Saturday, October 4, 2014

Making Music!

Early childhood music activities are a very important part of the curriculum in our Montessori classrooms to enhance skills in our young learners.  Activities such as finger plays, songs, dance, drums and rhythm instruments help with enhancing cognitive development, language and communication, and fine and gross motor dexterity.  These activities also provide children with skills to help with memory, attention, motor play, pretend play, imitation and turn taking.  Specific activities such as pitch exploration and echo singing enhance children’s language and communication skills during this time of development.  When children listen and repeat phrases of a song, they are being introduced to new words and sounds and are able to begin separating words into syllables or beats.  Music is also important to enhance fine and gross motor dexterity with activities such as finger plays where the child in using hand movements to imitate or play out the actions of a song.  Action songs and dances help to increase the gross motor skills by allowing the movement of the whole or parts of the body while singing or making music. 

The extended day children have been learning about different instruments over the past several weeks. They have been working hard on making rhythm sticks, rain sticks and keyboards. Thank you to parents who have been bringing in materials to make these projects happen. 

The Chickadees have been learning about beats, rhythms and tones and have been having fun with movement activities with the different instruments. 


We would like to thank Tom, Annadeene and Eliot for playing instruments and singing songs with the Chickadee classroom during our morning circle.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Welcome Spring!

On Tuesday, April 8, the 2-Day Chickadee Classroom friends celebrated the beginning of Spring with a fun hands-on morning of planting wheat grass seeds and painting fun dragon fly stakes.

The Chickadee Classroom recently received a cute little window box greenhouse as a gift for the classroom. (Thank-you Paula Johnson!)

The greenhouse is a great place  to put our seeds as we study plants and watch and learn how they grow.

On Thursday, April 17, the Chickadee Classroom welcomed Christa Bahner, for another fun planting morning full of hands-on potting and planting of runner bean seeds and basil plants. The Bahner Farm has generously offered to start our beans and basil plants in their greenhouse over vacation and help us in the classroom when they return.

 Thank-you Bahner Family!

"Inch By Inch, Row by row"

"Someone bless these seeds I sow!"

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chickadee News February

A Special Thank-you!

The month of February is a special month in the Chickadee Classroom. Each year, the children at the Cornerspring Montessori School celebrate with a new “Country of Study" unit. This year the Country of Study unit will be on POLAND. This year we are especially fortunate in the Chickadee Classroom to have two Polish families in our 3-day classroom.

On Monday, February 3rd the Chickadee Classroom enjoyed two special Polish art projects with Chris and Kaska Gardner. Kaska Gardner worked with a small group of children creating special Polish stencil flags made on canvas with acrylic paints. While Chris Gardner, also worked with each of the children, to create special white snowflake designs, based on famous Polish scissor cutting techniques.

Thank-you Kaska and Chris!

On Wednesday, February 5th the Chickadee Classroom enjoyed a special day of Polish cooking and folktales. The morning was full of Polish fun as Wiola Shaw worked with all of the children to create their own special Polish food treat. The children had fun wearing special cooking aprons, rolling dough with rolling pins, and topping with strawberries and cream. Yum! We also enjoyed a fun Polish dragon folktale story and finished with creating our own special dragon picture.

Thank-you Wiola!

The Chickadee Classroom will continue our country of study unit through March and will be having a special "ART NIGHT" on Friday, March 14th, where you can view our special Polish inspired creations, and enjoy in a full school art celebration. (Invitations coming soon)

Monday, January 27, 2014


Learning about grammar can be fun in the Elementary Class!

Children are introduced to the function of words through a series of movement activities/games and then match each to 3-dimensional wooden symbols.

Sentence analysis then becomes a symbolizing activity, placing wooden symbols above words to identify nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, conjunctions, prepositions, etc. 

From there, composing sentences becomes a favorite choice of many of the children. 

Enjoying Montessori Math in the Elementary classroom!

There are several materials and exercises used throughout the classroom to help with multiplication memorization.  The most familiar is the bead cabinet which houses several long and short colored bead chains in multiples of 1-10. These chains along with the numbered arrows are used to "skip count." 

The child is using the bead chains for skip counting and learning her multiplication tables.   

Concrete materials are used in Montessori Classrooms to aid in understanding the math process. This child is doing a long division problem with multi-digit divisors using the test tube division materials or "racks and tubes" as you may have heard your children mention.   This work consists of racks of test tubes, each holding colored beads in groups of ten, with green for units, blue for tens, red for hundreds, green for units of thousands......This color pattern is introduced early in Montessori with children in the 3-6 classroom. The beads are used to represent the dividend and the colored boards represent the divisors. 

The book Math Works by Michael Duffy is a great resource for a more in depth explanation of how math works in the Montessori classrooms. Please check our lending library for availability.

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.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Aftercare Activities and Fun

Our aftercare kids enjoyed creating and eating edible snowflakes. 


  • Warm a tortilla slightly in the microwave (10 seconds).
  • Fold the tortilla in half, then fold in half again, then fold side to side - you should have a cone shape.  
  • Cut the tortilla with clean scissors just like you would a paper snowflake. 
  • When your done cutting, unfold to reveal your beautiful edible snowflake.
  • If you wish you can "paint" the snowflake with melted butter and sprinkle on just a little "snow" (a.k.a. confectioners sugar)
  • ENJOY :-)

While inside during these sub zero temperatures, the aftercare kids have been enjoying many different activities and projects with Lori, Amanda and Jenn.  One such activity the kids have been working on is creating very unique sculptures in preparation for our annual "Art Show." This year's show is scheduled for Friday, March 14, 2014.