Weekly Notes for January 18-21 2016
Monday: Martin Luther King, Jr Day MOM closed
Tuesday: AM: We had an early circle so that I could show the children our special art project
for the week, painting a real fish in order to make a colorful print. At first the children were not
so excited about seeing a dead fish up close, but their enthusiasm grew as the began finding all
the fins and could make them move and identifying the lateral line and other parts they know.
Over the next few days they will each have a turn to create their own beautiful print. This is
obviously a time sensitive project and I will warn you, their work of art might be slightly aromatic!
circle, I showed the Power of 2 bead chains. This is an interesting work to learn skip
counting, by 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, etc. The child chooses a set, lays out the chain, and folds it into the
square form. They then count each bead and match a small ticket with the matching numeral at
the end of each bar, and can then skip count by reading the tickets. I am always pleased with
how popular this work becomes. What’s not to like, the beads are colorful and the concept is
interesting and useful.
Natalee then reviewed the Spanish names for the animals she taught us last week and then
added 5 more. We even learned how to say farm animals in Spanish, animales de granja.
PM: I first showed an option to record the skip counting patterns as they work with each chain.
Using a sheet printed with 1100,
the child first counts the chain and adds the numeral tickets,
and then circles each numeral in the matching color. They can then read them and also see the
various numeric patterns.
We then spent most of rest of the afternoon creating a poem together, entitled Winter is…
Each child took a turn to add their image of winter in a word or a few words and then formed
them using the moveable alphabet. Their spelling is inventive, meaning they form the word with
just the sounds they hear, for example, snow is spelled sno.
The complete poem and their lovely illustrations is posted in the lobby, check it when you have
Wednesday: AM: The children are buzzing with excitement as they practice the songs for our
upcoming performance. The theme of Love & Friendship is so appealing and provides them
with opportunities to share in a lovefest,
At circle I shared 2 fairly big works:
1) The life cycle and migratory pattern of salmon. Salmon are anadromous, born in
freshwater, migrating to live most of it’s life in the ocean and then returning to spawn in
freshwater. Most salmon are able to return to the exact spot where they were born,
depending on olfactory memory. I shared the nomenclature cards naming each basic
stage in their life cycle and when they migrate. I then showed a brief video of a salmon
run as they journey upstream with the help of fish ladders. The power of their caudal fin
(tail) is amazing as they jump up each level.
2) I then showed the clock work to help the children understand both the mechanical
function of the clock hands and how to tell “o’clocks” when the minute hand is on the 12.
They were quickly able to read the time, even the very tricky 12 o’clock, when the hour
hand is hidden by the minute hand.
PM: We reviewed the life cycle of a salmon and then I shared the option to make a book with
each page highlighting the developmental stage and whether it is at that point in fresh or salt
I also demonstrated making a book of all the o’clocks, using a clock face stamp to which the
child can add both the appropriate hands and label it with the words.
Thursday: AM: I demonstrated 2 practical life works:
1) Mirror polishing, which is a multiple step process for cleaning a mirror using water and a
small disc of nontoxic
cleaner. The child does the work and then prepares it for the next
person by getting fresh supplies, Montessori ecology in action!
2) Small scale sweeping, using a tiny dustpan and broom to sweep large beans into a tape
rectangle on a tray, and then sweeping them up and back into a small dish. The care of
movement and satisfaction when finished is enticing to little hands.
We remembered the important work of Dr. King and others in changing the bad laws of
segregation. I explained that young children just like them had also helped to change these
I then told the true story of Ruby Bridges, a courageous young girl who was one of the first black
children to integrate an allwhite
school in New Orleans. She was able to endure months of
anger and persecution as she was escorted by federal marshals through protesting crowds to
and from school. Her teacher could not understand how she could remain so calm and focused
each day after having to see and hear such hurtful things. All the other children were held out of
school in protest, so Ruby was all alone in the classroom as she learned to read and write.
One day, as her teacher was watching from the classroom window, Ruby stopped and seemed
to speak to the crowd, even though it enraged them all the more. Once in the classroom her
teacher asked her why she spoke to the mean people, and she explained that she wasn’t
speaking to them, she was praying for them. She was asking God to forgive them, just like he
had forgiven the people who said mean things about him long ago. She explained that each
day on the way to school and on the way home she would stop and pray the same prayer of
forgiveness. Her teacher now understood that this was how Ruby able to be peaceful and
loving in the face of cruelty and hate.
The children broke into spontaneous applause for Ruby at the end of the story!
PM: The children had a fun storytime at the library with our librarian buddy, Erica. Her theme
was winter weather and clouds, perfect for these el nino soaked days of late!