I want to take a moment to welcome you all back from our winter break. I hope you all feel refreshed and renewed as we head into a brand new year! And thank you all for making the fall semester so successful for each of us and all of the children – we really appreciate all of the time and energy you put into helping your children individually and the classroom as a whole.
As mentioned in December, as we move into the New Year we will be focused on developing concentration amongst students. As Maria Montessori said,
“The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. It lays the whole basis for his character and social behavior. He must find out how to concentrate, and for this he needs things to concentrate upon.” (The Absorbent Mind, 222)
Thus, it is our work to prepare an environment that encourages concentration and repetition of works. This is why we spend so much time ensuring that our environment is peaceful and that our works have just the right tray, or just the right number of pieces, and so on.
Lastly, we also will focus on building and strengthening our classroom community. Toddlerhood is an important time for children to establish their independence in the world, while also learning more about their place within their families and local communities.
The beauty of the Montessori environment is that we can help children to establish independence while also establishing common core values, such as care of others and care of the environment.
Especially true of the Montessori environment is the quality of community that a mixed-age group promotes. Our older students will be asked to take on “leadership roles” – much like the role of the fire chief in the community (they love this example), while our younger students will be indirectly integrated into the community through care of self and care of environment activities (putting works away after completion, cleaning spills, picking up the playground, etc.).
Themes & Activities
Language: Winter, Bears, Snowman, Penguin, Cultures from Around the World
Activities: sensorial table with snow and winter animals; 7 wooden people, one from each continent of the world; penguin matching; snowman gluing; mixing red and yellow paint to make orange; saying “Hello” in different languages
Songs & Fingerplays
“Have You Ever Seen A Penguin”
Tune: “Have You Ever Seen A Lassie”
Have you ever seen a penguin? A penguin? A penguin?
Have you ever seen a penguin swim this way and that?
Swim this way and that way? And this way and that way?
Have you ever seen a penguin swim this way and that? (make swimming motions with arms) (insert slide, waddle, and flap for motions/words)
I built a great big snowman
(hold arms out round)
He had a carrot nose
(point to nose)
Along came a bunny
(Bend pointer and middle finger like bunny ears)
And what do you suppose?
That hungry little bunny
Looking for his lunch
(Move fingers/bunny around)
He ate that snowman’s nose
(Nibble on nose with fingers)
Nibble Nibble crunch!
(tap legs on each nibble, then clap hands for crunch!)
North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia
Don’t forget Australia
Don’t forget Antarctica
Jan. 15: MLK Day – No School
Jan. 25: Parent Ed Night II – Hands-on Montessori, 6-7p.m. in Room 4
Please come join us for our second parent education night of the year. We will look at all of the ways the materials in our classroom support child development. We also will touch on some of the nontangible ways our curriculum and care support child development. Childcare is available.
“The first essential for the child’s development is concentration.
The child who concentrates is immensely happy.”
– Dr. Montessori