The toddlers have been taking good care of their indoor environment: sweeping, mopping up spills, taking care of plants. These are great activities to continue at home, and acquring child-sized brooms and mops, for example, will make their participation more impactful and beneficial; children can properly accomplish tasks with tools/materials they are best able to control and manipulate.
As children grow, we can help them transition to purposeful toys and activities and away from those that no longer fulfill their developmental needs; you may notice changes in behaviour when children hit these transitional points -- it's their way of letting us know they need something, even if they don't know what it is. Involving toddlers in household tasks such as cleaning, as well as things like baking and cooking, or folding laundry, help them feel and know that they are contributing to their home environment.
We've also seen a change in the weather this week. Please check the forecast and make sure they have weather appropriate outerwear each day, and please remember to label everything.
Casa South has seen a burgeoning interest in learning the flags of the world this week, as well as an ongoing focus on phonogram reading. A phonogram is any written (gram) symbol that represents a sound (phono), and includes both single letters in our phonetic alphabet and combinations of letters that work together to make a single sound, such as ch, sh, ph, oy, oi, ew, oo, wh, or... or.
This time of year also brings the first round of coughs and colds, which we know some of you have had the joy of experiencing. We stress the importance of regular handwashing in Casa South, and encourage you to do the same at home. Together, we can break the cycle of germs!
Another way you can use home life to help your children at school involves clothing and dressing. It may take a bit longer during often-rushed mornings, but having children choose their own clothes and dress themselves is an excellent task for developing independence, confidence, fine motor skills, and self-esteem. You can help them to succeed by giving children a limited choice of items to choose from -- clothing they can put on and take off, as well as button/zip/snap/tie themselves (for those need-to-go-right-now moments), and that is weather appropriate. This is supported in the Montessori environment with materials such as the Bow Frame, which lets children practice tying, snapping, zipping, and buttoning on their paths to self-care. [See the top photo of Bow Frame work in action]
Casa North: An important practice in a Montessori environment is having pride come from within the child, as opposed to having adults praising them. We always ask, "How do you feel?" when a child completes work, and we are often told "happy," "proud," or "great!" which is so much more valuable for their self-esteem than having us adults projecting our feelings onto their accomplishments. In the same regard, if the child says "not good" or expresses dissatisfaction, we can guide them to a resolution or simply model that sometimes we don't love something we produce, and that's okay too! If you'd like to learn a little more about praise and its effects on children, this short video about Dr. Carol Dweck's work on praise and "growth mindsets" is a great representation of how contemporary research supports this Montessori practice.
It was a short but busy week in Elementary. The highlight was definitely the cross country event at LaSalle Park in Burlington with students from four other Montessri schools. All of this year's phys. ed. classes have been training and practice, and our Lyonsgate runners succeeded in achieving overall top placings, personal bests and accomplishments, great support of each other, and, most important of all, having a lot of fun with other Montessori students. Back in the classroom, your kids created fossils this week, began studying the fundamental needs of humans, and finished their first set of projects by presenting them to the class. Their projects will be on display for parents during the Elementary Open House next Thursday, Oct. 18, from 3:30-4:30.
Don't forget, Scholastic orders -- either paper forms or online -- are to be submitted by Friday, Oct. 19.
The Show-N-Share events in the Casa and Toddler Montessori environments, and the Open House at the Elementary campus are events to remember for the coming week, on Thursdsay, Oct. 18:
- Toddler Show-N-Share: 3:30-4:00 in the Toddler environment.
- Casa Show-N-Share: 3:30-4:30 in your child's Casa environment.
- Elementary Open house: 3:30-4:30 at the Elementary campus on Locke St.
Beyond next week, we have school phtos coming up on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
The next PD Day is Friday, Nov. 2.
Parent observations in the Casa and Elementary environments will take place throughout November. We'll have online sign-ups and observation guidelines for you next week.
Have a fun fall weekend.