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.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Chickadee News

Happy New Year!

The Chickadee Classroom is happy to announce the new country of study this year is Poland. We are fortunate this year to have two Polish families in the Chickadee Classroom; Kaska and Chris Gardner (and daughter Gabi) and Viola and Ethan Shaw (and son Tristan).  Both families look forward to sharing their special traditions and celebrations with us.

Gabi and her family recently returned from Poland and were happy to share a special Polish snack with the 3-Day Chickadee Class.

The Chickadee Classroom will be creating and tasting more special foods from Poland, exploring the Polish flag and culture, and creating artwork inspired by the Polish culture and artists. We are currently having fun exploring the Polish language and have fun saying "hello" and "good-bye" in Polish.

"Special Persons Night"

Special Person's Night is a special night in the Chickadee Classroom. The children created and delivered invitations this week and next week will be planning and preparing a snack for everyone to share. They are excited and look forward to (coming to school at night) and sharing their special school and classroom. The Chickadee Classroom will host “Special Persons Night” from 6:00-7:00 o'clock and we look forward to sharing our Montessori methods and activities with your child’s special person!

Wednesday, January 22 (3-Day Chickadee)

Thursday, January 23 (2-Day Chickadee)

We would like to give a warm "Welcome" to our new friends who joined the Chickadee Classroom in January.

Welcome to the 2-Day Chickadee Classroom:
  • Cora Hazelhurst-family Rachel and Sam Hazelhurst
  • Lucia Tenaglia-family Liz and Jim Tenaglia
  • James Falconer-family Jessica and Warren Falconer

Welcome to the 3-Day Chickadee Classroom:
  •  William Jilek - family Heather and Nicholas Jilek

Please extend a warm welcome to our new families and friends!