Goldfinch Room is a Lower Elementary classroom for levels 1-3 on the Toledo Campus. Natalie Fisher and Tonya Reynolds are the classroom’s co-teachers.
Wonderful Wetland Adventures
Posted by Goldfinch
Taking children on “going out” trips is important in Montessori classrooms. While we try to provide classroom lessons that capture the children’s attention and senses, sometimes it is best to experience the real deal.
On Wednesday, Sept. 30, all of Lower Elementary visited the Ottawa National Park, Black Swamp Observatory, and Magee Marsh. Did you know that this wetland area is home to one of the countries largest bald eagle habitats? We even got to see two eagles flying high above us. From observing a blue heron, animal prints, a muskrat nest, frogs, insects, cattails, wild flowers, and mushrooms at the Ottawa National Wildlife Park, we experienced bird tagging too. We learned how ornithologists catch the birds, tag them, and why.
Did you know each spring this stop over habitat has visitors from more than 47 states to observe birds migrating? We got to see a white throated sparrow, magnolia warbler, kinglet, and a blue headed vireo be tagged and released back to nature. Several children were fortunate to be part of the release process. We played nature games indoors and outdoors and we even got to eat lunch in a museum. What an amazing day of learning!
Tomorrow in our Writer’s Workshop lesson we will write about our wonderful wetland experiences!
What’s Coming up in October?
Posted by Goldfinch
We will be sharing our class name and flag with the other Lower Elementary students at the beginning of October! At this time we will also share our new theme for the year with the students and begin working on a special activity based on this theme. More information about this special activity will come home later this month.
In culture with Tonya October is a busy month full of many hiking opportunities in our woods, fall weather exploration, and plant experiments. Students will continue to explore the outdoor environment and the many plants, trees, and living things. Each level will explore more in-depth into specific parts of the plant. Experiments, planting, and projects will help students learn more about the importance of plants. At home activities could include hikes around the neighborhood, planting in your family garden, reading botany books, or selecting possible sharing ideas for the classroom.
Spelling tests will begin for the second level and third level students later in October. Please watch for more information about this to come later.
In culture with Natalie we will be saying good-bye to our fun wetland adventures and traveling back in time. We will look at our Earth’s beginning from the earliest living creatures, through dinosaur times, and into the ages of mammoth mammals. Students will study and research ancient creatures. They will also learn how the millions of years are divided into large periods of time. Using the Montessori Time line of Life and the Clock of Eras, students will go on scavenger hunts to see what they can learn from our Montessori resources. Loads of adventures will be had in our prehistoric time travel!
Math fact tests will begin the first week in November for all third level students. Second graders will start in late November. Pull out those addition flash cards and start memorizing those facts! More details will come in late October.
Social Development in the LE Classrooms
Posted by Bluebird
Social Development for Ages 6-9
As you peer through the window of the Lower Elementary rooms, 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 also are allowing the students to develop socially, a crucial piece of the whole child (from the Bluebird blog 2014-2015).
In the 6-9 year-old classroom Montessori classroom, the children are moving to the second of four planes of development. Intellectual growth is slow and steady. At this time they are forming their moral compass, strengthening their ideas about justice and fairness, and becoming aware of others in their lives. It is a time of learning to navigate relationships and social situations.
“They need to hear stories of greatness and goodness and moral values.
The mind of the elementary child concerns itself with building a
conscience, that inner sense of what is right and wrong. During this
period of growth, they need to know that the adults in their lives love,
respect, and understand them.” (NAMC Montessori teacher training blog)
The Montessori culture curriculum serves to expose the children to the physical and cultural needs of all humans throughout the Earth. They begin to see themselves as community members and global citizens. They take part in learning about cultural celebrations, traditions, religions, and art. Additionally, the children study those individuals that came before us that have contributed to our understanding of the universe.
“The child is capable of developing and giving us tangible proof of the possibility of a better humanity. He has shown us the true process of construction of the human being. We have seen children totally change as they acquire a love for things and as their sense of order, discipline, and self-control develops within them… The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.” (Maria Montessori on Education and Peace)
Spotted: A Mystery Reader Entering the Goldfinch Classroom!
Posted by Goldfinch
Once a month a Mystery Reader will share a story with the Goldfinch Community. Can you guess who it was? Here are a few clues:
- This person lived outside of Ohio.
- This person can play a musical instrument.
- This person’s favorite subject in school was math.
- This person has two kids.
- This person helped at a game station at Sweet September Sundae.
Before the mystery reader was escorted into the classroom the students took a few guesses about who the mystery reader was. To their surprise it was………..! Ask your child whose mom was the mystery reader this week!
She shared two stories with the class. One story was an entertaining, rhyming story that made us all chuckle. The other story taught us all a lesson or moral. If you are interested in joining our classroom on a Monday afternoon as the Mystery Reader please sign up on the sign up sheet on the blog.
Posted by Goldfinch
Every Tuesday and Thursday students have the opportunity to share during end of day community time. Students are asked to share concepts, ideas, or objects that reflect educational learning in the Goldfinch Community. In order to share we ask students to:
- Come prepared with facts to share with the class.
- Ask a teacher to sign up for Sharing Day.
- Practice what they will be sharing with a friend.
As a part of the Botany program students are listening to the story Be a Friend to Trees. Trees are a valuable natural resource. People depend on trees for food, and animals depend on trees for food and shelter. But most important, we depend on trees because they add oxygen, a gas we all need, to the air. While trees give us many wonderful products, we must also protect them because we can’t live without them. As a part of sharing days students may bring in an item that comes from a tree. Examples we have talked about in the classroom are paper, gum, syrup, pencils, and furniture. However, there are many more! This would be a wonderful way for students to practice public speaking and share their knowledge of what products come from trees.
We look forward to the many ideas students have to share!