Monday, January 25, 2010


January 27, 2010
We are so fortunate in having a gentleman from the Riparian Preserve, coming to the school at 10:00. He will be giving us some wonderful information about our desert snakes.
A BIG THANK YOU goes out to Rajul - Vivek's mom in planning and providing this for our classroom. You are more than welcome to join us!

Very Important Words of Wisdom

A Child's Plea:

The poem EVERY parent should read!

Today I did my math and science.
I toasted bread, halved and quartered, counted, measured, and used my eyes, ears and hands.
I added and subtracted on the way.
I used magnets, blocks and memory tray.
I learned about a rainbow and how to weigh.
So please don't say -


You see, I'm sharing as I play, to learn to listen and speak clearly when I talk
to wait my turn and when inside to walk.
To put my words into a phrase, to find my name and write it down.
To do it with a smile and not to frown, to put my pasting brush away.
So please don't say -


I learned about a snail and a worm.
Remembered how to take my turn.
Helped a friend when he was stuck.
Learned that water runs off a duck.
Looked at words from left to right.
Agreed to differ, not to fight.
So please don't say -


Yes, I played the whole day through.
I played to learn the things I do,
I speak a problem, find a clue and work out for myself just what to do.
My teacher's set the scene, and stay near-by to help me when I really try.
They are there to pose the problems, and to help me think.
I hope they will keep me floating and never let me sink. All of this is in my head and not in my bag.
It makes me sad to hear you say -


When you attended your meeting today and do your work I will remember not to say to you -


- author unknown

Grace and Courtesy -
More than good manners!

The exercises of Grace and Courtesy are designed to develop harmony between mind and body as well as among each other. The term Grace comes from the latin "Gratia," meaning something done naturally, without effort.
Courtesy is being considerate with one another, respectful and attentive. The exercises of grace and courtesy are continually presented in the classroom so that the community of children work harmoniously together.

Returning lessons to the shelf in good order "ready for the next person," this requires of the child thinking and concentration, their attention to detail, control of movement (to carry the work carefully through the room and set it down in its proper place), and an awareness of the world outside of themselves.
The motivator for the child's efforts is not the teacher, or following the classroom rules, but its their natural desire to be a part of their community.
The child learns to speak the language of respectful conversation and to be aware of his own feelings and the feelings of others.
They also learn a deeper level of independence. Rather than keeping children at desks, Dr. Montessori believed that children were more than capable of learning social graces that would lead to a calm and peaceful classroom.
The children learn to carefully open and close doors, to greet visitors, to choose words intentionally, and to be generally mindful of their actions and the effects of their surroundings

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Time Outs!

I have been giving alot of thought to my approach to children in the classroom, who might be struggling in socializing with their peers. It has been my practice in the past to isolate them from the group to allow them some time to think about what they did wrong. But honestly, I don't think this helps,what are they learning? I believe that they need more practice instead in learning to socialize positively, so they can eventually become better at it.
I will be looking for extra activities for them to take part in, to foster these skills.Some ideas that I have come up with so far are: excusing each child from the circle to find their place at the table for lunch. Facilitating classroom cleanup before we begin preparing lunch.Greet the children as they come in the door to begin the day. Hopefully my list will grow.
I would like to begin introducing this new practice with a Grace and Courtesy Lesson. The children understand the concept so much better if they are SHOWN not TOLD about a new practice. We have a spot in our classroom called "The Peace Corner". The child is free to go there at any time to be by themselves. They may choose to be there for as long as they want. This is a good place to be if they are feeling sad, angry or even tired. If I see a child that appears to be frustrated, I say to them, "I can see you are getting frustrated, do you remember that there is a good place to go when you are feeling like that"? We will continue to use the Peace Corner for this purpose. But as a child needs to be reminded of proper social skills we will encourage more social interactions.

Monday, December 7, 2009


A few days before Thanksgiving I went around the circle and asked each child to share what they were most grateful for...........

Here's what they said...........

Penny: "When Ms. Carolyn reads me a story".
Gavin: "Friends, and when my mom plays trains with me".
Mikey: "My friends"
Jameson: "I like writing stories at school".
Mya: "Mommy and Daddy".
Swapna: "Friends and reading stories together".
Avery: "Pie, napping at school and snack".
Bruno: "Drawing and coloring at school".
Vivek: "Taking a nap at school"

The themes that we are covering this month are: Amphibians, Telling Time, Weather, Temperature, Clouds and the obvious: Christmas and Hanukkah.

We have a short month because of the two-week break which begins:
December 21 - January 4.

There have been some questions from parents about when their child will begin writing their names legibly on paper.
Here is the information that you need to hear on that issue:

It is my belief as a Montessori Teacher that.......when the hand, eye, brain have been prepared with other activities, the child explodes into writing, and it becomes a joyful and a natural activity.
If the child is not able to control his or her pencil yet, trying to write on a worksheet or a plain piece of paper, where all their mistakes are there for everyone to see, is much too frustrating. patient, and let them take their time getting there.