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Amy Wagner

Amy Wagner

Sarah Knox

Sarah Knox

Poplar Room is a Children’s House classroom on the Toledo Campus. Sarah Knox and Amy Wagner are the classroom’s co-teachers.



Maria Montessori believed that you start with the big picture and then break it down into smaller parts.  We began our Geography studies with an overview of our Solar System.

A kindergartner and a three year old working on the Solar System together.

A kindergartner and a three year old working on the Solar System together.

The above presentation was given to the class as a whole.  We gave facts of each planet and then placed it on its correct ellipse.    There is a wonderful song that accompanies this lesson, it is called “The Family of the Sun.”

The Family of the Sun.
The Family of the Sun.
There are 8 planets
In the Family of the Sun.

Mercury is hot.
and Mercury is small.
Mercury has no atmosphere;
It’s just a rocky ball.

(Repeat refrain…
The Family of the Sun.)

Venus has thick clouds
That hide what is below.
The air is foul, the ground is hot.
It rotates very “slow.”

(Repeat refrain)

We love the Earth, our home.
Its oceans and its trees.
We eat its food. We breathe its air.
So no pollution, please.

(Repeat refrain)

Mars is very red.
It’s also dry and cold.
Some day you might visit Mars
If you are really bold.

(Repeat refrain)

Great Jupiter is big.
We’ve studied it a lot.
We found that it has many moons
and a big red spot.
(Repeat refrain)

Saturn has great rings.
We wondered what they were.
Now we know they’re rocks and ice
which we saw as a blur.

Uranus is so far,
It’s cold and greenish blue,
We found it rotates sideways,
And it has lots of moons.

Neptune has a spot,
A stormy patch of blue,
The planet has a lot of clouds,
And rings around it, too.

(Repeat refrain)

Needless to say, the children love this song and are found singing it many times throughout the day.  In addition to the overview of the Solar System above, individual work was placed on the shelves for the children to explore.  One of them being, making your own Solar System…this involved coloring and pin pushing out the planets and placing the planets in order onto a large piece of black paper that we sprayed with white paint.  The Language area had Solar System puzzles, matching planets, and a matching work that involved matching pictures of astronauts and their equipment with the appropriate object.  The Practical Life area was also transformed to include solar system type materials.  Rock and ice like objects replaced  the spooning and pouring work.  A “Galaxy Play Dough” was also a very popular work choice in the Art Area, for as a child once said, “Everything is better with GLITTER!”

Watching a monarch chysalis brought in by a kindergartner.

Watching a monarch chrysalis brought in by a kindergartner.

We kicked off our science unit this past week focusing on Living and Nonliving things.  Children enjoyed sorting objects and pictures into living or nonliving.  The most popular work on the science shelf was labeling the environment with living and nonliving labels.  Did your child come home with a “living” label on their shirt?  If so, I hope they were able to tell you that they are living.  We discovered that living things grow, need food to eat, and reproduce.  We encountered many living things on our natural playground too; toads, plants, grasshoppers… The children loved this unit.  Our next science unit will be plant v. animal but before that, we will venture into Geography next week as we study the Solar System!!!  Stay tuned…


Orientation Days were attended by all of the new children entering Poplar Room for the 2014-15 school year.  Some of the children are coming from West Side’s Little House Program, while some children are coming to West Side for the first time.  It was very exciting as they walked through the doors eager to begin the next three years of their lives. Orientation Days provide the new students with a foundation for success in Children’s House.   On these days, we provide a variety of lessons such as; how to roll and unroll a rug, hand washing, how to use the bathroom, carrying a tray, using walking feet and a whispering voice, etc.  We call these lessons, “Grace and Courtesy Lessons”.  Grace and Courtesy lessons are the cornerstone to a Montessori classroom.  In addition to receiving the Grace and Courtesy Lessons, we also gave lessons in the Practical Life and Sensorial areas as well.  Here are some pictures of that week…

Spooning in Practical Life

Spooning in Practical Life

Knobless Cylinders - Sensorial

Knobless Cylinders – Sensorial

Using a baster in Practical Life

Using a Baster in Practical Life

Knobbed cylinders - Sensorial

Knobbed Cylinders – Sensorial

Blank Chalkboard - Introduction to Writing

Blank Chalkboard – Introduction to Writing

Thursday, Sept. 4 • 8:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. at Toledo Campus

pink towerMontessori education is designed to maximize development of your young child’s brain power. How?

Join Head of School, Lynn Fisher, at September’s First Thursday as she unlocks the secrets of how an authentic Montessori program works. Little House & Children’s House parents are invited to attend this monthly program held at the Toledo Campus. This month’s event is Thursday, Sept. 4, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. and again from 3:45-4:45 p.m. Come and discover your child’s super powers!

First Thursday is a monthly parent education program presented by West Side Montessori faculty. Any family is welcome to attend! First Thursdays are opportunities for parents in our community to learn more about Montessori through the eyes of children, teachers, and other Montessori parents.

Make plans to come, meet other parents, and learn more about the Montessori method.