Maple Room is a Children’s House classroom on the Toledo Campus. Cory Hall and Amy Lawrence are the classroom’s co-teachers.
Before Spring Break…
Posted by Maple
Weather is what is happening outside. In our transition from Winter to Spring, many types of weather have been observed. The children have been our meteorologists, using the terms snowy, rainy, windy, sunny, cloudy, warm, and cold to describe the weather in Ohio. Every day, they ask if we are able to go outside . We look outside to see what it is doing, as well as look at the temperature, to make an informed decision.
Our UT student performed an experiment with the children to make it “rain.” They had a cup with water at the bottom and then shaving cream was sprayed at the top of the cup. The children were able to choose two different colors of food coloring and squirted a few drops into the shaving cream. When it was heavy enough, the colors started to come through the shaving cream to make a little “rain.”
Another activity involved making a water cycle bracelet. We read a book called A Raindrop’s Journey as an introduction. Each child then made a bracelet. The colors each represented a part of the water cycle. For example, light blue represented the rain, green represented the grass, dark blue the puddle, yellow the sun, clear the water evaporating, and white represented the clouds. It is a continuous cycle. Other activities on the shelf were a weather bear to dress, pictures of different types of weather to sort, and coloring and labeling a weather dictionary. Sometimes, we observed many types of weather in one day.
A Peace Wreath
Peace is a topic that is constantly reinforced in a Montessori classroom. The children use the peace rose to problem solve and practice using their words to compromise and find solutions on a regular basis. Recently, the Maple Room friends worked together to make a peace wreath. Each child dipped one hand into paint and pressed it onto a white paper in a circular pattern next to their friend’s handprint. After the paint dried, the children told the teacher what was peaceful to them and their words were transribed onto the handprints. It was a beautiful work of art when completed and helped to reinforce our sense of community. Examples of things that made our children feel at peace included reading a book, painting a picture, riding a bike, playing a game with a parent, swinging on a tire, walking the dog, etc.
New geometric solids were added to the shelf. They included the square based pyramid and the triangular based pyramid. A challenging activity involved matching the appropriate bases to the geometric solids. For example, a prism had a square base and a rectangle base. A cone had a base in the shape of a circle. The children really enjoy using the knobless cylinders in the sensorial area. An extension this past week involved tracing the knobless cylinders onto the corresponding colors of construction paper (red, yellow, blue, green), pin punching or cutting them out, and gluing them onto paper in a design ( using cards giving choices of patterns or their own designs).
The sense of smell was introduced. The nose sends messages to the brain which helps us know if something smells good or bad. Activities on the shelf included smelling jars in which the children had to match the pairs with the same smell. Vanilla, lavender, cinnamon, lemon, and citrus made up the smells in the jars. Smelly markers were used to match and color various pictures of food, such as watermelon, black licorice, cherry, and grape. We had to be careful not to get the markers too close to our noses as we enjoyed smelling them. Also, smelly pencils (called Smencils) were used for writing words. They did not have any color, but had wonderful scents.
The older children have enjoyed learning about nouns, verbs, and adjectives. This can be a difficult concept, but hands-on activities made it a little easier. One lesson involved labeling nouns around the classroom, such as pencils, shelf, table, pink cube, etc. Another activity was making a noun, verb, or adjective chain depending on which part of speech the child was working on at the time. A child would write a noun (or verb or adjective) on a strip of construction paper. They would then have it stapled to make a circle. They would then write another noun (or verb or adjective) on another strip of paper and link it to the first strip. The chains would vary in length depending on the interest 0f each child.
St. Patrick’s Day
Here are some special moments from the activities and sing-along on St. Patrick’s Day.
**Just a reminder: Please make sure your child has a change of clothing appropriate for the season in their backpacks. If it is warm enough and the weather cooperates, we will be going outside more regularly. In case a child gets wet or muddy, they feel more comfortable changing into their own clothes. Thanks so much for your help and support. We hope you had a wonderful Spring Break and will see you soon. We can’t wait to hear about all of your adventures!!
Parenting Classes Begin Tuesday, April 15
Posted by West Side Montessori
Starting Date Moved Back a Week
Parenting Young Children – Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP)
Do you need a system for effective parenting? You are invited to attend a six-week STEP parenting class (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting). This class is targeted for parents of children from birth to age six (6).
The STEP class will be held on Tuesdays at the Toledo Campus in Central Park from 6:30-7:30 p.m. beginning on Tuesday, April 15, through Tuesday, May 20.
There is no cost for the class. However, each family needs a copy of “Parenting Young Children” at a cost of $15. The books will be distributed before the first class.
Sign up by contacting Kathy Heckert at (419) 866-1931 to reserve a space. Class size is limited.
Parents: Your Opinion Matters
Posted by West Side Montessori
West Side Montessori is in the process of being re-accredited by the American Montessori Society. This is a title that WSM is very proud to have as one of only five schools Ohio and of 126 schools nationally who have this special recognition!
An important part of the process to retain the accreditation is to offer an anonymous parent survey which allows families to express their opinions about our school, including our strengths and areas of improvement. Every opinion counts!
Please take a few moments to complete the specific campus – Perrysburg or Toledo – by clicking a link below to participate. Complete the general questions and then skip to the program-specific questions that pertain to each of your children. Your comments are welcome.
Perrysburg Campus Families
Toledo Campus Families
If done online, follow the directions to print off the “Thank You” page at the end of the survey, add your name, and return it to school. In doing so, you will earn two free hours of child care for your child! Your survey will still be submitted anonymously. Paper copies also are available at the front desk or you can complete an online survey using a laptop set up in the lobby.
Thank you for your continued support of West Side Montessori.
Posted by Maple
National Montessori Week-
National Montessori Week was celebrated at West Side from February 24th through February 28th. We shared some background informtion about Maria Montesori and her great accomplishment in creating what we call the Montessori Method of Education. Maria lived from 1870-1952. She was an Italian physician, philosopher, and educator. At age 13, she attended an all boys technical school hoping to become an engineer. She, however, graduated from the University of Rome La Sapienza Medical School and became the first female doctor in Italy. She then wanted to help educate children with mental disabilities and was asked to start a school for a housing project in Rome, which she called the “Casa dei Bambini” or Children’s House. She believed children developed at different paces and had different interests. She believed children could learn in 3-year age groups and the older childen helped to teach the younger children. Children could be responsible in helping to guide their own learning. They could learn in a well-prepared environment (by the teacher) and the teacher could help facilitate learning. Although Maria is not with us anymore, the beautiful work and principles she believed in are seen in motion every day at West Side Montessori!
We did have a few special activites to celebrate National Montessori Week. We really focused on our Sensorial area since it is a unique element of a Montessori classroom. We reviewed some basic materials that were shown earlier in the year and appropriate ways to use them. Extension cards to use with the brown prisms and pink cubes were demonstrated. Also, some cards showing unique ways to use the knobless cylinder boxes were a work choice. Some of the children enjoyed tracing and pin punching the triangles from the triangle box (1 whole gray trangle, 2 green triangles representing halves, 3 yellow triangles representing thirds, and four red triangles representing fourths) and gluing them onto a poster board. They also were able to do this with the pink cubes and brown prisms. A language work involved usng the moveable alphabet to write about things that made the children feel peaceful, such as reading a book, riding their bike,etc. Throughout the week, children from different levels came into our classroom.We had some of the older Little House children visit with their parents to gain an experience of what a Children’s House class is like. A few third graders came in to read to our children. Also, children from Upper Elementary helped with special projects within the room and chose work with our class. On Friday, a culminating activity for Montessori Week involved a school-wide sing along with Risa. We all came together in the Commons and shared a wonderful experience. Some of the older children were paired up with the younger children.
The Human Body-
The human body has been our area of focus over the past couple of weeks. We talked about the part of the body that we could see first. We reviewed them by singing the song ” Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” and playing the game Simon Says. The children helped explain why each body part is so important. For example, the nose is used for smelling, th ears are used for hearing, the eyes for seeing, etc. Next, the bones beneath the skin were introduced. The bones that make up our skeleton were compared to a hanger used for clothes. They help give us our shape. Otherwise, we may be a pile of skin on the floor instead of a well-shaped body. Proper terms, such as clavicle, phalanges, and tibia were used. One of the most important jobs of the skeleton is to protect the organs, such as the brain and heart. The children learned that the femur is the longest and strongest bone in the body. Work choices on the shelf included puzzles in which the children matched the body part to its correct label, books to look at, a skull outline to pin punch, a skeleton to assmble and label, a book to label the bones in the body, and a foam skeleton puzzle (a favorite work). During circle time, the kids enjoyed reading and singing along with a book called Dem Bones. For example, the head bone’s connected to the neck bone. This was a popular sience unit!!
The roles of organs in the body were examined next. During small group lessons, children were asked to put on an empty anatomy apron. Other children came up and helped place the organs where they belonged. We discussed the brain and how it is the control center of the body. It helps us to make good choices! The heart is another important organ that pumps blood through the body, and the stomach digests the food. Some of the children enjoyed pin punching the organs and gluing them onto a body.
Fun in the Art Area-
Once in a while, a little down time is needed in the day after the children have completed their lessons and morning work choices. Painting and coloring have helped provide a relaxing break and opportunities for creativity and imagination!
Nurturing a Peaceful Child
Posted by West Side Montessori
Picture a peaceful nine-year-old child, kind and giving, passionate and joyful, and mostly in control of his or her emotions. Is this some alien species? Or is it possible to nurture peaceful children in our highly competitive, cynical and polarized society?
Research tells us that educating the emotions, teaching self-control, has a wider impact than preventing violence. Look at the widespread anti-bullying programs in place across our country today. And yet, mean spirited, demeaning behavior persists in elementary schools and beyond.
Surround your child with a caring community of adults who model emotional competence. Gently but firmly set the boundaries for your child’s behavior to provide both physical and emotional security. When you lose your temper with your child out of frustration or exhaustion, apologize. Explain your feelings and actions to help your children recognize and accept their own mistakes, to understand that no one is perfect, no one is superior.
Stop calling your children good or bad. A child labeled good is only good in relation to someone else’s being bad. Labeling encourages children to invest in keeping others bad to ensure superiority.It perpetuates a cycle of judgment and blame and discourages cooperation.
Build your child’s self-confidence and empathy by supporting them in moments of personal crisis and demonstrating that helping others is as important as superior grades or winning the game. Each step you demonstrate toward cooperation and compassion is a step toward developing a peaceful child.
First Thursday | Come Experience Montessori
Seeds of Peace
Thursday, March 6, 8:45-9:30 a.m.
Toledo and Perrysburg Campuses
Join us for a lively discussion led by Montessori-certified teachers on planting the seeds of peace within our children at school and at home. Each month features a new topic geared for the parents of children ages 3 through Kindergarten. Free and open to the public.