Bluebird Room is a Lower Elementary classroom for levels 1-3 on the Toledo Campus. Molly Bernhardt and Kyrie Lee are the classroom’s co-teachers.
Lynn Fisher leads class: Parenting the Montessori Elementary Child
Posted by West Side Montessori
Parenting the Montessori Elementary Child
Does your child follow the ground rules at school, but constantly challenge your expectations at home?
Join WSM Head of School Lynn Fisher for a four-week class: Parenting the Montessori Elementary Child. See below for details and register online TODAY at http://goo.gl/Mre7hI or stop by the Toledo Campus office for a paper registration form.
All about the Body and Mind
Posted by Bluebird
Building Healthy Habits
If your child is suddenly hounding you at the grocery store, encouraging you to read every label to see if it has high fructose corn syrup, sodium, or dyes then we have successfully done our job! This past month we have been studying the human body and nutrition.
- In Kyrie’s lessons, the students have been focusing on the human body. Level 1 is learning about the internal organs and the five senses. Level 2 is studying the internal organs and systems including digestive and circulatory. Level 3 is also studying the organs and systems and will begin the skeletal system.
- In Molly’s lessons, the children have been examining foods, nutrition labels, and making healthy choices for our bodies. Level 1 created “My plate” to learn about eating a balanced diet. Level 2 compared and contrasted foods by reading nutrition labels and ingredients. One of their favorite activities was measuring the grams of sugar in various drinks using the balance scale. Wow! Mountain Dew was eye opening! Third level is learning the nutrients found in foods and why the body needs each. We even examined Oreos and poptarts for calcium, iron, protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Surprisingly, they have many nutrients in them! (Along with sugar!)
Dr. Ziad Tohme, 1st level parent and periodontist, came in to do a presentation on healthy teeth and gums. First level has been studying dental health so we were thrilled to have him take time from his busy schedule to share his expertise!
Part of having a healthy mind is feeding it good stories, and boy did we hear a great one!! Grandma “Moon”, a 2nd level grandparent and retired teacher, came in to the Bluebird room to tell us some tales. Ask your child to tell you the story of Lazy Jack.
The Benefits of Stories
When my children were younger, one of our favorite rituals was bedtime storytelling. Each night the children would request to hear a Poof story. Poof is a character that I developed one night when I needed a way to distract my two oldest during a horrible storm. Don’t get me wrong…we did not tell a Poof story every night; Mom’s get tired too! But I would make up different adventures with their input and off we’d go. Occasionally they would ask for a re-telling! Challenging to say the least. They are still trying to get me to write them down and publish them. Below is a short excerpt from a storytelling page. Enjoy the information and happy imagining! Molly
“Educators have long known that the arts can contribute to student academic success and emotional well being. The ancient art of storytelling is especially well-suited for student exploration. As a folk art, storytelling is accessible to all ages and abilities. No special equipment beyond the imagination and the power of listening and speaking is needed to create artistic images. As a learning tool, storytelling can encourage students to explore their unique expressiveness and can heighten a student’s ability to communicate thoughts and feelings in an articulate, lucid manner. These benefits transcend the art experience to support daily life skills. In our fast-paced, media-driven world, storytelling can be a nurturing way to remind children that their spoken words are powerful, that listening is important, and that clear communication between people is an art. ”
From http://www.storyarts.org/ For more information and ideas, follow the link.
Let Me Teach You: Exploring Montessori Materials
Posted by West Side Montessori
March…Is it spring yet?!
Posted by Bluebird
Social Development 6-9
As you peer through the window of the Bluebird room, you notice your child (or someone else’s!) wandering from friend to friend visiting. You then focus on a group of students chatting while they sit around a rug of materials. Seated at their tables are two more students “working” on math facts…giggling and talking. Don’t panic. Maria Montessori recognized that the ages of 6-9 were years of much social growth. The children are learning to navigate through some often difficult situations in order to build life long character traits. They are building the man or woman they are to become. When you see two children chatting at their table, they may be problem solving or collaborating on a work that is difficult. A group around a rug conversing may be doing research, practicing a presentation, reviewing with one another, or if they are chattering loudly, even catching a spider for a habitat! The child visiting others is asserting themselves, greeting others, possibly showing grace and courtesy as they take a lost pencil to a friend or loan a pencil sharpener to someone because they saw the need and filled it. Or all of these examples could just be the children socializing for the sake of socializing because they need that too! Rest assured that we are keeping tabs and redirecting as needed, if needed. However, we are also allowing the students to develop socially, a crucial piece of the whole child.
The Montessori classroom is designed in a way that all activities gear themselves naturally toward the development of oral and written language. Language in the lower elementary classroom is filled with key experiences. These key experiences are presented and repeated each year, and each year a new depth of meaning and understanding is gained. Children progress at their own pace through the reading and language program. Concrete concepts lead to abstract ones. A child in the Montessori classroom develops an inquisitiveness that is the motivating force toward further knowledge. In the picture below the first level students are listening to the comma key experience.
A Love-ly Introduction to Europe
Posted by Bluebird
Europe, here we come!
This month we have begun our continent study of Europe. We began with a lay of the land, a lesson on the biomes of Europe. As we continue the study, first level will learn more about the animals of Europe and where they are found. Second level will be researching the needs of humans in Europe and how they vary from country to country. They voted to focus on Norway and the history of Vikings! Keep your eye out for signs of these sailors. Third level will be focusing on the needs within various European biomes and choosing research topics. Each level will also be focusing on the physical and political geography including regions, countries, capitals, land and water forms, landmarks, and flags.
February 13th, the Bluebird Room had a special lesson on the history and geography of cheese. Dating back to ancient times in the Arabian peninsula, travelers would carry goat’s milk in a sac, the stomach of a goat or sheep. As legend tells it, the jostling of the travels combined with the rennet in the lining of the stomach curdled the milk forming the curds (cheese) and the whey (the liquid). This satisfied the weary travelers hunger and thirst. Thus the birth of cheese. We also learned that not only cow and goat milk is used but some cultures use sheep, horse, and even moose milk to make cheeses. A tasting of cheeses and bread from Europe followed, with the children locating the origin of each sample. England, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Italy, Poland, the Ukraine, and Scandinavia were represented. I guess you could say cheese is a universal love!