Remembering Maria Montessori’s words, “[I]t is only by movement that the personality can express itself (Absorbent Mind, 136),” we take a few moments now to admire all of the opportunities our environment allows for movements, both large and small.
Movement is inextricably tied to both the physical and mental development of children. By repeating and refining gross and fine motor movements, students learn how to hold themselves upright in the world and how to navigate their surroundings in an ever more effortless way; in doing so, they free up cognitive energies, which allow them to develop concentration.
In our Montessori environment, concentration is one of our main goals: “Without concentration, it is the objects about him which possess the child. He feels the call of each, and goes from one to another. But once his attention has been focused, he becomes his own master and can exert control over his world.” (The Absorbent Mind, 217)
Building on these words, we would like to focus on concentration in our classroom in the upcoming months. This may include encouraging students to practice a work more than once so that they begin to master particular movements or skills. In doing so, we are helping the students to reach mastery of the materials, instead of being mastered by them.
At home, you may consider encouraging your child to pursue works more deeply and helping them to develop concentration by asking them to complete activities all the way through, or even adding steps to activities that your child already has mastered.
Although at times this may bring about frustration, the ability to focus and work through frustration is one of the most empowering experiences we can have – as toddlers and adults alike.
Songs & Fingerplay
5 Little Gingerbread Men
5 little gingerbread men in a row (Hold up 5 fingers)
Wasn’t gonna eat one, No No No!
(Shake finger for no no no)
But they looked so sweet from head to toe
(Cup eyes and look up then down)
Crunch, Munch, Uh Oh!
(Tap legs on Crunch, Clap for Munch, hands over mouth for Uh Oh)
Count down to zero
Uno dos tres – CHO
Uno dos tres – CO
Uno dos tres – LA
Uno dos tres – TE
Bate bate el cho-co-la-te
(Hold up fingers for uno, dos, tres, and then get out your big mixer arms for the last verse!)
3 Little Santas
3 little Santas I once knew
Big ones, skinny ones, tall ones too
But the one little Santa with the shiny red nose
He led the others with a Ho Ho Ho
(Count down to zero)
Additional songs for our classroom include “This Little Light of Mine” and “The Dreidel Song.”
Themes & Activities
Language: Fall, Leaves, Food, Gratitude, Triangle
Activities: sensorial table with rice and holiday objects; tree with ornaments; menorah with candles; star gluing; holiday stickers; sorting sycamore seeds into holiday tray
Dec. 20*: 9–9:45 a.m., Holiday Party in Room 4:
(*Rescheduled from Dec. 21)
Please arrive between 8:45 and 9 a.m. and stay with your child until the party concludes at 9:45 a.m. Then you may leave, and our school day will continue as normal.
Begin Holiday Break – No School
“If we are among the men of good will who yearn for peace, we must lay the foundation for peace ourselves, by working for the social world of the child.” – Dr. Montessori