Our Upper Elementary East Montessori students have had a fun and educational start to 2017. Here’s what was shared with their parents.
Dear Upper East Families,
The first term is moving right along and we are taking advantage of the good weather and opportunities that arise. Today, for example, we made a quick hike down to Govenor’s Road and Ogilvie to watch the running of the salmon. Next Wednesday, we will attend the Remembrance Day service at the cenotaph in Dundas.
November is an exciting month because we have received our novel study books and have begun reading and studying the novels. The reading schedules have been recorded in the agendas and it is important for each student to keep up with the group reading so that they can fully participate in the duscussions and activities that happen when we meet.
Our activity for November is Dance and it will be held here at DVMS. Be sure your child has a water bottle and comfy clothes to move in. Check the online calendar for dates and times.
Steam journal continues to have momentum in the Upper Elementary classrooms and your children can share stories about their creations and experiments. This week they built zipline vehicles and next week we will carry out experiments with ice balloons (think frozen water balloons).
Remember tomorrow is a PD day.
Enjoy the weekend.
Terrence & Janice
The Montessori math materials were out in force in Upper Elementary East this week, as well as some other fun activities, of course. Above, Terrence is giving a presentation with the Montessori Peg Board.
“This is the Montessori Peg Board and we’re using it in a different way,” said Terrence. “They’ve used it before for other math activities, but now we’re moving from using Montessori Bead Bars, that they’ve used since they were little ones, to using pegs on a peg board to represent thousands, hundreds, tens, and units. They’re able to build the square with fewer objects, but to make those objects represent more quantity than they did before. We’re going to larger numbers. They’re learning the patterns for squaring the number, which will come back to be the binomial equation. We build it with numbers and later, when we move on to algebra, we’ll be able to plug in the algebraic equation.”
Some Upper Elementary West students worked with Anna this week to make some bird feeders.
“We’ve been talking about our responsibilities not only to ourselves and our indoor environment, but also our outdoor environment and our outdoor friends,” said Kathleen, “especially at this time of year when they need us most. When they were done they went and hung them up all over the playground in hopes to help our little birdy friends.”
Keep your eyes open when you’re picking up, we may be fortunate enough to have many more birds sharing our space.
A treat this week. You get to sit in on a Montessori presentation as Kathleen introduces the concept of Pi to a group of Upper Elementary students. We hope you learn something too.
Many of you have seen the “First Flight” video on our Facebook page and pictures from the Remembrance Day ceremony; above is a short video of the Upper Elementary peace dove on it’s way to the ceremony last week. Terrence explained how it all came about.
“Last year we did some work with music about Remembrance Day, some old time war songs,” said Terrence. “This year we were talking about what to do and remembering not just the people who fought but also our wish to have peace. We talked about the symbols for peace and I’d seen plans to make a giant puppet of a peace dove and suggested we could make it and fly it down to the cenotaph on Remembrance Day. The children thought that was pretty neat so I brought in the plans and we went ahead and built it.”
Children from both Upper Elementary classes collaborated on the construction.
“We have five novel study groups,” explained Kathleen about the structure of the DVMS Upper Elementary novel study unit that started this week, and how in true Montessori fashion “we divided them based on interest; we mixed the year 4, 5, and 6 students, and we mixed the classes together so that they have an opportunity to do a literature circle with friends from the other class.”
Upper East students have been working with a simple but powerful material recently, the Human Interdependency cards. Upper East guide Terrence explained what it is and how it works:
“This is about the fourth or fifth lesson with this material,” said Terrence of the image above. “It starts off with three of the character cards and it’s like we’re in medieval times. The first one asks ‘How do we get our bread?’ and we talk about the baker, then ‘Where does the baker get his materials to bake the bread? He has to go to the miller.’ Then, ‘Well where does the miller go to get the wheat?’ He has to go to the farmer. For the first few lessons everything seems to lead to the farmer”