Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Scenes From a Day

With rain on the way tomorrow, we gave the children the option to stay outside as much as they wanted today.

Friday, June 2, 2017


Sunny weather and growing interest in telling time leads the afternoon explorers to create sundials!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New Work

We put out new practical life work based on interests, needs, as well as seasons. 

Today the new work was foot washing - something kind to do for a friend! It was in use all day.

Monday, May 1, 2017

School Garden Progress

Our school garden got underway this weekend, as many families pitched in to move mountains of soil and bark chips!

Our mountains await shovels!

Ready for planting!

Our play yard needed some new bark chips too.

Our yard smells like fresh cedar!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Passover Fun

Passover is one of the biggest holidays in the Jewish year - maybe even the most important of all of the holidays! The story of the exodus from Egypt has shaped the Jewish people for thousands of years. At Tree of Life Montessori, we focused on concrete parts of the story and the seder to invite the children into the celebration of this complex and sometimes difficult to understand story.

While we normally do not offer crafts with a specific products, some holidays call for that kind of project. The children love making seder plates after learning about the different foods
and their meanings. 

A real, colorful seder plate and photos of the real foods to match.

Passover felt like the right time to introduce land and water forms to the classroom. As we talk about the Red Sea parting and the Jews going through on dry land, children can us stones to build all different kinds of land forms in a tray of water - isthmus, peninsula, bay, strait, archipelago, and so on. It is also a fun demonstration to do when retelling that part of the Passover story.

Our mortar and pestle got a major workout, crushing matzah into matzah meal was very popular!

Crushing walnuts for charoset and matzah granola was also a popular work.

Since the Passover story features frogs overrunning Pharoah's palace, it seemed like an appropriate time to introduce the life cycle of the frog. Models of each stage of the frog's life are offered with a little felt pond that can be set up any way the child wants - the felt pieces are movable. 

Then labels are added to label the different stages of a frog's development - eggs, tadpole, froglet, and adult frog.

In the afternoon children made afikomen holders as well as painted and decorated Elijah's cups to take home for their seder.

After painting their cups they decorated them with glimmering jewels!

At our school we strive to bring Jewish holidays into the context of everyday life, in a way that children can participate in and understand. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sharing Stories

Montessori teachers use oral language activities to share culture, build rapport, and prepare children for literacy. With limited to oral language children have difficulty expressing themselves verbally and on paper. 

Throughout the day children may gather in small groups to hear a true story, have a conversation, play a language game, recite a poem, or sing a song. All of these activties are fun and bring joy! They are also useful in building and reinforcing language in their growing minds.