Sunday, March 29, 2015

Friends are Inspiring

Sometimes it's hard to remember everything there is to do at school. That's why children are welcome to observe their friends at work, getting inspired by that they are doing and what they are finding.

Sometimes one child tries something new with the materials…

Inspiring another child to try it too!

Something as simple as a new basket can provoke a new activity outside - picking dandelions.

Showing a worm he found while digging in the soil.

One child moving on the line inspires many others to join in! 
Crawling is one way to explore movement and bring in an imaginative element.

Bringing out new materials is always a good way to get creative work going.

Negotiating play outside means learning social skills and expressing needs through words.

The first birthday of the year! He makes his way around the sun as his classmates look on.

The interior of the hedge has become a great place to get some space and climb around on the branches.

We have been reading the book Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven on and off since the school year began, and decided that the Spring Equinox would be the perfect time to follow the recipe in the back of the book and make our own sun bread. 
Everyone taking turns to pour in the ingredients and mix it well. 
Enjoying our soft, buttery bread, with plum jam, outside for a spring picnic!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Moving Along!

The control of movement is a critical development in young children, which is addressed in many Practical Life activities. Practical Life is the entry point into the Montessori curriculum. From simple activities involving pouring and squeezing sponges to the long sequence of washing and drying a table, Practical Life gives children opportunities to develop many skills.

Many activities encourage the use of a pincer grip, which strengthens their hands for writing. Art activities like chalk drawing and painting on the easel also strengthen the hand and give an outlet for expression

Other activities provide practice with objects they might use in day to day life, such as small containers or buttons, without the pressure of having to hurry up and put on a coat or put something away.

The whole body moves when dusting a table, sweeping the floor, or digging a hole, giving opportunities for hands to cross the midline (more information on why this is important for development here).

Moving on the line is fun but also aids children in learning how to control their movements. All games and finger-plays that young children play involve the control of movement - freeze tag, simon says, red light green light, and so on - so the limit of the line for movement is an exciting challenge rather than a boring limitation.

We are learning and growing so much at Tree of Life Montessori these days. There are a few more spaces for children to join us next Fall or January! Please get in touch if you are interested in enrolling your child.

Purim Party!

We had a lovely Purim Party at Tree of Life Montessori last week. We invited our friends from Gan Shalom Collaborative Preschoool as well as the community to join us for Hamantaschen, costumes, games, grogger-making, and a sweet Purim Spiel. It was fun to collaborate with another school to make the event a bit bigger and more interesting.

Hamanstaschen and fruit kebabs for everyone!

A leopard enjoys her snack.

Pin the crown on Queen Esther

Morah Sarabel tells the tale of Shushan!

Shaking Groggers at Haman's name!
Making groggers with forked sticks

Adding bottle caps to make sound.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Busy Hands

We have been enjoying almost perpetual sunny skies, with light spilling into our classroom and onto our garden!

Classified language cards are an organized way to introduce new vocabulary as well as confirm what children already know and give them more experience with all kinds of nouns.

Sometimes we play games with the cards individually or as a group. Sometimes it's fun to just explore them alone!

Pulling a friend in the wagon is hard work.

Wiping her own face gives her control over her own body and it's fun too!

Coat-free in February. Is this Portland?

Tearing paper is a fun way to get some energy out!

Carefully arranging flowers, then choosing where to put them.  Sometimes there are flowers all around the room and sometimes the children cluster vases on one table or shelf. We honor their choice.

The wagon is an inspiration for all kinds of activity, such as scrubbing.

A provocation of shapes drawn from the introduction to the geometry cabinet inspires more drawing and some washing as well. 

Taking time to share a book with a friend.

Mixing the ingredients for a new classroom favorite, vegetable frittata.

Taking care to pour slowly into the funnel.

Sometimes water spills, but we can take care of that with a spill cloth.

Shabbat snack is a happy time at Tree of Life Montessori!