Upper Elementary students at Pinewoods are putting together a classroom newspaper, The Pinewoods Press. The investigative journalists at Pinewoods, otherwise known as the children, are working on our first edition. They decided to learn something from the experts at The Daily Tar Heel staff at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. One of the editors, scheduled a visit to UNC to meet with the editor of the paper. Through this visit, the students were able to learn what it takes to run a newspaper and bring back valuable tips and knowledge to the rest of the upper elementary students.
by Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher Jimmy Acevedo, rogue economist
We’ve been running a classroom economy all year. Children are paid cash for fulfilling basic expectations: attendance, chore completion, etc. Additional bonuses are paid for going the extra mile or finishing ahead of schedule, or to reinforce spontaneous, positive social acts. (“Thanks for helping me clean that up! Here’s a buck.”)
Expect more from education!
Join us for our Open House on Saturday, February 20 from 11am - 1pm
Dr. Maria Montessori felt that children, given the right environment and opportunities, will grow up into happy, responsible citizens -- not only of their local communities, but of the world.
Perseverance is having the self-discipline to complete a task in spite of being confronted with difficulties.
The Montessori classroom is designed to help children develop perseverance. The "works" in the classroom are intentionally crafted to allow children to master a task independently as long as they put forth some effort. Montessori materials have a "control of error" which means that the work is designed so that the child receives feedback as she works, allowing her to recognize, correct, and learn from mistakes without adult assistance.
One of my favorite things about teaching 3-6 year olds is participating in the magic of learning how to read! At Pinewoods I present sound lessons to all of my students and use Montessori materials like the sandpaper letters and moveable alphabet to help children practice their way to fluency.
by Jimmy Acevedo, lower elementary assistant teacher
As the elementary lunchtime proctor, I take advantage of our ~10 minutes of ‘chew time’ each day to expose the children to new facets of music. It’s very rewarding to see the children jamming out to a Baroque, harpsichord-heavy, concerto grosso (something that does not see heavy use among the traditional 6-12-year-old market, one imagines) or to some early bebop.
If you haven’t seen a full 20-piece air-band rocking out to classic power rock, complete with furious air-guitar, celery-stick air-drums, and peanut-butter-and-jelly-sticky-fingered air-keyboards -- well, you should. Hopefully they’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.
“What is social life if not the solving of social problems, behaving properly and pursuing aims acceptable to all? [It is not] sitting side by side and hearing someone else talk…”
One of the most important and sometimes overlooked portion of Montessori education, are lessons of grace and courtesy in the classroom. In Toddler and Primary classrooms, teachers often spend the first few weeks of school demonstrating and modeling these lessons for the children.
What are these lessons?
Children traditionally go to preschool at about two and half years of age. But your child was born curious, and started learning right away. It’s this very early window of learning that inspired the toddler program at Pinewoods Montessori.
This half-day program can be three or five mornings per week and provides a wonderful introduction to Montessori for children who are 18 months old, as well as for their parents. Toddlers are able to experiment with their increasing need for independence in a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment.
The toddler program takes advantage of the child's natural drive to act independently. Pinewoods Montessori advances each child's growth and development through a rich and and well prepared environment designed just for these learners. The classrooms are a special place for the young child to begin his/her steps towards independence and self-reliance.
Dedicated, nurturing and trained teachers implement a toddler-focused curriculum to foster cognitive development, speech and language development, strengthen fine motor and gross motor skills, introduce grace and courtesy lessons and promote independence.
Toddler exercises and activities recognize that children learn by doing. Classroom materials are always accessible, attractive, safe, and geared for a child’s success. Activities are changed regularly in response to children’s need for variety and challenge as they grow and learn. The safe, loving, gentle atmosphere puts children and parents at ease and makes for a trusting, spontaneous transition to school.
Michelle M. lives in Hillsborough, and shared her experirence having her son in the toddler program here at Pinewoods Montessori. Here’s what she had to say:
When I first visited a Montessori primary classroom, I saw children sitting on rugs around the classroom. They were small, off-white cotton rugs, almost like bath mats. On each rug, a child was doing an activity. And I thought, well, that must make cleanup easier.
It turns out cleaning had nothing to do with it.
See for yourself!
Observation is key to understanding Montessori, and experiencing Pinewoods first hand.