Lower North Update: Oct. 14 – 17 2014

Don’t forget, the DVMS Parent Community Dinner is coming up on Saturday, October 25. Please click here for details and tickets.

Also, please remember that school photo orders are due on October 24.

LEN WkOct14 2014 worms

Carol is showing some of our Lower Elementary Montessori kids how composting works. Worms!!

Lower North is starting to take on the process of making their community stronger.

“The honeymoon phase is over,” said Rob of the Lower North environment, “and we’re now learning about community and how our actions can affect each other. They’re getting a little bit louder and getting a bit more distracted, and being the distractors, so we’re learning about respect and how they interact with each other and understand each other when they are working together, or working by themselves — being aware of what they’re doing so that they are not a distraction to someone else.”

LEN WkOct14 2014 e

Brainstorming letters that end with a ‘v’ and silent-e.

“This is our spelling program,” explained Rob. “What they’re doing is coming up with their own spelling words. They’re seeing patterns by doing that, and they’re also beginning to understand, not just memorize, spelling rules and apply that into their everyday work.”

The approach to spelling in the DVMS Lower environments has been developed by Rob and Noeleen over the last few years.

“Here they’re learning that a word that ends in ‘v’, like ‘have’, is not pronounced ‘haive’,” said Rob. “It is an Orton-Gillingham-based program that introduces about 15 rules. Spelling is something that either comes easy or that you have to work hard at, and the more people read and write the more it improves their spelling.”

LEN WkOct14 2014 lang2

Montessori Sentence Analysis Charts.

“This is sentence analysis,” explained Rob about another part of the Lower Elementary Montessori language curriculum. “They’re learning about subject and predicate. They’re making up their own in the one on the left, and then the other one has the direct object with it. They’re creating their own sentences. The material allows them to analyze sentences and understand that each sentence has to have a subject and a predicate.”

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The charts above represent a “cosmic approach” said Rob, where botany work the children are doing with Carol is carried over to math work.

“They did a survey of children on which apples they like the best and then graphed their results. Within the botany aspect we’re applying a math concept. Carol does a great job of making it a cosmic approach, and we try to inter-relate everything back into whatever you are doing.”

LEN WkOct14 2014 elastic

Playing with elastics in class is usually discouraged at school, but they can be a great tool for increasing grip strength while learning to write.

The young fellow above is not just playing with an elastic, he’s developing his grip and pincer strength.

“Marissa gave me this idea to strengthen children’s fingers,” said Rob. “We’re working to make sure children have the strength and dexterity needed so when they are doing any type of writing, they’re doing it properly and not developing any bad habits.”

LEN WkOct14 2014 seeds

Exploring bulbs.

“I was teaching them the parts of the bulb,” said Carol of the scene above. “Then we planted tulip bulbs and daffodil bulbs in the garden for next year. We looked at tulip bulbs, daffodil bulbs, and onion bulbs, ones that we eat, ones that squirrels eat, and what they all have in common. The kids wanted to taste the onion bulbs — they’re brave, they’re really brave.

“We followed up with water colour pencils and a little art project,” said Carol.

LEN WkOct14 2014 leaf1

“Take a picture of this one.”

LEN WkOct14 2014 leaf2

Sorting out the simple leaves versus the compound leaves.

“We went and collected them,” said Carol of the different types of leaves being examined above. “Then we followed up with identifying and labelling them, and concluded with another art project with the colour wheel of the different fall colours; they made bookmarks.”

As you can see at the top of this update, Carol is also showing the Lower elementary children how composting works.

“I’m starting with different types of composting, so the worms are vermi-compost, and we’re looking at how long it takes styrofoam to decompose compared to paper and a pear. These are ongoing projects.”

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