This week, we experienced a spontaneous crossover and we were elated!
A student from Casa North brought ingredients for bread making into our classroom and he immediately gained an audience that comprised of eighty percent of the students in our environment.
It was yet another opportunity for the adults to step back and this time watch a Casa student work on a presentation. The toddlers were in awe, watching every little detail as the Casa student combined the ingredients. They were captivated by the Casa student’s confidence, ecstatic that they were chosen to participate in the process, and eager to consume the bread that was baked. During our afternoon communal snack, the classroom was filled with the pleasant aroma of the baked bread and the unified sound of "mmm delicious." More importantly, the children were reminiscing on that particular activity that occurred in the morning and their faces beamed with joy.
The Casa student was once a part of our Toddler community and his presence represented a full circle moment — with the outgoing students becoming more excited about being in Casa in the fall and the teachers overwhelmed with a sense of nostalgia and fulfillment.
We are thankful to the Casa student and Ms. Boyle for this experience, and we look forward to these wonderful subtending moments as the year progresses.
Grace and courtesy is a foundational element in every Montessori classroom. "Treat others the way you want to be treated" runs deep in Casa South. Please and thank you's are of course an important factor, but being kind, thoughtful, and empathetic are our goals for creating kinder adults for the future. As guides, we model to one another, to the children, and to any vistors that come into our classroom. We conduct small skits and demonstrations such as how to introduce yourself, how to open a door for yourself and others, and how to navigate yourself out of a conflict, just to name a few. It is so important to remember that our 3-6-year-olds are in the process of learning social etiquette, so consistency is key. If we demonstrate kindness, they will as well!
This week (despite all of the snow and ice days) one of our older Casa children brought the materials from our Baking Bread activity to the Toddler environment to present a demonstration of how we bake bread each day. I was able to sit back and observe and see how the younger children were enthralled by what the Casa student was doing. This is a wonderful example of how the different levels influence one another — the third year Casa child felt leadership and responsibility while the younger children felt guided and inspired. All the while, I got to see his kindness and respect as he thanked the children and teachers for the opportunity, and responded warmly (albeit timidly) to their gratitude. What a wonderful, natural opportunity for grace and courtesy in our environment, as well as theirs.
The class has engaged in a cultural exploration of Chinese New Year this week, exploring the use of myths, the connection to geographic phenomenon, and reflecting on the characteristics represented by the zodiac animals. In addition to "A Legend of the Great Race," students are learning about solstices, moon phases, and the 12-year revolution of Jupiter, and making art of their own zodiac animal.
Elementary children are always excited to learn about special days and celebrations because they reflect our social values and beliefs and connect them to history. These cultural studies help build the next layer of grace and courtesy for students in developing a general knowledge, respect, and appreciation for different cultures and beliefs.
On Thursday, February 14, from 3:30 - 4:00, in the Sanctuary at the Primary Campus, the Elementary students will be presenting French plays that they have been working on this term. We hope as many of you as possible can make it.
PLEASE NOTE: there is NO pick-up at the Locke St. Elementary campus that day.
A couple of items to keep in mind for the coming week:
- Valentine's Day: We ask that you do not bring Valentines cards or treats for your child to hand out as we celebrate our love for each other every day here. Below is our Valentine's Day policy:
Valentine’s Day: We ask that you do not bring in Valentines for your child to hand out as we will be celebrating Valentine's through out the month of February. We will do this by adding hearts to pasting activities as well as a push pin activity to cut out hearts. This will help to keep the classroom flow and consistency and to model to children that they can make pictures, etc., for their friends instead of buying Valentine's cards. **Please note that if a child does bring Valentines to school the staff will not permit them to hand them out.**
- PD Day and Family Day: Because we all need a couple more days off after this past week... Friday, Feb. 15, is a PD Day and Monday, Feb. 18, is the Family Day statutory holiday. Lyonsgate is closed both days.