part of a team and handling money but a third of the profit made is allocated to charity. The students have a discussion about where they’d like the money to go and then a vote is taken.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The teacher is present and facilitates the discussion but the final decision is made by students and they all learn more about benevolent giving.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YpWjhmI34xE/UuXuOvSmrYI/AAAAAAAAB_g/CMWyYH2AzHs/s1600/100_6606.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YpWjhmI34xE/UuXuOvSmrYI/AAAAAAAAB_g/CMWyYH2AzHs/s1600/100_6606.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="MsoNormal"><u>Kris Kringle</u></div><div class="MsoNormal">Every December, the elementary classrooms come together and take part in a game called Kris Kringle.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Although some parents find it a bit controversial, the game has withstood the test of time and continues to be a very effective way for the students to express gratitude, forgiveness, and how to deal with hurt feelings. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Every student draws, from a hat, the name of a “child” (another student) for whom they (the “parent”) will make 7 presents.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Each day the presents are brought to school and placed in a decorated box where they remain until just before lunch when they are handed out by the teacher.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Now, here is where the controversy begins to germinate.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Some students forget to bring their present or simply don’t make anything and that can be very hurtful to the “child” who gets nothing.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Instead of an adult swooping in to fix the situation, the students are allowed to take care of it themselves.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>This was evidenced last year when three girls sprang to give their gifts to one “child” who received nothing.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>When a pattern of forgetfulness was noted by a few of the older children, they made extra gifts to make sure that everyone would get something.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Another older student wondered out loud if the forgetful person’s gift should be forfeit and given to his “child”.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Social justice at a very grass roots level.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><u>Hamperville</u></div><div class="MsoNormal">Every year, a group of the oldest students take the food bank items collected by the school families to the local distribution centre.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There they spend the afternoon helping to sort the food and health items into boxes.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The conversations that take place after this event centre on how the students wish they could do more and how much more they’re going to collect next year.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Sure, there may be one or two who brag that they got to sort candy while the others had to sort diapers but the teachers quickly smooth ruffled feathers and make a mental note about who will be sorting diapers next year.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RO-4TWj6_Kg/UuXueLlSIOI/AAAAAAAAB_o/BmrRr0LT4vA/s1600/100_6623.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RO-4TWj6_Kg/UuXueLlSIOI/AAAAAAAAB_o/BmrRr0LT4vA/s1600/100_6623.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><u><span style="text-decoration: none;"><br /></span></u></div><div class="MsoNormal"><u>Spring Presentation</u></div><div class="MsoNormal">Unlike traditional school presentations, our spring presentation is completely created by the students.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>That means they write the plays or skits, choose the songs they want to sing, and play solos if they want.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>All the teachers do is help them to get organized, practise, make copies of lines and music to learn at home, and basically just assist.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Every single student contributes something and their part can be as big or as small as the group decides.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If a student really doesn’t want to appear on stage, they are given their choice of back stage roles.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If they want to play or sing a solo, they are welcome whether they’ve been taking lessons for years or just a few weeks. All the students are given an equal chance to take part and to feel that they’ve made a real contribution. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><u>The Montessori Model United Nations</u></div><div class="MsoNormal">“Students formulate, present, debate, and revise positions on current issues that are affecting people of the world.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>By assuming the perspectives of a citizen of their selected countries, MMUN students not only develop an understanding of the needs and rights of others, but also learn the respect the cultures, the political views, and the belief system of others.” (See <a href="http://montessori-mun.org/" target="_blank">here</a> for more information.)</div><div class="MsoNormal">This is the first year in a long while that we’ve had enough older students to consider going to the model United Nations.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If the trip is realized, our students will be getting a look at social justice on a much grander scale. </div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Finally, there is parenting for social justice.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Many of us believe we are committed to social justice in the greater community and want to pass that commitment on to our children.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>However, if we stop and look at ourselves, we may find that our parenting model relies on control and domination - behaviours which ultimately reinforce many of the social systems that dis-empower children.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>We believe we have the right to use power and coercion over children in order to control how they behave but that is really the foundation for all other forms of bias and discrimination.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The belief that we must use control in order for children to become productive and successful adults is deeply flawed.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If social justice is important to us as parents, we may need to rethink some of our parenting strategies.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It is just as important for parents as it is for Montessori teachers to scrutinize their own limitations and prejudices when it comes to the children.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Virtually every aspect of properly delivered Montessori philosophy gives lessons in social justice. The Montessori environment, which includes the properly prepared adults, fosters a keen sense of social justice and encourages the development of consideration for others through working together. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">So, do we do enough?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I certainly think so and I think we can do more.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If you disagree, please leave a comment.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I’d love to discuss this subject further.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Lillard, A.S. (2005)<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> Montessori the science behind the genius.</i> New York: Oxford University Press.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-39663346215323939862013-11-06T21:38:00.001-08:002013-11-07T13:56:27.986-08:00No words required.Now that the flurry of a new school year is under our belts, I am once again able to indulge in one my favourite tasks .....observing the classrooms.&nbsp; Today I am up in our Parksville school and have just spent a delightful 15 minutes watching a little boy (almost 3) happily replacing all of the cylinders into all four cylinder blocks.<br /><br />For those of you who may not be familiar with this material, the cylinder blocks are four solid blocks of wood with different sized cylinders neatly fit into 10 holes that have been drilled into the block. Having never had to try and describe these before, I think a picture will give you a better idea.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-iGDGhDvv4Jw/UnqB_gGb7gI/AAAAAAAABuA/tnt2y1ZVIK8/s1600/Cylinder_Blocks_Baby_Montessori.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="195" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-iGDGhDvv4Jw/UnqB_gGb7gI/AAAAAAAABuA/tnt2y1ZVIK8/s320/Cylinder_Blocks_Baby_Montessori.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><br />The presentation starts with the child being shown how to carefully and gently remove all of the cylinders from one block and then replacing them.&nbsp; The teacher models to the child how to look into each hole before replacing the cylinder in order to get a more accurate idea of where each goes.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KNpDdteBZU0/UnqpfO6MgsI/AAAAAAAABus/dsDYPm7bNaI/s1600/cyl+bl+1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KNpDdteBZU0/UnqpfO6MgsI/AAAAAAAABus/dsDYPm7bNaI/s320/cyl+bl+1.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br />When the child has mastered one cylinder block, he is invited to work with two blocks at once.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mXV72nkQkbs/UnqpiIaQqUI/AAAAAAAABu0/C8NSDtxP6UQ/s1600/cyl+bl+2+(2).jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mXV72nkQkbs/UnqpiIaQqUI/AAAAAAAABu0/C8NSDtxP6UQ/s320/cyl+bl+2+(2).jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>Then eventually, three....<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0uX9Y2BDBhw/UnsmiEhSzxI/AAAAAAAABvU/dgo4Tn8MLYs/s1600/cylinder_block_3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0uX9Y2BDBhw/UnsmiEhSzxI/AAAAAAAABvU/dgo4Tn8MLYs/s320/cylinder_block_3.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />and, after much practise, four.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FoT37QArZis/UnqpqCUkoFI/AAAAAAAABvE/6hzdWzHM-90/s1600/cyl+bl+4+(2).jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FoT37QArZis/UnqpqCUkoFI/AAAAAAAABvE/6hzdWzHM-90/s320/cyl+bl+4+(2).jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br />Now, I have watched adults enjoy the challenge of replacing all the cylinders and can well imagine the sense of accomplishment a child feels - after months of patient focus and practise - when he replaces that final cylinder in the fourth block.&nbsp; Sheer pride and delight. That is what I was waiting for while watching the 'almost 3'- that moment when the internal satisfaction bubbles up to the surface and erupts into a big grin.<br /><br />&nbsp;He had set up his work on one end of a table big enough for two and there was an older boy working at the other end. With the height of the blocks added to the height of the table, the younger child was just tall enough to peer into each hole to replace a cylinder.&nbsp; His face was a study in concentration as he carefully replaced the cylinders in their proper holes.&nbsp; Picking up one of the largest (tall and wide) he correctly decided that it must fit into the hole farthest away - just out of his reach.<br /><br />He stretched his arm as far as he could and managed to rest one side of the cylinder in the hole.&nbsp; The rest of the cylinder leaned out precariously and, try as he might, he could not push it into the hole.&nbsp; No problem, he would just walk around to the other side of the table.&nbsp; Unfortunately, as he was walking, his table mate reached over and pushed the cylinder into place with his finger!<br /><br />&nbsp;The younger child stopped in his tracks, eyes locked on the cylinder, then he slowly levelled a look at the older child.&nbsp; He glared for a full 5 seconds after which he deliberately pulled the cylinder back out of the hole, leaned it precariously and walked around to the far side of the table.&nbsp; Another glare at his table mate then back around he walked to lift his hand and push the cylinder into place.&nbsp; That done,&nbsp; he took a step back, stared at the older child for another 5 seconds, then calmly went back to finish his work.&nbsp; Not a word had been exchanged.<br /><br />Eventually, the last cylinder was replaced and there it was.&nbsp; That look of accomplishment and delight.&nbsp; It lit up his face as he looked at his completed work.&nbsp; He did not look to anyone else for approval.&nbsp; He did not peer around the classroom to see if the teacher was watching and he obviously didn't feel the need to tell her.&nbsp; He had done the work for himself, all <u>by</u> himself and he didn't need any external validation.<br /><br />I am so glad that I was on hand to witness it and am still giggling about the nonverbal exchange between the children.<br /><br /><br /><br />Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-66031511388643740212013-06-26T09:57:00.001-07:002013-06-26T10:10:38.418-07:00A Montessori School Helps OutAmidst the upheaval and turmoil of the recent flooding in Calgary, are many bright spots of spirit and cooperation.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hC5vjmri0ps/UcsVRBSyYoI/AAAAAAAABp8/U94DRRais7k/s1600/flood5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hC5vjmri0ps/UcsVRBSyYoI/AAAAAAAABp8/U94DRRais7k/s320/flood5.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>&nbsp;Yesterday, one such bright spot was provided by the<a href="http://www.montessoriway.ca/home.html" target="_blank"> Montessori Children's House Academy</a>.&nbsp; In the true spirit of community, all available employees and family members came together in the wee hours and prepared over 300 meals to hand out to clean-up volunteers in one of the harder hit neighbourhoods.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-H0P-CgVj1rI/UcsXxnKFWwI/AAAAAAAABqc/_3g9FvlFxGM/s1600/flood+7.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-H0P-CgVj1rI/UcsXxnKFWwI/AAAAAAAABqc/_3g9FvlFxGM/s1600/flood+7.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />They cooked in the kitchen and in the backyard.&nbsp; :)<br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HPtcw7szhjU/UcsX9LSSqeI/AAAAAAAABqk/XV4JQiNvNiM/s1600/flood+8.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HPtcw7szhjU/UcsX9LSSqeI/AAAAAAAABqk/XV4JQiNvNiM/s320/flood+8.jpg" width="240" /></a></div>&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />&nbsp;Then they loaded up the truck and headed out.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />&nbsp; <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tr61Xn9NqoQ/UcsVnDBrzZI/AAAAAAAABqI/33t1sTUNQrE/s1600/Flood+3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tr61Xn9NqoQ/UcsVnDBrzZI/AAAAAAAABqI/33t1sTUNQrE/s400/Flood+3.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />It took a while because many of the roads are still blocked and when they finally arrived, the devastation was difficult to comprehend.&nbsp; <br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vrH0Ghugdhc/UcsaCKgt-bI/AAAAAAAABq0/Bya78l-4bKs/s1600/flood+9.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vrH0Ghugdhc/UcsaCKgt-bI/AAAAAAAABq0/Bya78l-4bKs/s400/flood+9.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bmPNSsVwB6k/Ucseq2Gk3QI/AAAAAAAABrc/_cDCagkbs0A/s1600/flood+12.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bmPNSsVwB6k/Ucseq2Gk3QI/AAAAAAAABrc/_cDCagkbs0A/s400/flood+12.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />&nbsp; <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fF1njqdtGBI/UcsaxfWwapI/AAAAAAAABq8/DPjOOvqze_M/s1600/Flood+1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fF1njqdtGBI/UcsaxfWwapI/AAAAAAAABq8/DPjOOvqze_M/s400/Flood+1.jpg" width="400" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Undaunted, the team found a good spot, set out the sign, and began handing out hot dogs, chips, drinks, hamburgers, and hugs.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-a2ZObS_nw1Q/UcsVPcKgmTI/AAAAAAAABp0/i9m2VgWh2vc/s1600/flood+4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-a2ZObS_nw1Q/UcsVPcKgmTI/AAAAAAAABp0/i9m2VgWh2vc/s400/flood+4.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZrBNzRRsVo4/UcsVvlpMzsI/AAAAAAAABqU/SZ1DGulisBA/s1600/flood+6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZrBNzRRsVo4/UcsVvlpMzsI/AAAAAAAABqU/SZ1DGulisBA/s400/flood+6.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br />Hats off to you, MCHA!&nbsp; <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1ec-nBE547g/Ucscg5elsmI/AAAAAAAABrM/ayvuohPPphM/s1600/flood+10.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="297" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1ec-nBE547g/Ucscg5elsmI/AAAAAAAABrM/ayvuohPPphM/s400/flood+10.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-50110671491587873662013-05-20T13:32:00.000-07:002013-05-20T13:32:15.147-07:00Recognition DinnerAround this time every year, we honour the work our Master year children have achieved during their time in the Primary program.&nbsp; We do this with a special night out called the Recognition Dinner.<br /><br />&nbsp;From the time these children entered the school at three, we have watched them&nbsp; move through the materials and lessons constructing themselves concept by concept.&nbsp; This incredible self-construction is something none of us take for granted. Oh, we are there to offer lessons which connect the children to the classroom environment and then protect that connection, but the children really do all the work.&nbsp; If you have been following this blog, you have probably gleaned just how much work that is. <br /><br />A child in our Master year class is in the third year of the Primary program.&nbsp; This is also the final year of the first plane of development. (Read more about Dr. Montessori's four planes of development <a href="http://www.montessorischoolofcalgary.com/planes-of-development.html" target="_blank">here</a>.) <br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ei-Wl0xMY7g/UZfffK5wFCI/AAAAAAAABn0/5FfY1mJ6qDI/s1600/2004-01-11+11.04.46.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ei-Wl0xMY7g/UZfffK5wFCI/AAAAAAAABn0/5FfY1mJ6qDI/s400/2004-01-11+11.04.46.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<i>High</i> <i>Tea at the The Grand Hotel</i></div><br />Like most traditions at the school, the dinner has evolved over the years and a few guidelines have had to be imposed.&nbsp; For example, only two adults may accompany the child.&nbsp; As we've grown, so has the size of our Master year class.&nbsp; It is almost impossible to find an appropriate dining room large enough to accommodate 40 to 60 people. <br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ynyie_tJuZA/UZfgL7PqHvI/AAAAAAAABn8/RXYQoY7rHss/s1600/2012-01-01+00.01.17.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ynyie_tJuZA/UZfgL7PqHvI/AAAAAAAABn8/RXYQoY7rHss/s400/2012-01-01+00.01.17.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>The dining room at Cuckoo's</i></div><br /><br />We also ask that this be an evening just for the Master year child and that siblings do not attend.&nbsp; We realize that this is not easy for some families but trust you will understand there are some very good reasons for this guideline. The Masters are the stars of the evening and the spot light should be on them.&nbsp; In years past, we have had siblings dissolve in tears when the Master year presents were handed out. (Please don't tell.&nbsp; The gifts are a surprise.) And there have been many other expressions of sibling emotion over the years which made this guideline necessary. In order for the evening to be <u>truly</u> about the Master children, only the Master children should be at the dinner.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PO_nI93VCH4/UZfmWJZ1zNI/AAAAAAAABpA/fEryGdC2vl0/s1600/2004-01-11+12.43.22.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PO_nI93VCH4/UZfmWJZ1zNI/AAAAAAAABpA/fEryGdC2vl0/s400/2004-01-11+12.43.22.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Receiving a gift from his teacher</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">The Recognition dinner isn't a graduation ceremony.&nbsp; There are no caps and gowns worn,&nbsp; and no degrees or diplomas are handed out.&nbsp; There are no speeches and the children do not have to get up on a stage and perform anything.&nbsp; However, the skills that these children have mastered during the first 6 years of their lives cannot be overlooked nor should we take credit.&nbsp; We can simply observe, recognize and celebrate as they move into the second phase of development.</div><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="width: 100%px;"><tbody><tr><td class="darkbg" valign="top" width="170"><br /></td><td class="darkbg" width="18"><br /></td><td class="darkbg" valign="top" width="170"><br /></td> </tr><tr> <td class="darkbg" colspan="3" valign="top" width="358"></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jnErsfQ1hVE/UZfgtD4qhiI/AAAAAAAABoE/laPQ-CwySzc/s1600/2012-01-01+01.20.29.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jnErsfQ1hVE/UZfgtD4qhiI/AAAAAAAABoE/laPQ-CwySzc/s400/2012-01-01+01.20.29.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Looking at a special gift with Mom and Dad</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">In The Absorbent Mind, Dr. Montessori wrote, " The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to age six.&nbsp; For that is the time when man's intelligence itself, his greatest implement is being formed. " The Recognition Dinner is a gentle, respectful acknowledgement of the completion of that first&nbsp; period.</div><div style="text-align: left;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-67403323752410368412013-04-23T15:05:00.001-07:002014-09-17T11:24:02.053-07:00Imaginary Countries<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> 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UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles></xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]><style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;} </style><![endif]--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal">In Montessori classrooms all over the world,&nbsp; one can find a stack of puzzle maps -<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"></span> a set of wooden maps, one for the world and one for each continent (except Antarctica).&nbsp;<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Each continent map is divided into pieces for each country and the knobs are placed where each country’s capital is found. There are also maps to represent the children's own country in which the pieces are cut into provinces, counties, states, etc.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">They often come in their own stand,</div><div class="MsoNormal"></div><div class="MsoNormal">&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gQ7HLTY66gE/UXbY8eMAovI/AAAAAAAABlk/u7UGizuCMqg/s1600/102_6331.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gQ7HLTY66gE/UXbY8eMAovI/AAAAAAAABlk/u7UGizuCMqg/s400/102_6331.JPG" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal">&nbsp; </div><div class="MsoNormal">or can be found on a store-bought shelving unit – one map per shelf.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><br /><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;">Puzzle maps are a favourite material in the classroom and on any given day one or more of the maps will be taken out and worked on by students.&nbsp; &nbsp;Younger children work with the maps to learn the names of the continents or countries with a teacher (using <a href="http://www.amontessorimusingplace.org/2012/04/three-period-lesson.html" target="_blank">the 3 period lesson</a>).&nbsp; Other children might be sorting out animals according to the continent on which they are found, &nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.myhomeschoolstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/DSCF0838-300x225.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><br /></a><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-oL5bPgb9ynI/UXbfhYp9LQI/AAAAAAAABl8/hGfr3EJPu1Q/s1600/2010-02-14+21.51.30.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-oL5bPgb9ynI/UXbfhYp9LQI/AAAAAAAABl8/hGfr3EJPu1Q/s400/2010-02-14+21.51.30.jpg" height="300" width="400" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"></span>and older children can be found making their own maps by tracing, colouring and labelling the countries on large pieces of paper.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span> </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Piggt984WSk/UXbitbcemvI/AAAAAAAABmM/t0o8fYFs4c8/s1600/2012-01-03+14.58.29.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Piggt984WSk/UXbitbcemvI/AAAAAAAABmM/t0o8fYFs4c8/s400/2012-01-03+14.58.29.jpg" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;In one classroom I've visited, the children like to stitch the hemisphere together and hang them from the ceiling.</span>&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-f9ti5hl9XtU/UXbe8eMOrwI/AAAAAAAABl0/7C_7HnZ-NEk/s1600/2004-03-08+04.52.12.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-f9ti5hl9XtU/UXbe8eMOrwI/AAAAAAAABl0/7C_7HnZ-NEk/s400/2004-03-08+04.52.12.jpg" height="300" width="400" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Like most Montessori materials the learning possibilities inherent in this material are endless.&nbsp; Unfortunately, some of the pieces are very, very small and no matter how diligent the teacher, some of those little pieces go missing.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-01nWgpl4l_8/UXbuzXNahxI/AAAAAAAABmc/neX2-LC8Gag/s1600/008.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-01nWgpl4l_8/UXbuzXNahxI/AAAAAAAABmc/neX2-LC8Gag/s400/008.JPG" height="400" width="381" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">In training, Montessori teachers are taught to remove a material from the classroom if it is broken or incomplete, and not to returned it until repaired.&nbsp; The reason for this becomes obvious when preparing to give a lesson to a child only to discover that something is missing from the activity.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Unfortunately, removing larger materials, like a puzzle map, is easier said than done.&nbsp; Individual replacement pieces can be purchased as long as the map itself is not an old one, and replacing an entire puzzle map when a piece goes missing can become very costly. Many of us make the decision to leave the maps on the shelf so that our students won't be held back from learning the names of all the other countries. That is why I found the following anecdote so funny.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">We are currently holding conferences with parents of our Primary (3-6 year old) children.We were discussing, with a parent,&nbsp; how many of the maps her child had learned when she said, "My daughter came home and told me that she will soon be learning the names of the imaginary countries."&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">She was referring, of course, to the little holes left by all those missing puzzle pieces. Time to buy some new maps, I think. :)</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XuFj6PExR4s/UXcDa3xTKLI/AAAAAAAABms/MKaj8_lwYx4/s1600/009.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XuFj6PExR4s/UXcDa3xTKLI/AAAAAAAABms/MKaj8_lwYx4/s400/009.JPG" height="400" width="300" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-76686506745151223632013-03-04T18:27:00.002-08:002013-07-18T15:09:27.759-07:00Just For Fun....and a reminder?<!--[if !mso]><style>v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} </style><![endif]--><br /><!--[if 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/></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="background: red; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="background: red; text-align: center;"><span style="color: white; font-size: 48.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-bidi-font-family: Aharoni; mso-effects-shadow-align: topleft; mso-effects-shadow-alpha: 70.0%; mso-effects-shadow-angledirection: 3600000; mso-effects-shadow-anglekx: 0; mso-effects-shadow-angleky: 0; mso-effects-shadow-color: black; mso-effects-shadow-dpidistance: 0pt; mso-effects-shadow-dpiradius: 5.0pt; mso-effects-shadow-pctsx: 100.0%; mso-effects-shadow-pctsy: 100.0%; mso-style-textoutline-fill-alpha: 100.0%; mso-style-textoutline-fill-color: white; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-align: center; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-compound: simple; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-dash: solid; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-dpiwidth: .725pt; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-join: round; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-linecap: flat; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-pctmiterlimit: 0%; mso-style-textoutline-type: solid;">KEEP CALM</span></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="background: red; text-align: center;"><span style="color: white; font-size: 48.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-bidi-font-family: Aharoni; mso-effects-shadow-align: topleft; mso-effects-shadow-alpha: 70.0%; mso-effects-shadow-angledirection: 3600000; mso-effects-shadow-anglekx: 0; mso-effects-shadow-angleky: 0; mso-effects-shadow-color: black; mso-effects-shadow-dpidistance: 0pt; mso-effects-shadow-dpiradius: 5.0pt; mso-effects-shadow-pctsx: 100.0%; mso-effects-shadow-pctsy: 100.0%; mso-style-textoutline-fill-alpha: 100.0%; mso-style-textoutline-fill-color: white; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-align: center; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-compound: simple; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-dash: solid; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-dpiwidth: .725pt; 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mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-dpiwidth: .725pt; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-join: round; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-linecap: flat; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-pctmiterlimit: 0%; mso-style-textoutline-type: solid;">FOLLOW</span></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="background: red; text-align: center;"><span style="color: white; font-size: 48.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-bidi-font-family: Aharoni; mso-effects-shadow-align: topleft; mso-effects-shadow-alpha: 70.0%; mso-effects-shadow-angledirection: 3600000; mso-effects-shadow-anglekx: 0; mso-effects-shadow-angleky: 0; mso-effects-shadow-color: black; mso-effects-shadow-dpidistance: 0pt; mso-effects-shadow-dpiradius: 5.0pt; mso-effects-shadow-pctsx: 100.0%; mso-effects-shadow-pctsy: 100.0%; mso-style-textoutline-fill-alpha: 100.0%; mso-style-textoutline-fill-color: white; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-align: center; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-compound: simple; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-dash: solid; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-dpiwidth: .725pt; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-join: round; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-linecap: flat; mso-style-textoutline-outlinestyle-pctmiterlimit: 0%; mso-style-textoutline-type: solid;">THE CHILD</span></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="background: red; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="background: red; text-align: center;"><br /></div>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-83981885814132446372012-12-16T22:19:00.002-08:002012-12-16T22:20:07.505-08:00Thoughts and Prayers<span class="userContent">&nbsp;On behalf of the staff, parents and children of Discover Montessori School and Oceanside Montessori School, I send our sincerest thoughts and prayers to the families affected by the tragedy at Shady Hook Elementary School. </span>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-76977841143208532702012-11-23T18:33:00.000-08:002013-04-23T15:19:55.789-07:00Reflections on the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and that Big Guy in the Red Suit…….<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings></xml><![endif]--><br /><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-CA</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> 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table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} </style><![endif]--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Before I began my Montessori training and the boys were very small, I perpetuated the Santa Claus myth with a vengeance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>On Christmas morning there was a big, muddy footprint on the floor in front of the fireplace and on the mantle was a letter from the jolly old elf himself.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The cookies and carrots so carefully left out on Christmas Eve had disappeared and there were two new Elf-made<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>presents under the tree addressed to each boy in shaky North Pole hand writing.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Needless to say, the boys were staunch believers.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-T98-zpXGJdw/ULAwtgwCvHI/AAAAAAAABkA/Dz1EeIXNtLc/s1600/santa_claus_2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-T98-zpXGJdw/ULAwtgwCvHI/AAAAAAAABkA/Dz1EeIXNtLc/s400/santa_claus_2.jpg" width="281" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The lies always bothered me – a little.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>How could I justify telling such fibs to my children when my husband and I expected them to be honest and truthful.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>In our own <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>feeble defence, Santa was never used as a threat and the boys never received coal in their stockings.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>However,<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>somewhere in my not-so-subconscious I knew that our investment in the myth was larger than the boys. </div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Then the lecture about Dr. Montessori's views on fantasy and imagination came along in my training, and I had to swallow a big lump of sooty guilt. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>I knew we'd probably made a mistake and that, at some point, the lie would come back to thump me on the head. I was right.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>A few years along, my younger son lost a tooth and the "Tooth Fairy" forgot to place a coin under his pillow.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Luckily, the boy didn't check under his pillow immediately and the Tooth Fairy thought she had enough time to slip the coin under it while he was in the washroom.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>This act of parental deception was witnessed, unfortunately,<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>by his older brother.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>A few minutes after returning to my bedroom, the older boy walked in with a thoughtful expression on his face. </div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>"Mom?", he asked.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>"Are you the tooth fairy?"</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I looked at the almost-9-year old boy and said, "Of course I am!<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I thought you knew that."</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>There was a long pause and then he threw himself onto the bed, wailing, "Now I suppose you're going to tell me that you are Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, too!!"<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>He was heart broken – not so much because the characters weren't real but that we'd lied.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>His trust in us was broken and restoring it took some work.</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="tab-stops: 59.0pt;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="tab-stops: 59.0pt;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="tab-stops: 59.0pt;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I’m writing this with the hope that other parents might learn from my mistake.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Santa Claus is a big part of this country’s culture whether one adheres to the religious aspects of Christmas or not.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>It is especially important that at this time of year<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span>we remember our children look to us to help them sort out the world around them.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As Montessori families most of us strive to offer the “real” world to our children.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We buy them real, child-sized tools, trust them to help with the household chores, and set up our homes to include the children in every room.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It behooves us to think very carefully about how we present our cultural myths to our children because at some point, we will be asked if there really is a Santa Claus.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I don’t have a definitive answer.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>When talking to friends and colleagues, I found there are many different ways of handling the Santa Claus question.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Some people tell their children that they don’t know “but it is fun to pretend.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Others tell their children that ”some people believe in Santa” and let their children fill in the blanks.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Still other parents turn the question around and ask “What do you think?’ as a way of opening up a discussion giving the child the opportunity to work out their own answer. </div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Whatever you decide to say when the time comes (and it will) it is good to be prepared.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The Christmas Holidays are busy enough<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"> </span>times without being blindsided by the Santa question.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span><span lang="EN" style="mso-ansi-language: EN;"></span></div>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-69099564414752893702012-09-17T19:24:00.000-07:002012-09-25T17:26:33.650-07:00In Defense of Administrators.<br />Many Montessori school Administrators get a bad rap.&nbsp;&nbsp; Most of us are actually quite nice people who have to make difficult decisions on a daily (dare I say hourly)&nbsp; basis.&nbsp; Unfortunately, making difficult decisions often means taking an unpopular stance to preserve and protect the programs we are managing.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />For example, over the years, I have been asked&nbsp; to incorporate other educational methods into classrooms just because a parent had ``been doing some reading``.&nbsp; I have also been asked to change school policy for one family`s convenience and I have been asked to enrol a child in our program while the parents waited to see if the child would be accepted into another program.&nbsp; I have been yelled at on the telephone because we don`t accept children over 3 years old and&nbsp; I`ve been called ``elitist` because I wouldn`t make an exception and let a child start 3/4 of the way through a level.<br /><br />Administrators have to say `no` daily to teachers who want/need just one more thing for a classroom.&nbsp; We counsel parents who are splitting up and we work "something" out for parents who fall into financial difficulty.&nbsp; We step in to cover for staff members who are away and we even clean toilets when the need arises.&nbsp; We stay up late trying to figure out how to get a benefits package for the staff without blowing the budget and wake up early to greet the children at the start of the school day.&nbsp; Some of us even teach on top of everything else.&nbsp; If we are really lucky, we have enough time on the weekends to clean our homes because most Montessori administrators don't make enough to afford cleaners.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MKVTzppIkVU/UFfZCYI-M5I/AAAAAAAABh0/noOTMbSAr1A/s1600/Camp+2012+003.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MKVTzppIkVU/UFfZCYI-M5I/AAAAAAAABh0/noOTMbSAr1A/s400/Camp+2012+003.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />We work all year round and put in at least 40 hours a week.&nbsp; Most of us continue to work while on vacation and have even been known to respond to work related emails sent on Christmas day.&nbsp; We take abuse from all sides and do it with as professional a demeanour as we can muster.&nbsp; <br /><br />So why do we do it?&nbsp; I ask myself this question whenever I've had a really difficult day.&nbsp; Then I walk down the halls and peek into the classrooms to see happy children working together just like the descriptions in many of Dr. Montessori's books.&nbsp; Or I stop to listen to a child so eager to tell me about a concept he's just mastered that his words come rushing out in a jumble.&nbsp; Perhaps I look out the window and see a teacher taking her group on a nature walk - the respect for nature, for each other, for the world, palpable even from a distance.&nbsp; That's when I remember.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ka0cvNhNddw/UGJLU3ooe4I/AAAAAAAABi8/I8yltu0dfoA/s1600/725.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ka0cvNhNddw/UGJLU3ooe4I/AAAAAAAABi8/I8yltu0dfoA/s400/725.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />We do it simply because true, authentic Montessori programs are worth it.<br /><br />Peace.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-91512164157457675312012-08-17T14:10:00.000-07:002013-03-07T14:45:28.087-08:00A bit more about the bells....not really part 2Recently, a comment was left on a <a href="http://www.amontessorimusingplace.org/2011/07/bit-about-bells-part-1.html">previous post </a>asking about using the bells in a lower elementary class.&nbsp; Since I'm not all that savvy with this blogging stuff, I couldn't figure out how to reply to the comment.&nbsp; Then I realized that it might be a question that a few other people have so I thought I'd just answer the question here.<br /><br />The question was how to keep the bells from distracting the other students in an elementary classroom and I can only answer this from my own experience.&nbsp; We had a set of bells in our elementary classroom for a number of years and they were played daily.&nbsp; At first they were a bit of a distraction because they were a new addition to the shelves.&nbsp; For the first two weeks they were played constantly.&nbsp; Gradually the children got used to having the bells in the classroom and they were only played a few times a day.<br /><br />Most of the time the bells were played with respect but every now and then someone would decide to play them roughly or very loudly.&nbsp; That was VERY distracting and the other children were very vocal about the proper way to use the bells.&nbsp; The teacher seldom had to say anything.&nbsp; <br /><br />For the most part, bells in the elementary classroom are handled just like any other material.&nbsp; Lessons are offered and presented and the children practice as long and as often as they want.&nbsp; Also, just like in any other presentation, handling the material with respect is highlighted.&nbsp; If a child mishandles the materials.....they get another lesson in respectful handling.<br /><br />Now, as I said in another post, it is often the teacher who is most distracted by the bells.&nbsp; I grew up in a household where someone was always playing something so a child practising the bells in the classroom has never bothered me.&nbsp; However, I have met other teachers who find the bells quite distracting.&nbsp; All I can suggest is that if it seems the bells are a distraction, look around and observe the other children.&nbsp; Are they really distracted?&nbsp; If so, what is it that is distracting them?&nbsp; Are they just listening for a moment before going back to their work? Do they settle down quickly after someone takes up the bells or do they begin to disturb each other? Observation is always our best tool in the classroom.<br /><br />The bells are such an important material that I wish every school could afford a set for each classroom.&nbsp; However, being an administrator, I realize this is often not financially feasible. &nbsp; If you have a set of bells, for goodness sake don't hesitate for one minute to put them in the classroom.<br /><br />Hope that answers the questions.&nbsp; If not, please let me know.<br /><br />Play on!&nbsp; <br /><br /><br />Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-32675349883862007252012-06-17T20:13:00.000-07:002012-06-17T20:13:23.905-07:00Oh, What a Year!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><b>September</b><br /><br /><br />Jump Rope for Heart in the old elementary playground.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NrnmKmzpTlc/T94dbueRLpI/AAAAAAAABes/HaEataLG0wY/s1600/102_5394.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NrnmKmzpTlc/T94dbueRLpI/AAAAAAAABes/HaEataLG0wY/s320/102_5394.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><b>October</b><br /><br />Silent Journey and Discovery - Nanaimo<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WO6JUejdk_U/T94cHLdjUgI/AAAAAAAABeU/ICkrZJhX3oc/s1600/102_5368.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WO6JUejdk_U/T94cHLdjUgI/AAAAAAAABeU/ICkrZJhX3oc/s320/102_5368.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br />Oceanside<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MRcbb2cWbLI/T94dHCnU6QI/AAAAAAAABek/n275DAiSKJ4/s1600/102_5415.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MRcbb2cWbLI/T94dHCnU6QI/AAAAAAAABek/n275DAiSKJ4/s320/102_5415.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><b>November</b><br /><br />New beginnings.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-W36kHRjSYOw/T94c0_gMzRI/AAAAAAAABec/ls6SxhUCs9w/s1600/102_5400.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-W36kHRjSYOw/T94c0_gMzRI/AAAAAAAABec/ls6SxhUCs9w/s320/102_5400.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br />The sensorial garden going in.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xrhpXOGrr9s/T94WROoKFnI/AAAAAAAABc8/jQF8SB9xeGM/s1600/102_5468.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xrhpXOGrr9s/T94WROoKFnI/AAAAAAAABc8/jQF8SB9xeGM/s320/102_5468.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br />Sorting out the classrooms.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-o4JxsehnjIc/T94WW5UujbI/AAAAAAAABdE/txniVGwBywQ/s1600/102_5480.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-o4JxsehnjIc/T94WW5UujbI/AAAAAAAABdE/txniVGwBywQ/s320/102_5480.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><b>December</b><br /><br />The elementary sleep-over.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gBN9fIjnmvk/T94Wd7Il6CI/AAAAAAAABdM/CvheBd-tO30/s1600/102_5577.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gBN9fIjnmvk/T94Wd7Il6CI/AAAAAAAABdM/CvheBd-tO30/s320/102_5577.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><b>February</b><br /><br />The Formal Dinner.<br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yXxrm-LsfW0/T94Wp5-ERtI/AAAAAAAABdY/j_REpCJ7qiE/s1600/102_5779.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yXxrm-LsfW0/T94Wp5-ERtI/AAAAAAAABdY/j_REpCJ7qiE/s320/102_5779.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><b>March</b><br /><br />Dissecting fish.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kGOdJgOuzuA/T94XP2SUNeI/AAAAAAAABdg/OyQuUUg-s0s/s1600/102_5805.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kGOdJgOuzuA/T94XP2SUNeI/AAAAAAAABdg/OyQuUUg-s0s/s320/102_5805.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><b>April</b><br /><br />The Master year children discover the solar system.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sjvFW5LyT1s/T94ktSRF7pI/AAAAAAAABfM/B6aYl1rMMuM/s1600/102_5878.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sjvFW5LyT1s/T94ktSRF7pI/AAAAAAAABfM/B6aYl1rMMuM/s320/102_5878.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><b>May</b><br /><br />Trip to the Vancouver Art Gallery.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hK6YIKAGs8c/T94YVOHR3hI/AAAAAAAABdo/sf9vInN1pA8/s1600/102_5997.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hK6YIKAGs8c/T94YVOHR3hI/AAAAAAAABdo/sf9vInN1pA8/s320/102_5997.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br />Children bring their parents to class in Oceanside.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Oj4gQJC440M/T94i62MshZI/AAAAAAAABfE/85TmVntbv54/s1600/102_5979.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Oj4gQJC440M/T94i62MshZI/AAAAAAAABfE/85TmVntbv54/s320/102_5979.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><b>June</b><br /><br />Investigating the composter.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tQZHIdo5aqQ/T94YaqvKUlI/AAAAAAAABdw/GSBRpdh4XRA/s1600/102_6005.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tQZHIdo5aqQ/T94YaqvKUlI/AAAAAAAABdw/GSBRpdh4XRA/s320/102_6005.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br />Master year Recognition Dinner.<br /><br />Oceanside.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vBldsZ65EWI/T94YegJ1uJI/AAAAAAAABd4/EqqNdOWnzxs/s1600/102_6095.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vBldsZ65EWI/T94YegJ1uJI/AAAAAAAABd4/EqqNdOWnzxs/s320/102_6095.JPG" width="240" /></a></div><br />Nanaimo.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8e_6n0vX8AE/T96a_GU0_ZI/AAAAAAAABfo/W9gt1Sv5Wm0/s1600/102_6043.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8e_6n0vX8AE/T96a_GU0_ZI/AAAAAAAABfo/W9gt1Sv5Wm0/s320/102_6043.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />Last minute touches on work.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UcWtSMQPJ6w/T94YhbXiCLI/AAAAAAAABeA/XUElQc8J-Ec/s1600/102_6100.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UcWtSMQPJ6w/T94YhbXiCLI/AAAAAAAABeA/XUElQc8J-Ec/s320/102_6100.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FMDy5LWZWg8/T96cHsgNZ_I/AAAAAAAABf4/ENuGCtPb-4o/s1600/102_6101.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FMDy5LWZWg8/T96cHsgNZ_I/AAAAAAAABf4/ENuGCtPb-4o/s320/102_6101.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br />Creative moments.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_PQ1-rKoL1s/T96bZptWq6I/AAAAAAAABfw/Vl9X6flDuF4/s1600/102_6108.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_PQ1-rKoL1s/T96bZptWq6I/AAAAAAAABfw/Vl9X6flDuF4/s320/102_6108.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />.....What an amazing year it has been.<br /><br /><br />Have a wonderful summer!<br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-15261021604408826112012-04-29T17:33:00.001-07:002013-10-13T09:09:05.016-07:00The Three Period Lesson<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>Without doubt, one of Dr. Montessori's most important innovations was the inclusion of a technique called the Three Period Lesson. Adopted from the work of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89douard_S%C3%A9guin">Eduoard Seguin,</a> a French doctor and educator, the three period lesson is used by Montessori teachers on a daily basis and is an indispensable way to teach new language and the concepts intrinsic to that language.&nbsp; Used properly, the three period lesson gives children information in an orderly and straightforward way which allows them to glean small amounts of knowledge over a long period of time.&nbsp; This lets children reflect on the new knowledge and gives them time to apply it to concepts they've already mastered.&nbsp; As they gain more and more bits of knowledge, they begin to draw conclusions about the world around them based on a solid, fact-based stockpile of information.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9ymQgTQ_cME/T53YyTStK9I/AAAAAAAABXs/rI2ZeZ81liU/s1600/102_5532.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9ymQgTQ_cME/T53YyTStK9I/AAAAAAAABXs/rI2ZeZ81liU/s320/102_5532.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br />So how does it work?&nbsp; Well, as the name implies, there are three parts to the lesson.&nbsp; The first period is the naming lesson in which the child is told the names of objects (one by one, in isolation).&nbsp; The second period is the recognition stage in which the child is asked to remember a specific object. Finally, the third period is when the child recalls the name of a specific object.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9J6eTeNWB_Q/T53VSvRXBCI/AAAAAAAABXc/0pBOV9YiNic/s1600/DSCN0760.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9J6eTeNWB_Q/T53VSvRXBCI/AAAAAAAABXc/0pBOV9YiNic/s320/DSCN0760.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />That's a very brief description of the three period lesson.&nbsp; I haven't gone into a long explanation about how to present the lesson because there are lots of examples all over the internet. (<a href="http://www.montessoriprintshop.com/Give_a_3_Period_Lesson.html">Here's</a> a very good description if you want to learn more.) &nbsp; However, the best way to see a three period lesson is to ask your child's teacher - not the assistant - to give you one.&nbsp;&nbsp; If she doesn't know how to do a three period lesson......I would question the authenticity of her Montessori training.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />The importance of the Three period lesson can't be underestimated.&nbsp; This tool can be used anywhere.&nbsp; In the classroom we use it to introduce letter sounds, number values and symbols, continent names, plants and animals, but it is not limited just to the classroom.&nbsp; It can also be used in the playground, in the kitchen, at music lessons, even at the super market.&nbsp; It can even be used to introduce object names in a second language.&nbsp; There is no limit to how this lesson can be used because, under the right circumstances, there is no limit to the amount of information a child between the ages of 3 and 6 is capable of absorbing.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2Epl3dsmYcM/T53T3IGU-0I/AAAAAAAABXU/Lc-D9Wy0aCw/s1600/DSCN0747.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2Epl3dsmYcM/T53T3IGU-0I/AAAAAAAABXU/Lc-D9Wy0aCw/s320/DSCN0747.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br />Nor does the three period lesson stop when&nbsp; a child enters a Montessori elementary classroom.&nbsp; Like so many other concepts, the lesson becomes more abstract as the older child gradually moves away from the concrete.&nbsp; For example, a botany lesson might begin with the examination of a flower and the naming of its various parts (naming).&nbsp; The second period (recognition) happens when a child works with the three part cards of the flower. ( Each card has a picture and corresponding label.&nbsp; Working with this material, the child gradually memorizes the name for each part.)&nbsp; Finally , in the third period, the child challenges himself by using the definition cards to identify the correct picture and label.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mGiUUIg0nEk/T53WxAymuwI/AAAAAAAABXk/w92bMFboCLs/s1600/102_5379.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mGiUUIg0nEk/T53WxAymuwI/AAAAAAAABXk/w92bMFboCLs/s320/102_5379.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />The real beauty of the three period lesson is that it allows Montessori teachers to meet each child exactly where they are.&nbsp; In other words, the technique allows the children as much time as they need to learn each new concept - some children will absorb a concept quickly and only need the lesson once or twice while other children may want to be given the lesson many times until they are confident enough to move on.<br /><br />Peace. <br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: verdana;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: verdana;"><br /></span>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-33940179777054546422012-04-15T12:37:00.000-07:002012-04-15T20:25:59.500-07:00Pets in the Classroom<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The prepared environment of many Montessori classrooms includes an animal of one sort or another.&nbsp; As I've written on t<a href="http://themontessorichildathome.blogspot.ca/2010/04/taking-care-of-family-pet-at-ls-house.html">he other blog</a>, the inclusion of live animals in a child’s daily life greatly enhances their abilities to learn responsibility, empathy and compassion for other living things, respect for life, and the natural development of living things.&nbsp; In addition to being a loving companion,&nbsp;pets provide comfort and solace in times of stress. This holds true for the classroom as well as in a child's home.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eI9IFbxWD7Y/T4smn81BYpI/AAAAAAAABW8/OxZIAsslTAY/s1600/beta2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="305" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eI9IFbxWD7Y/T4smn81BYpI/AAAAAAAABW8/OxZIAsslTAY/s320/beta2.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Having living examples of the five classes of animals (reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, insects)also helps to develop the understanding a student gleans when working with any of the zoology materials </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nUudysOF7PY/T4sTvZvzQ-I/AAAAAAAABW0/gf5mTfpch6M/s1600/102_4419.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nUudysOF7PY/T4sTvZvzQ-I/AAAAAAAABW0/gf5mTfpch6M/s320/102_4419.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; During my years as a Montessori teacher, I have had the opportunity to work with snakes, turtles, frogs and toads, geckos, fish, tarantulas (not my favourite), lizards, stick bugs, guinea pigs, hamsters, and birds.&nbsp; Despite my own phobias (as in that HUGE spider) I loved watching the children watching the animals.&nbsp; Even more, I loved listening to their comments.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">"Mrs. Dyer!&nbsp; I think a cricket got away!"</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">"Do fish like jam sandwiches?"</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div>"No way Rocky can swallow that WHOLE mouse!"&nbsp; (Rocky was the snake and the mice were frozen, thank goodness.&nbsp; Thawing them was one of the more bizarre tasks I've encountered in my career as a Montessorian.)<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When talking to friends about this topic, I found there were three different schools of thought.&nbsp; The first was that having animals in the classroom was a great idea, the second was a more militant feeling that animals don't belong in cages and therefore shouldn't be in classrooms, and the third was that because live animals bring so many positive things into a classroom there is a place for them BUT their habitats have to be as close to real life as possible.&nbsp; In the words of a Biologist friend (Sabrina), "It is usually a matter of enough space and the art of 'decoration'.&nbsp; Frogs&nbsp; (her specialty) or amphibians in general have a wide range of behaviour... some don't move around much and some are very active.&nbsp; When you can give them what they need, its not a problem to keep them as pets. That means they need more than just a warmed cage with some soil in it.&nbsp; Some people, or better, most people don't think much about it.&nbsp; For example, most small animals and many fish need places to hide, just like in their natural habitat. Unfortunately, this may mean that the children don't see them very often."<br /><br /><div class="fbChatMessage fsm direction_ltr" data-jsid="message"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The picture below is Sabrina's frog tank. It is an excellent example of a tank being set up to mirror an animal's natural habitat.&nbsp; Hiding in amongst all those leaves are tiny little frogs.&nbsp; They may be hard to spot, but children will quickly learn that in order to spot one, they will have to hold very still and be very patient.&nbsp; Good skills to take out on nature walks.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4LLoYimFx4k/T4oPh_9CWPI/AAAAAAAABWc/Sqdic4oUeCM/s1600/hab2.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4LLoYimFx4k/T4oPh_9CWPI/AAAAAAAABWc/Sqdic4oUeCM/s320/hab2.JPG" width="214" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Here, Sabrina hold one of her frogs on the end of her fingers.&nbsp; (She was careful to remind me that holding a frog for too long can hurt them because they absorb substances through their skin and the heat from our hands can cause frogs to overheat.)<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MXyZsMcP-BE/T4oQ9tNxjII/AAAAAAAABWs/rsKaxOAubU0/s1600/67486_151204641587765_100000946904081_226452_6369331_n.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MXyZsMcP-BE/T4oQ9tNxjII/AAAAAAAABWs/rsKaxOAubU0/s320/67486_151204641587765_100000946904081_226452_6369331_n.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Recently, I spent some time in our Campbell River school and was fascinated to watch how the teacher's dog had become part of the classroom.&nbsp; The dog (Kira) spends her "down time" in the teacher's office but she doesn't stay there for long.&nbsp; About three or four times a morning, a child will take the short leash (made by the teacher), open the door and call Kira. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-CMCoD5UX-yE/T2-lry-y5LI/AAAAAAAABVc/jLw7a05_h-g/s1600/102_5801.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-CMCoD5UX-yE/T2-lry-y5LI/AAAAAAAABVc/jLw7a05_h-g/s320/102_5801.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Once on the leash,&nbsp; Kira is walked carefully across the classroom to the mat by the front door.&nbsp; She is asked to sit ( and almost always obeys) then the child goes to the Practical Life shelves to get a box containing the grooming tools. </div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kzgKAYnU-7g/T2-lGoGolLI/AAAAAAAABVE/NhCjEpLosIU/s1600/102_5797.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kzgKAYnU-7g/T2-lGoGolLI/AAAAAAAABVE/NhCjEpLosIU/s320/102_5797.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It is plain to me that Kira loves this activity as much as the children do.&nbsp; What I found most interesting, however, was that none of the other children were really distracted by the dog while she was in the classroom.&nbsp; They had accepted her presence the same way they would accept any other classmate - a novelty at first but soon just another classroom member.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SRedSeRSejQ/T2-k2OX9PZI/AAAAAAAABU8/n0dQpiyhggU/s1600/102_5793.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SRedSeRSejQ/T2-k2OX9PZI/AAAAAAAABU8/n0dQpiyhggU/s400/102_5793.JPG" width="400" />&nbsp;</a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It is important to note that Kira was chosen because of her mild temperament and she was introduced slowly to the classroom.&nbsp; In addition, we sent a notice home to the parents (and the Licensing Authority) about the dog being in the classroom and the teacher was careful to make sure there were no children allergic to dogs.&nbsp; As you can see from the pictures below, Kira has been accepted by the children in and out of the classroom.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">&nbsp;<a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MWhdEaAXHOQ/T2-lgZOhmsI/AAAAAAAABVU/yhmctM3ldRk/s1600/102_5799.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MWhdEaAXHOQ/T2-lgZOhmsI/AAAAAAAABVU/yhmctM3ldRk/s400/102_5799.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2RMwEKkRn6g/T2-lTg4IZ7I/AAAAAAAABVM/EDhVf7i6mUk/s1600/102_5798.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2RMwEKkRn6g/T2-lTg4IZ7I/AAAAAAAABVM/EDhVf7i6mUk/s400/102_5798.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Having pets in the classroom is never a replacement for taking the children out into nature.&nbsp; However, carefully prepared, indoor natural environments can enrich a child's understanding of the world around them.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-32765182867010319042012-04-06T13:47:00.000-07:002012-04-06T13:47:58.963-07:00Montessori Seeds blogThere's a new blog in the neighbourhood which deserves a look.&nbsp; <a href="http://montessoriseeds.blogspot.ca/">Montessori Seeds</a> written by Matthew Simberg is "a blog about elementary age children, philosophies, advice, networking and sharing from a Montessori perspective and others alike."<br /><br />Enjoy!Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-23131126644233961242012-01-24T12:50:00.003-08:002012-09-18T16:33:09.133-07:00Why is there a Spring Break in an Independent school?&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The title of this post is paraphrasing a message recently sent to me by one of our parents. Since it is something I've been asked a few times over the years, I thought I'd address it here.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There are several reasons why most Montessori schools follow the model created by the public school system.&nbsp; However, in order to answer the question accurately, one needs to know why the question is being asked. As I mentioned, this kind of question has been asked many times in many different ways.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The question might be asked out of concern that the same amount of tuition is paid for each month although one month may have fewer school days than another?&nbsp; In this case, its a very good question and one that I always try to cover in orientation meetings. Our tuition is actually a yearly fee.&nbsp; We've broken it down into monthly payments to make it more accessible for most families. This is why we don't have a daily or an hourly fee nor do we have drop in rates.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wX8qJk20B1s/Tx3n82SNLXI/AAAAAAAABQY/mhyhPhnnP7U/s1600/DMS+Living+Playground+063.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wX8qJk20B1s/Tx3n82SNLXI/AAAAAAAABQY/mhyhPhnnP7U/s400/DMS+Living+Playground+063.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Perhaps the question is asked because parents don't understand the need for children to have breaks from academics.&nbsp; Just like adults, children need breaks from work.&nbsp; Taking periodic breaks has been proven to help children be more focused and ready for academics when they return to school.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8_I63JtwND0/Tx3oRB9BknI/AAAAAAAABQo/FiH_W25DaVU/s1600/100_2751.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8_I63JtwND0/Tx3oRB9BknI/AAAAAAAABQo/FiH_W25DaVU/s400/100_2751.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Sometimes the question is asked out of the misguided belief that teachers go skiing over the break.&nbsp; Contrary to popular belief, most teachers work throughout their break time.&nbsp; This is even more true&nbsp; for Montessori teachers who are constantly creating, updating, and refurbishing their classroom materials.&nbsp;&nbsp; Skip over to<a href="http://www.amontessorimusingplace.org/2010/12/leisure-time.html"> this post </a>and you'll get a glimpse of the kinds of things Montessori teachers do on their breaks.<br /><br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Often, I am asked why Independent schools take time off for Professional development days.&nbsp; The name says it all.&nbsp; Our credentialing bodies require a certain amount of professional development per year in order to renew our teaching licenses.&nbsp; Most of our teachers hold credentials from both the Early Childhood Educator Registry (to teach the primary children) and from the Ministry of Education (to teach the Kindergarten aged children).&nbsp; This means that our teachers have to prove they've done more professional development than other teachers.&nbsp; Not only do we attend our own Montessori conferences and refresher courses, but we also attend workshops on speech development, childhood development, music and art, special needs, observation of children, best practises in math and language, etc.&nbsp; Very few of these courses are offered on weekends so we must take Pro D. days. With all that said, we take fewer Pro D days than public schools.&nbsp; We also don't take every second Friday afternoon off.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1Rlb731GFD8/Tx8XyAmw0pI/AAAAAAAABQ4/7uwNuBrm-38/s1600/102_5415.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1Rlb731GFD8/Tx8XyAmw0pI/AAAAAAAABQ4/7uwNuBrm-38/s400/102_5415.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; To close, I'd like to mention that this question is often asked because it is not understood that Montessori schools are not daycare programs.&nbsp; We are schools.&nbsp; Please don't misunderstand me - I am not denigrating daycare programs.&nbsp; I am just trying to point out that authentic Montessori programs are vastly different than other programs.&nbsp; Looking at Montessori programs through the daycare 'lens'&nbsp; does both programs a great disservice.&nbsp; There are many kinds of early childhood programs available to answer many different needs.&nbsp; The decision to place one's child in any program depends very much on a parent's values, needs, and understanding of the programs available.<br /><br />Peace.Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-44817514032376085512012-01-18T14:40:00.000-08:002013-01-12T20:44:28.404-08:00Elementary Formal DinnerEvery year, our elementary students prepare and hold a formal dinner......for themselves.&nbsp; It is a wonderful event and the infectious magic of the preparations filters through the entire school as delicious smells waft through the halls and excited preschoolers sneak peeks at the industries taking place in the elementary classroom.<br /><br />Preparation begins weeks before when Diana (elem. teacher) and the children decide on the menu. Usually this involves the children making suggestions and then voting on those suggestions.&nbsp; Over the years, the dinner has included any combination of&nbsp; appetizers, salads, soup, entrees&nbsp; and desserts. &nbsp; Depending on the group of children, the dinner could include anything from macaroni &amp; cheese to ginger maple glazed chicken.&nbsp; This year there has been talk of Peking duck.<br /><br />Once the menu is set, the office helps them make up place-cards. &nbsp; The menu is printed on one side of the card and the child's name is handwritten on the other.&nbsp; Here is an assortment of place-cards that have graced the tables of formal dinners in the past.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4LeWljCad9s/TwoqQtUhLtI/AAAAAAAABPU/UsWfRK9eXmk/s1600/102_3240.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4LeWljCad9s/TwoqQtUhLtI/AAAAAAAABPU/UsWfRK9eXmk/s400/102_3240.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br />The next step is buying the food.&nbsp; The menu is broken down into ingredients and Diana (elementary teacher) helps them figure out the amounts they will need.&nbsp; Once the shopping list is written out,&nbsp; a small group of the children are taken to a local grocery store to purchase everything they will need to make the dinner.&nbsp; Although they are driven to the store by an adult, they are not guided around the store.&nbsp; The children are expected to push the cart around the store and find the items on their list.&nbsp; If they need help, they are to ask someone who works at the store.&nbsp; Now this does not mean that the driver just dumps the children at the store then goes to grab a coffee. ;0)&nbsp; Far from it.&nbsp; Having been the adult in question on several occasions, I find it best to hang out by the magazine rack in case the children need to find me.<br /><br />Once the groceries have been bought and paid for, the children return to the school and the cooking begins.&nbsp;&nbsp; By this time, Diana and another group of children have had time to really look at the recipes and decide how many steps are involved.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sEDZwTKJFVk/Txc23fwdGwI/AAAAAAAABQM/sUCEujD2aLk/s1600/102_4526+%25282%2529.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="226" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sEDZwTKJFVk/Txc23fwdGwI/AAAAAAAABQM/sUCEujD2aLk/s400/102_4526+%25282%2529.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3_GEBPzsziE/TwonUNfnHAI/AAAAAAAABOk/fgBgSbqkkyw/s1600/102_4528.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3_GEBPzsziE/TwonUNfnHAI/AAAAAAAABOk/fgBgSbqkkyw/s400/102_4528.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br />&nbsp; <br />While the food is being prepared, another group of children make the table arrangements. Our Board Chairman, Eveline, brings in an assortment of fresh flowers every year and guides the children as they make beautiful centrepieces for the tables.&nbsp; <br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-B3EDTli7fB0/TwtdB2XtfqI/AAAAAAAABPk/wphjj1QNPiY/s1600/102_4546.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-B3EDTli7fB0/TwtdB2XtfqI/AAAAAAAABPk/wphjj1QNPiY/s400/102_4546.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />By 3 o'clock, the food has all been prepared and put away, the classroom has been tidied and the table has been set, so the children go home to prepare themselves for the festivities.&nbsp; It is a Formal Dinner and the children take great pleasure in dressing up in their finery.&nbsp; Over the years, we have seen everything from three piece suits&nbsp; to freshly pressed Hawaiian shirts, opera length gloves to feather boas, and bolo ties to bow-ties.&nbsp; <br /><br />Once the children are gone, the party elves spring into action. (The party elves are Diana, me, and anyone else we can press into service).&nbsp; We set the tables, string fairy lights, tie balloons to the back of each chair, set up the music, and begin to warm the food for serving.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ds5VkRsBbq0/TwtdLZIuG1I/AAAAAAAABP8/RNgVp5_a2qY/s1600/102_4534.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ds5VkRsBbq0/TwtdLZIuG1I/AAAAAAAABP8/RNgVp5_a2qY/s400/102_4534.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />By this time the children begin to arrive and find the room has been transformed in their absence. (At this point, the parents are "allowed" to stay for 15 minutes to take pictures.&nbsp; After that, they are politely whisked out the door so that the festivities can begin.) <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IrWjKopzOXk/Twtc_iYeotI/AAAAAAAABPc/F4oLhPHuXR8/s1600/102_4536.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IrWjKopzOXk/Twtc_iYeotI/AAAAAAAABPc/F4oLhPHuXR8/s400/102_4536.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />Then children find their places by reading the place cards.<br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SnLeB1-Xl78/TwooO91gl_I/AAAAAAAABO0/UaEaCJRpDcY/s1600/102_4543.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SnLeB1-Xl78/TwooO91gl_I/AAAAAAAABO0/UaEaCJRpDcY/s400/102_4543.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br />&nbsp;Excited chatter fills the air as they discuss the table settings, their attire, how much they are looking forward to the dinner, and how" cool" the whole event is.&nbsp; This is my favourite part of the whole evening.&nbsp; The youngest children are attending their first Formal Dinner.&nbsp; For the previous 3 years, as Primary students, they watched (and smelled) the preparations and often wished they could take part. &nbsp; Now, as they enter the classroom, one can see that they truly feel they've arrived.&nbsp; They stand a little taller, eyes wide and shining.&nbsp; Many of them don't stop smiling all evening.&nbsp; In like manner, the older elementary children enter the room with happy anticipation.&nbsp; Although they've attended previous Formal Dinners, their renewed sense of wonder is unmistakable. <br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-K3thaD2NduY/TwtdEp065VI/AAAAAAAABPs/geDEZuiUJG8/s1600/102_4548.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-K3thaD2NduY/TwtdEp065VI/AAAAAAAABPs/geDEZuiUJG8/s400/102_4548.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br />Once the children are seated, the food is brought to the serving table.&nbsp; One by one the children bring their plates to the food table and are served by their teachers.<br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ktx136qCFkw/TwopB4khQhI/AAAAAAAABO8/b3SOERxqj7E/s1600/102_3141.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ktx136qCFkw/TwopB4khQhI/AAAAAAAABO8/b3SOERxqj7E/s400/102_3141.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />They politely wait until everyone has been served and then.......the dinner begins. Table manners are expected and the children have been carefully schooled to say "Interesting" when they find they don't like the taste of something.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7tyI-nLjDt8/UPI5Q-W82oI/AAAAAAAABkc/664eljEtt6o/s1600/2004-01-01+00.09.56.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7tyI-nLjDt8/UPI5Q-W82oI/AAAAAAAABkc/664eljEtt6o/s400/2004-01-01+00.09.56.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br />After so much sitting around and eating, someone inevitably asks "May we dance?" So tables are moved out of the way and the music is turned up. The children dance and dance......until.......their parents arrive and it is time to say farewell.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xojWn6UpQiI/UPI7KQley5I/AAAAAAAABkw/jvejOJF6PhE/s1600/Formal+dancing.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="313" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xojWn6UpQiI/UPI7KQley5I/AAAAAAAABkw/jvejOJF6PhE/s400/Formal+dancing.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />Our Formal Dinner is a long held school tradition.&nbsp; It is another bonding experience for the elementary children as well as a safe venue for the children to practically apply the lessons of formal socializing. It is also a lot of fun for students and teachers alike.<br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-86864138050565233922011-12-25T15:46:00.000-08:002011-12-25T15:46:08.508-08:00Peace to you all.<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AnJNPg54Ebg/Tve1hRfnEHI/AAAAAAAABOU/IrUXxScCmLQ/s1600/102_4596.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AnJNPg54Ebg/Tve1hRfnEHI/AAAAAAAABOU/IrUXxScCmLQ/s320/102_4596.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />All the best of this holiday season to everyone!!<br /><br />CynthiaCynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-15114611483591585472011-12-01T17:50:00.000-08:002011-12-01T17:50:11.751-08:00The Elementary Sleepover<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Our Elementary children are about to attend the annual Elementary Sleep over.&nbsp; Like the trip to Newcastle Island, the sleep over is an important bonding experience as well as another step toward independence.&nbsp; Sleeping over at a friend's house is an experience that many children have had by the time they reach the elementary levels.&nbsp;&nbsp; A few may even had the experience of sleeping over with a group in a camp setting.&nbsp;&nbsp; However, few children have had a sleepover with their classmates and their teachers in their own classroom.&nbsp; The sleep over also fills in a few of those imaginative gaps that many elementary children have.&nbsp; Gaps like wondering if teachers live at school or what the school look like at night.&nbsp; In addition, there is lots of planning involved in such an event and our elementary teacher guides the children through the planning process.<br /><br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The afternoon and evening are filled with all sorts of things to do.&nbsp; Some children choose to go swimming and others choose to go on a bike ride.&nbsp; Then we all sit down to a pizza dinner.&nbsp; After dinner, the crafts begin.&nbsp; We have several parents who volunteer to share a craft with 4 or 5 of the children.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-X6ojKEz5-uA/TtRTHmOz35I/AAAAAAAABNE/O-CgXybUIxA/s1600/102_4368.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-X6ojKEz5-uA/TtRTHmOz35I/AAAAAAAABNE/O-CgXybUIxA/s400/102_4368.JPG" width="400" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">When the crafts are all finished, out come the flashlights because it is dark enough for our night walk!&nbsp; In the old school, we walked around the neighbourhood and the children had a great time.&nbsp; This year, we have&nbsp; our new playground to explore!&nbsp; I've already heard excited conversations about this in the elementary classroom.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">&nbsp;<a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wi0lZhTqk6w/Ts7ASQHpUyI/AAAAAAAABMk/f7-kp1pnqao/s1600/102_2939.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wi0lZhTqk6w/Ts7ASQHpUyI/AAAAAAAABMk/f7-kp1pnqao/s400/102_2939.JPG" width="400" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Eventually, it is time for bed.&nbsp; The children set up their mats or bedrolls in the classroom and then all get ready for bed (notice I didn't say sleep).&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UfTe1XGoxyk/TtRTQE0XyUI/AAAAAAAABNU/hzS-Z3BruNc/s1600/102_4371.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UfTe1XGoxyk/TtRTQE0XyUI/AAAAAAAABNU/hzS-Z3BruNc/s400/102_4371.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a class="cssButton ubtn-disabled" href="javascript:void(0)" id="draftButton" target=""></a></div><div class="cssButtonOuter"><div class="cssButtonMiddle"><div class="cssButtonInner"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-m0tGAiM8liA/TtRXqQtiEHI/AAAAAAAABN8/qdk4R9DT-RM/s1600/102_4373.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-m0tGAiM8liA/TtRXqQtiEHI/AAAAAAAABN8/qdk4R9DT-RM/s400/102_4373.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br />Once everyone is almost settled in, the lights are turned off and the best event of the evening commences!&nbsp; Diana tells a story!&nbsp; (I have attended several of these sleepovers and Diana's stories are always eagerly anticipated.)&nbsp; By the end of the story...........most of the children are fast asleep.<br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CIkbce9RQaM/TtRTVGpkG0I/AAAAAAAABNc/lVidG3eQ5oc/s1600/102_4376.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CIkbce9RQaM/TtRTVGpkG0I/AAAAAAAABNc/lVidG3eQ5oc/s400/102_4376.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />And before we know it, morning arrives.&nbsp; The children have breakfast in their pyjamas, right in the classroom!&nbsp; <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_XNG-BqHrNM/TtRTfZlF4SI/AAAAAAAABNs/psF9JpplPgs/s1600/102_4377.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_XNG-BqHrNM/TtRTfZlF4SI/AAAAAAAABNs/psF9JpplPgs/s400/102_4377.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br />By the time breakfast is all cleaned up and the children are almost packed, the parents arrive.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Q8Wjt9NF1RI/TtRaQBl3h7I/AAAAAAAABOE/X6Qa1wAvtlA/s1600/102_4378.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="223" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Q8Wjt9NF1RI/TtRaQBl3h7I/AAAAAAAABOE/X6Qa1wAvtlA/s400/102_4378.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br />To the sound of joyful farewells and "You know what else we did?" and "Bye, Diana!&nbsp; Thank you!!"&nbsp; We will lock the doors and heave big, happy, sighs.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div class="cssButtonInner">&nbsp;</div><div class="cssButtonInner">What a great job we have!<br /></div></div></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-30167114372275649002011-11-17T11:08:00.000-08:002011-11-17T11:18:06.025-08:00Before and after!Whew!&nbsp; What an undertaking THAT MOVE was.&nbsp; Couldn't have been done without a lot of incredible people helping.&nbsp; From Board members to teachers,&nbsp; parents to Grandparents, alumni to current students...... dozens of people showed up to help in one way or another. Thank you to everyone!<br /><br />I've saved these pictures until now because I wanted to show before and after.<br /><br /><br />A Primary classroom before.........<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bFAvkMvvK_c/TrtJrh_5JhI/AAAAAAAABIk/5dwnKssx2BY/s1600/102_5431.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bFAvkMvvK_c/TrtJrh_5JhI/AAAAAAAABIk/5dwnKssx2BY/s400/102_5431.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br />and after!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-G6maR77UiD4/TsBKfWQPTeI/AAAAAAAABKw/1SYTLeKFiRI/s1600/102_5536.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-G6maR77UiD4/TsBKfWQPTeI/AAAAAAAABKw/1SYTLeKFiRI/s400/102_5536.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br />Another Primary classroom before.......<br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0gauFYvSou0/TsBEs4Q8iCI/AAAAAAAABKI/6HNvxsO3ES8/s1600/102_5430.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0gauFYvSou0/TsBEs4Q8iCI/AAAAAAAABKI/6HNvxsO3ES8/s400/102_5430.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br />and after!<br /><span id="goog_1964632727"></span><span id="goog_1964632728"></span><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wn8MgUZ4xgY/TsBFrQDSfzI/AAAAAAAABKY/_dzymsRLJUI/s1600/102_5537.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wn8MgUZ4xgY/TsBFrQDSfzI/AAAAAAAABKY/_dzymsRLJUI/s400/102_5537.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />The All-day Montessori room before.........<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FUHn5rkQjyM/TrtJ_Hm3yuI/AAAAAAAABIs/9gDisxDjA9E/s1600/102_5426.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FUHn5rkQjyM/TrtJ_Hm3yuI/AAAAAAAABIs/9gDisxDjA9E/s400/102_5426.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br />and after!<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VB_bsXMR8E8/TsVOnZ4VhSI/AAAAAAAABLI/GkmLBcvEZtY/s1600/102_5539.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VB_bsXMR8E8/TsVOnZ4VhSI/AAAAAAAABLI/GkmLBcvEZtY/s400/102_5539.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />The Elementary classroom before....<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iE4aeLVTzJ8/TrtKwKU8moI/AAAAAAAABI0/t94L6UiwyHo/s1600/102_5427.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iE4aeLVTzJ8/TrtKwKU8moI/AAAAAAAABI0/t94L6UiwyHo/s400/102_5427.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br />and after!<br /><br /><span id="goog_1995705407"></span><span id="goog_1995705408"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jbJUgFl9UtE/TsVPFqNIUeI/AAAAAAAABLQ/YCD769B2wvA/s1600/102_5538.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jbJUgFl9UtE/TsVPFqNIUeI/AAAAAAAABLQ/YCD769B2wvA/s400/102_5538.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br />After everything was in and all the bits and pieces had been placed and replaced.......and replaced many more times.........we were all exhausted but very, very, very, happy!<br /><br /><br />Peace. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com8tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7573510783661189073.post-38987587348040247712011-10-27T12:41:00.000-07:002011-12-01T19:22:04.967-08:00A Playground is born.We spent last weekend building a new playground for our youngest children.&nbsp; It was a TON of hard work but so satisfying and worth the effort.&nbsp; Today we took the Licensing Officer through it and she loved the playground.&nbsp; All that hard work paid off!<br /><br />Anyway, here are some pictures of the two days it took to build a Living Playground.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />The rocks arrived.<br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0LZAxd5jeMk/Tqi5vUn4CuI/AAAAAAAABEg/zSqfykLrUbs/s1600/102_5432.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0LZAxd5jeMk/Tqi5vUn4CuI/AAAAAAAABEg/zSqfykLrUbs/s400/102_5432.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />Our amazing volunteers arrived.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-H6yIs9iLQNo/Tqi_MofjLTI/AAAAAAAABF4/7Op-gUbExZY/s1600/102_5435.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-H6yIs9iLQNo/Tqi_MofjLTI/AAAAAAAABF4/7Op-gUbExZY/s400/102_5435.JPG" width="400" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><br />The sod cutter arrived.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EGG_EghfokU/TqjD1led46I/AAAAAAAABGI/A6DnIULc56U/s1600/102_5448.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EGG_EghfokU/TqjD1led46I/AAAAAAAABGI/A6DnIULc56U/s400/102_5448.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />The dump truck arrived.&nbsp; This was the highlight of the day for the children....and for many of us adults. ( Turns out that one of the men who delivered the soil was a student at our school about 20 years ago!) <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AlL8S1adqas/Tqi6wqZO2vI/AAAAAAAABE4/3qPKZnyMQiM/s1600/102_5458.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AlL8S1adqas/Tqi6wqZO2vI/AAAAAAAABE4/3qPKZnyMQiM/s400/102_5458.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br />&nbsp;Two loads of soil arrived (brought by the dump truck) and the children quickly set to climbing all over it.&nbsp; Really, who needs toys?&nbsp; Just give children a huge pile of dirt, some shovels, and&nbsp; purposeful work to do!&nbsp; Now THAT is practical life.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SX__0RtBoaI/Tqi6KZHIpCI/AAAAAAAABEw/k5XJTzjt5ao/s1600/102_5451.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SX__0RtBoaI/Tqi6KZHIpCI/AAAAAAAABEw/k5XJTzjt5ao/s400/102_5451.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br />&nbsp;The food tent arrived.&nbsp; This was brought by a parent.&nbsp; She also brought a gallon of coffee and muffins for all of us! <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-EMi35q_fIpA/TqjAH2YQoaI/AAAAAAAABGA/9QjlH_0u0C4/s1600/102_5440.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-EMi35q_fIpA/TqjAH2YQoaI/AAAAAAAABGA/9QjlH_0u0C4/s400/102_5440.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br />&nbsp;The raised beds arrived.<br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RR-ZTtmqfr0/Tqi8NncPrmI/AAAAAAAABFA/An8Ngou5HGU/s1600/DMS+Living+Playground+052.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RR-ZTtmqfr0/Tqi8NncPrmI/AAAAAAAABFA/An8Ngou5HGU/s400/DMS+Living+Playground+052.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />The Sensorial garden bed was dug out and filled with some of that lovely dirt.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KcnwKftZ154/TqkrZDxRi4I/AAAAAAAABGQ/nDV3C4JbANk/s1600/102_5459.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KcnwKftZ154/TqkrZDxRi4I/AAAAAAAABGQ/nDV3C4JbANk/s400/102_5459.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vPj6LuisMZI/TqkrhvQJ9CI/AAAAAAAABGY/751AOcGPhmQ/s1600/102_5461.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vPj6LuisMZI/TqkrhvQJ9CI/AAAAAAAABGY/751AOcGPhmQ/s400/102_5461.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><br />&nbsp;A flower bed was dug out and filled with more of that lovely dirt.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2UvmrO46xa4/TqksA3hBu9I/AAAAAAAABGo/Ns7tvxCUwic/s1600/102_5469.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2UvmrO46xa4/TqksA3hBu9I/AAAAAAAABGo/Ns7tvxCUwic/s400/102_5469.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />Diana and the children stomped out a path in the Sensorial Garden once all the dirt was in.&nbsp; The Sensorial Garden will be filled with plants that the children can smell, feel, look at, listen to (seed pods, birds, etc) and taste.&nbsp; The idea of this garden was started by our incredible Office Administrator and blossomed with input from parents and teachers.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pDwTIJ4zhTg/TqksKTlIrUI/AAAAAAAABGw/v53eKwFQjz0/s1600/102_5467.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pDwTIJ4zhTg/TqksKTlIrUI/AAAAAAAABGw/v53eKwFQjz0/s400/102_5467.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><br />Another little flower bed was dug out and filled with plants.<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Wy8DJsTBAy4/TqkuvWWI6jI/AAAAAAAABG4/aE8fyfkpEAE/s1600/DMS+Living+Playground+063.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Wy8DJsTBAy4/TqkuvWWI6jI/AAAAAAAABG4/aE8fyfkpEAE/s400/DMS+Living+Playground+063.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: large;">Stay tuned.&nbsp; More pictures to follow.</span></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>Cynthia Dyerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16481191579068028308noreply@blogger.com2