Lower South Update: Sept. 29 – Oct 3 2014

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Lower South explored some of the contributions ancient Rome made to our culture recently.

“We talk about capitalization at the beginning of the year,” said Noeleen, “so we talk about why the days of the week and the months of the year need capital letters. We review the etymology of them and why they are what they are, and we realize that a lot of them are named after Roman gods and goddesses, or planets, and that emphasizes the idea of why we have to capitalize them. That gives us a springboard into doing Roman numerals and little research projects.”

LES WkSept29 2014 speech

Constructing sentences with the Montessori Parts of Speech material.

“In Casa, children are introduced to noun, article, adjective, verb,” explained Lower Noeleen of the Parts of Speech work being done above. “When they come to us we review those and learn about the preposition, pronoun, adverb, conjunction, and interjection, and once they’ve mastered all the Montessori Grammar Boxes, I can put the symbols out and they have to create a sentence based on the parts of speech. I put the symbols down and she’s coming up with the sentence.

“She will start to see the patterns,” she continued, “and will say ‘Can I put the symbols down?’ I’ll say ‘Sure’ and then she will try to create a sentence based on where she put the symbols, and will say ‘Ohh, it’s gotta be article, adjective, noun. I can’t do the symbol for an article and then a verb and then a conjunction. It doesn’t work that way.’ Then what they’ll do is look in books that they are reading and pull a sentence from that and symbolize it.”

LES WkSept29 2014 adverb

Catherine takes on the tricky job of explaining the difference between adverbs and adjectives.

“They’re starting to realize that Catherine is a tool they can use,” said Noeleen on Catherine’s addition to the Lower Elementary environments this year. “They’re starting to get used to the idea that they can go to her.

“The nice thing in this picture is to notice how the Montessori materials allow for the children to be social, which is an important thing at this age.”

LES WkSept29 2014 tri

The Montessori Geometry Detective Game.

Noeleen explained how the Detective Game works:

“We’ll come up with a sentence, say ‘The small, blue, right-angled, isosceles triangle,’ and she has to go through and find that triangle based on the descriptors given, or, she can arrange the triangles — put all the isosceles, equilateral, and scalene triangles together. This is a great job. I love it.”

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As you know, all of our elementary students attended a cross-country event this past week.

“The pride they have,” said Noeleen, “of the kids returning saying ‘Last year I came in 20th, this year I came in 15th. I got better.’ Them being aware of the improvement they’ve had, and the cheering on that they do of each other, the support they offer, it’s phenomenal. Also, they’re starting to see familiar faces [from the other schools] from previous years and they’re starting to socialize with them. It’s a great experience.”

“We did a few unintentional experiments on the effects on positive socialization in children from Montessori schools this week,” said DVMS director Tony. “Tuesday morning, three Montessori Schools got together for a cross country run hosted by Fairview Glen Montessori. DVMS and Dearcroft (where I taught before DVMS) were invited. Though not crazy about ribbons and placing (even if DVMS did very well) it truly was a lovely day. What was most impressive was how the children from all three schools interacted and played soccer and frisbee after. Laughter, kindness, and patience with younger children and positive support were everywhere. It was obvious and heartwarming.

“Yesterday I went to the McMichael Gallery with our Stratolescence students. We ended the day with a picnic dinner and ultimate frisbee game with the adolescent students from Muskoka Montessori School. Muskoka Montessori had organized some games to ‘break the ice’. The same sense of collegiality and comfort was evident.

“In a study published in Science, Dr. Angeline Lillard found that ‘Montessori children displayed better abilities on the social and behavioral tests, demonstrating a greater sense of justice and fairness. And on the playground they were much more likely to engage in emotionally positive play with peers, and less likely to engage in rough play.’

“As an adult it is such a pleasure to witness this ‘positive social play’ in action.”

DVMS elementary students aged grade 2-6 equivalent (second year of Lower elementary and up) will have a chance to run in another cross-country event at Lee Academy on the afternoon of October 24. Participation in this event is optional. If your child decides they want to participate, Upper French specialist and Adventure Runner extraordinaire, Janice, has offered to help them train for the run during recess on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays leading up to the event. They will require running shoes and water bottles.

Other reminders: Two of our Upper Elementary girls have arranged a Kids vs Teachers Soccer Game and Bake Sale to support the Childhood Canada Cancer Foundation . Please submit baked goods on Tuesday, October 21. Cost for kids to play in the game is $3.00, and they can sign up at the dismissal gate on Tuesday, October 14. Click here for details.

Two other Upper students are also organizing a winter clothes swap. It will start on the 6th and run until the 8th of October; it will be from 8:25 – 9:00 and 3:25 – 4:30 (on the stage). The extra will go to charity. Please bring your family’s old winter clothes. Thank you.

Reminders: Lower Elementary children will be participating in karate on Friday mornings throughout October with Gord Waddell of United Family Martial Arts.

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