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Sassafras

Wendi Rowland

Wendi Rowland

Sarah Duvall

Sarah Duvall

Sassafras Room is a Children’s House classroom on the Toledo Campus. Sarah Duvall and Wendi Rowland are the classroom’s co-teachers.

Just in time for your fall clean-up, West Side Montessori is offering a free community recycling event at the Toledo Campus on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bring over all your unwanted electronic devices for safe destruction and recycling. All technology equipment will be safely wiped for your protection. Check out the list below for what will be accepted!

 

Recycle-IT

While the science curriculum helps the children observe, appreciate and develop and respect for our world, the geography curriculum helps them to understand their place in this world.  Starting from a very grand perspective, our first unit covered the solar system.  From there we narrowed our focus to the planet earth and talked about the importance of land, air and water on our earth.  During our small group lessons we located those elements on our sandpaper globe. This past week we compared our sandpaper globe to our continent globe, where the land is now represented by various colors rather than sandpaper.  We learned that each color on the globe represents a different piece of land called a continent.  Each continent has its own name and all of us (in the Sassafras room) live on the orange continent of North America. To help the children begin to learn the names of all seven continents we sing a song.

North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

Don’t forget Australia, don’t forget Antarctica.

North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

During a group presentation the teacher uses a globe made from play dough to cut in half. This helps the children understand how a sphere can be made into two hemispheres.  They see why Antarctica is on both hemispheres and how most of Asia is on one hemisphere, but a tiny piece ends up on the other hemisphere.  The two hemispheres are gently flattened and compared to the world puzzle map.

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The Montessori science curriculum seeks to cultivate the children’s natural curiosity and to allow them to discover the answers to their questions.  As with the other areas of the room, the science shelves are filled with materials that encourage the children to explore, observe, question, reason and draw conclusions.  Following the work of living and non-living, we switched our focus to just those things that are living.  Now the task is to determine if it is a plant or an animal.  To help the children make that determination we met in small groups and discovered some important differences between the two groups. Animals are able to move on their own,  but not one of us has ever spotted a tree running across our yard or a flower flying overhead!  Plants can only be moved if someone else moves them. Plants can do something very special that animals are not able to do-they can make their own food.  Animals have to hunt for or find their food.  The children then used this knowledge to help them sort objects and pictures into these two categories.

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Following our lesson on plants and animals, some of the children helped to add some new plants to our garden.  Ultimately the goal of the science curriculum is to fill the children with a sense of wonder regarding the world around them, to help them learn to respect and care for our world and teach them to be responsible for our earth.

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Land, Air, and Water

After studying our solar system, we moved into a more in depth study of our planet Earth!  Our first focus was on three elements that are present on our planet-land, air, and water.

The children worked with sorting different vehicles based on whether they travel in the air, land or water, and they had an opportunity to make their own book of where different animals travel.

Living and Non-Living

After studying land, air, and water, we talked about how we need all three of these things to have life on our planet.  Our planet is so unique because it is the only one where life is possible!  We talked about what it means to be alive.  If something is living that means it needs food, water, air, and it reproduces.  If it doesn’t meet this criteria, then it is non-living.

The children worked on sorting various living/nonliving objects, plants, and animals and could make different books, as well.