Maple Room News

Posted on Apr 14, 2018 in .MSR Communications, Maple Primary Room News

Dear Parents,

It has been a wonderful year so far! I have so enjoyed working with all of your children.  They are blossoming before our eyes and it is a joy to observe! Our Kindergarten students are making their final preparations as they get ready to venture into the world of elementary.  They have begun visiting our lower elementary program with Miss Lori and her fabulous team of students.  These remarkable K’s are all reading very well, many of which at 1st and 2nd grade levels.  This means they have entered fluency, can follow a story line and have strong comprehension and reading response to passages that they read.  As they are working hard, they may be able to read high second grade fluency words, but please understand, chapter books are harder to read, the words are smaller which strains their eyes.  Read small chapter type books like Toad and Frog or Magic Tree House, however  understand that they may want to alternate reading paragraphs or pages with you, as they may tire easily.  The literacy is abounding with all of the children, too…our future K’s are reading phonetically, word building and learning sight words, while some have already moved into fluency with our K’s.  All of our K’s and future K’s are writing in their penmanship journals.  Daily, a new student asks me if they can have a penmanship journal! Many are practicing the formation of letters, while others are learning to write with proper sentence structure. All of our 4 and 5’s are learning about Capitalization and Punctuation, as well as parts of speech; Article, Adjective, Noun and Verb.  I use 4 square, so if you hear them talking about this, know they are actively engaged in sentence writing.  While still others are learning to compose paragraphs or themes, also using the 4 square method. And our 3 just turned 4 year olds are mastering their sounds and building words! All of the children spend parts of their days writing letters, numbers and sentences on the chalkboard.  This inspires the others to do so as well.

Math is another busy area.  I always feel like I am not presenting enough, however, whenever I look around, I see older children introducing their favorite works to younger children.  The chains, which provide numeration, greater than/less than, skip counting, addition and muliplication (as well as squaring and cubing) are out in the classroom, actually the hallway, daily. It is remarkable how many lessons occur from child to child.  This is Montessori at its most optimal.  Our K’s have skip counting, greater than/less than, place value and addition (dynamic and static) down pat and are all working on multiplication and subtraction, as well.  Many of our future K’s are working side by side with them.  All of our younger students work daily in counting, number recognition and making teens and tens numbers.  (This is developing the understanding that 23 is actually 2 tens and 3 units).  The 100 board is always worked on, and many of our students are doing more challenging, unprompted concepts, with it; like counting backwards, or skip counting as they fill in the blanks on paper.  It is thrilling to watch.  Fractions have finally been spotted and a number of children readily began working with and fully understanding them…(my planting of fractions in practical life and science worked!) Quite a few of our friends are learning to tell time with an analog clock.

Practical Life and Sensorial are always busy areas and have definitely prepared our children.  They are conscientious and caring of others and their environment; proud and busy little community helpers! The high level of reading response in all of our 4 and 5 year olds stems directly from the problem solving and logical thinking materials in our Sensorial area, for certain.  The Art in the classroom is extraordinary! The Maple room has the most creative young minds! We show them how to use the medium and they create.  Art is often tied to our cultural studies, to begin a launch, however the children are free to explore beyond! Currently we have weaving, yarn work, relief drawing with oil pastel, water color and sculpture out! Science might just be my favorite.  We always have some sort of experiment on the shelf, however we are now studying life cycles.  We are about to host our own butterfly garden and ladybug habitat and may venture into worms! We will also begin planting seeds and flowers to watch them grow and will have a dissection of a seed and maybe a flower, too! The season of spring is perfect for these scienctific explorations, to feed the children’s natural curiosity.  Nature walks will be an important part of the curriculum through the end of the school year, too.  How do we use our senses to explore the world around us?

Cooperation and Safety has been a big topic for us recently.  The weather is almost warming up and some of the children would prefer to stay outside longer.  This brought up the idea of danger and safety.  We used our senses to see what we could see and hear on the playground and practice how to line up the moment they hear the playground bell.  I talked at length about how scared I was when a few children refused to respond to the bell.  Everyone would be unsafe at that point! By the end of the week, everyone has agreed it is better to be safe! Whew!

We look forward to another busy month! Volunteers are always welcome, especially if you would like to listen to our friends read to you!

Sincerely,

Joanne, Kayla and Reina