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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.

Beyond-the-Continent-Song-1

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.

The last two weeks we have been studying the life and work of Johann Pachelbel.  He was an organist and a composer from Germany that was born in 1653.  He is most famous for his composition of Canon in D.  We listened to this piece of music and the children learned to identify the instruments that were used in the original piece: 3 violins, 1 cello, 1 baroque organ, and 1 theorbo.

We have a listening station in the room where the children can listen to Canon in D while studying a painting of Pachelbel, pictures of the instruments, or make their own book of instruments.  The children loved getting to see a video of all these instruments playing Canon in D after they had been listening to it for a while!  We even listened to a rock and roll version of Canon in D called Canon Rock which featured an electric guitar and drums!

We also introduced a couple different types of musical notes: quarter note, quarter rest, and whole note.  They have enjoyed reading musical notes and clapping different beats.

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Maria Montessori believed that we should provide children with the big picture and then break concepts down into smaller parts.  So, to begin our culture studies the children were introduced to the solar system.  We discussed the fact that our sun is really a star, the only one bright enough to be seen during the day.  To help the children learn the names of the eight planets we learned a song.  It is sung to the familiar tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down” and goes as follows:

Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars

go around our bright star.

Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars

are the inner planets.

Next comes the asteroid belt

asteroid belt, asteroid belt.

Next comes the asteroid belt.

It makes a big round circle.

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune

are gas giants with lots of moons.

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune

are the outer planets.

Each day we learned a new verse and talked about the concepts in the song.  For example, we defined “go around” as orbit.  The children really enjoyed acting out the song as we learned each verse.  On the first day we placed our sun (the one we use in our birthday celebrations) in the middle of the circle.  Four children then stood on our circle rug and orbited the sun as we sang.  After learning the second verse  we added our own asteroid belt to accompany Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.  As those four children orbited the sun as planets the rest of us at the circle held hands and walked carefully around the edge of the rug.  By the time we learned the last verse we had to move outside!

We also learned some interesting things about stars in our small group lessons these past few weeks.  We learned that stars are different colors and all stars are hot, but some are hotter than others.  A matching work was introduced to help illustrate some of the constellations.  Many of the children enjoyed creating their own “constellation” using a Light Bright and black construction paper.  Other work choices included solar system puzzles, matching and labeling cards (known as three part cards), books to look through and a very popular pin punching choice.  Once the children finished pin punching out each planet they could create their own map of the solar system.

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.