[ Hover over any topic to learn more ]
Montessori Academy's vision is that each student
will become an independent, confident, motivated learner, and a responsible community member as a result of the dynamic partnership between
students, parents, and teachers.
This partnership within the exceptional Montessori environment, while developing these characteristics, enables each student to become a life-long learner.
Mrs. Quinn and I are grateful for each of you and your wonderful children. We have a splendid community in Room 12. Max and Isaac Smith are terrific additions. Isaac will be with us for two more years. Max will be moving up to fourth level. We will miss him and all of the third level students. We have a month and a half to spend together. The thirds are testing this week and in the afternoons we are all working on our assembly.
As Montessorians we attempt to follow the student's interest and provide appropriate materials that reflect them. We teach them the basics in Math, Language, History, Geography and Science; more importantly we teach them to explore topics of personal interest to them. During the work time it is part of their maturing process to balance what they must do with what they want to do.
This year the children seem to overflow with enthusiasm for Geography. We have studied Land Forms culminating in a Geography Bee. In addition, the children have done individual reports on North America, Europe, Africa, the Far East, and the Middle East. We were not yet finished with the remaining continents when we began to shift our energy towards preparation for the assembly. We will focus our assembly on Geography which gives us the opportunity to look at the other continents rather than pulling us in a totally different direction. We will study the continents in depth in preparation for the assembly but you will see little of the background information on display. For instance obviously Africa is a huge place with multiple cultures and yet you will only see three students doing a short skit about mummies.
The time spent on the assembly is an important investment because it allows the children to develop in unique ways. Unknown talents emerge for the entire classroom to see and celebrate. Community ties are strengthened as the children are encouraged to offer suggestions on each skit, prop and costume. We want their voices to be heard. Some of the ideas move beyond our ability (children suspended from the ceiling so they can fly over the audience) and some move into the ridiculous offered merely for the potential laugh. Many of the ideas are brilliant and we try to incorporate as many as possible. The children learn to brainstorm, to offer ideas and to be respectful of ideas being offered by others. Some students have already done research at home bringing in props and books; some are more passive in the formative stages but are full of ideas when we begin to practice the individual performances. Believe me, what you will see on stage is minute compared to the vision we've created.
Another great benefit of this time is the children learn to wait their turn while we're rehearsing. They will be quiet while each of the other children have a turn to be the center of attention during all of the rehearsals and certainly during the performances. They in turn will be respected when they step into the spotlight. Each child will be highlighted for a moment. Traditionally, in Room 12, the third level students are given the largest parts as actors and narrators. This year our seven third level students have each taken responsibility for a continent and the group of children needed to do that particular skit. They are working closely with me to make final decisions regarding their story. They will help with the staging and will be responsible for the props backstage.
Speaking of costumes: I've just decided that each child should wear long sleeve black shirts and long black pants or black tights and black skirts. We'll be able to move from one skit to another most easily if all of the children are wearing traditional theatrical black. We will be doing some simple puppetry and long sleeve black tops will help maintain the illusion of invisibility. If you have any questions about a piece of clothing send it in your child's book bag and I'll look at it.
Make no mistake the students are still working on Math facts, operations, editing, spelling, sentence analysis, botany, crystals and cooperation. Our garden is being planted and seeds are sprouting all over the classroom.
I hope to see you at the picnic - new date, next Friday April 26th. Mark your calendars for the assembly performance on May 3.