Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cardinal Room news January

"Welcome back" was it really 3 weeks ago we wrote that on our greeting board? I was shocked yesterday while watching our leader put up number 24. Today is Friday January 24th he announced, it is almost the end of January. I am sure for many of you January has flown bye, for us it really has. It seems like yesterday we greeted friends back into the classroom. I am sure this has to do with snow days the delayed start of our return from the holiday break and the abnormally frigid temperatures. This being said, I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday break and had some fun sledding, skiing and doing other winter activities during our extended vacation days. I have noticed many ski tags on jacket zippers:)) We, the Cardinal room teachers were happy to be back in school and into our daily routines.It was evident as well that the children were happy to return. They returned fresh and ready to buckle down and focus on all the new activities that had been created for them.
The teachers met over the weekend before school began to rearrange the classroom and prepare for our January studies. Our Country of study for  this year will be Poland. We launched into 2014 with the presentation of the world globe and the world map. To help the children grasp the concept of Globes and Maps Christina gave a beautiful presentation. She introduced the Globe and the 7 continents with a song and an apple. The apple helps the child to see that when a  a Sphere it divided down the middle it creates 2 hemispheres and this is how we see the world on a map. She pointed to the bottom of the apple and the core and told the children that these would be where parts of Antarctica, are represented on our maps. We studied the map and all the children have begun creating their own world maps. This began with an exercise we call Continent punching. Ask your children to sing you the continent song and explain to you how they punch out their continents. In understanding the world and it's continents we were able to introduce Poland and point out that it is part of Europe.  We have created some fun works in the classroom that incorporate Polish words and  objects. We read about Poland from many books and we would welcome any  information on Poland that you may have to offer. If your child would like to do some of his or her own research on food, animals, national parks historical events of Poland and bring in his/ her research, we will share it at our morning circle. Sandee is working hard as well incorporating art into Polish based themes.

Another topic of discussion this month is that of world Peace -Makers. This topic was inspired by the celebration of Dr Martin Luther King Jr day on January 20. We felt this holiday was a good opening for the
study of prominent world peace leaders . We encourage peace in our classroom and it was Maria Montessori's dream to education entire generations of peacemakers. As the month progresses we will begin to ask children to volunteer to research a peace maker they resonate with and do some home research to present at school. We can see from just the little bit we have read and discussed so far that this is a topic of real interest to many of our students.

The vacation time was a great time of family fun and much needed rest, for many of us. It also allowed our children time to integrate and internalize all the new things they have learned so far in their Montessori classroom. As we have mentioned, there is so much to remember. The snack table for example entails numerous steps just to sit and eat. One must remember to place their napkin in their spot, then wash their hands, then read the amount allotted for the day, carefully carry this snack to their spot, then eat with feet on the floor, clean up, waste in trash can, food in compost, sweep, and push their chair in.. so many steps to remember.  We noticed that all our friends have returned ready to study . Our classroom feels like a tight, cooperative community. We have worked hard to get to this place. We look forward to introducing new works and progressing on others where we left off.

"Oh baby it's cold outside"
There have been many bitter cold days this month. It is so cold that we can't by choice or by school policy bring the children out., also the play ground at one point was so iced over it resembled a skating rink. We have on warmer days been out and when the playground was unsafe we did take some adventurous walks around our campus. Indoors we have included lots of movement through songs and dance and yoga. You can rest assured your children are getting a healthy amount of cardiovascular activity during these cold winter days. Please ask your children to share with you, some new songs, new movements and new yoga poses, breathing techniques and meditations. Please also remember to send your child with plenty of warm winter clothing. Extra hats and mittens are always useful and snow-pants are a must.

Thank you for all the healthy snacks so far this year and a special thanks for sharing your children's Birthdays with us. We have had 3 Birthday walks so far this year and one more still to come.

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