Near the end of each school year, the older children in each Montessori multi-age environment are at a point where they are confident and capable enough to teach the younger kids. As anyone with experience in such tasks knows, teaching something to someone else is one of the best ways to cement your own knowledge. Above is a presentation on the Lower North loom. We have a number of looms in the school that have come to us from our staffs’ families.
“My mother is a weaver and an anthropologist,” explained Lower North Guide Rob Baker. “She’s worked in Peru and Chile studying their textiles. She’s also worked with the adolescents at Strata.”
Another of our Montessori Mom’s is also a weaver and came to set up the warf for the children to be able to work with the 100-year-old loom. The Lower North kids have also labeled the different parts of the loom so they know what’s what (and expanded their vocabulary). They also use a different tool to measure the threads to be woven (using math skills) and get to directly experience a simple machine (physics of pulleys and levers) when working with the loom. The third-year kids also had a chance to see another loom in action during their trip to Westfield Heritage Village this week.
This week, the caterpillars we have been following the progress of finally emerged from their cocoons. On Tuesday morning we brought the flight cages outside and opened the doors to their freedom. It wasn’t exactly like releasing the doves at the opening of the Olympics, but they all happily trickled on out and now Dundas is blessed with a few dozen more Painted Lady butterflies.
These final few weeks of the year are the time when students are encouraged to finish up their big projects and to present their findings to their peers. Not all of the projects get finished, but that’s ok. Figuring out the process of how to undertake a big project task — what works and doesn’t work for you — is just as important at this stage as finding information on the topic. This week, though, we were treated to a presentation on lions, complete with adorable illustration.
We also began welcoming to our environment some of the children who will be entering Lower Elementary in September. They usually enter with a degree of trepidation, but it doesn’t take long for them to settle in and start exploring and working with some new friends, some old friends, or some older friends — a big step for kids who have been the eldest in their Casa environments all year. We will be doing this regularly for the next week so that they have an idea of what to expect in September.
Finally, Timothy, the Lower North classroom pet, goes home with Carol in the summer, but Noeleen was wondering if anyone wants to bring this big cuddly critter home for the summer. He can be a bit costly to keep fed, but he does barbeque his own food and takes himself for walks. If you’re interested, please contact Noeleen at firstname.lastname@example.org.