Last week the first of the six "Great Lessons" was introduced in class. The "Great Lessons" are unique to the Montessori elementary curriculum and are intended to appeal to the elementary child's natural curiosity about the world around them and their imagination. These lessons are introduced throughout the school year and include: the beginning of the universe, the timeline of life on Earth, Early Humans and Civilizations, the History of Writing, the History of Math, and the Great River.
The first lesson involves the use of a black balloon to tell the story of the Big Bang. It includes demonstrations using solid and liquids to explain how the continents and oceans first came together. It is the starting point of our study of astronomy, chemistry, and geology. The Great Lessons are given each year and students take away more information as they develop throughout the program.
This week we will begin our exploration of the solar system. By the end of the week students will take an imaginary trip to the moon. Students will be divided into "space crews" scheduled to rendezvous with a mother ship on the lighted side of the moon. Their survival depends on reaching the Mother Ship and they must determine the most critical of supplies to take with them on the trip. Are you interested in playing along with your children? If so, start with the given supplies and number them in order of their importance. You have one week to complete this phase of the exercise. (Answers to appear in next week's blog post).
_____ box of matches
_____ food concentrate
_____ 20 m. of nylon rope
_____ parachute silk
_____ portable heating unit
_____ one case of dehydrated Pet milk
_____ two 40 kg. tanks of oxygen
_____ stellar map (of the moon's constellations)
_____ life raft
_____ magnetic compass
_____ 25 liters of water
_____ signal flares
_____ first aid kid containing injection needles
_____ solar powered FM receiver-transmitter
(This is an old activity, I did not develop it, but I love it and students like it as well).
Throughout the week, students will continue their work on their individualized math assignments and stories for writing club. Students participating in our Writing Club are working to accept suggestions and
learning to become self editors.
I am continuing to help the students learn to be responsible and respectful citizens in the classroom. The week started with me squirting out a large tube of toothpaste on to a paper plate. I explained to the class that trying to take back a rude remark or behavior, or calling someone a name is like trying to put toothpaste back into the tube. Impossible! Research suggestions that it takes 30 compliments to get back to where someone started before making a hurtful remark. Should your child make a mistake and say something without thinking it through, they may find themselves giving thirty compliments to a friend. This is another writing opportunity in class.
Thank you to Sean McNally, Michelle Manzon, Tony Walker, Sherri Kempf, and Summer Bell for driving on the field trip to Art of the Brick.
Our next field trip is November 13 to the NC Museum of Art.
Mark your calendars:
November 8: Original Art Works orders are due.
November 11-12 Parent-Teacher Conferences. No school for students. There are still spaces available for the Lego camps offered on November 11-12.
Finally, if you were unable to attend Family Day on Saturday the class is open every day from 3-4 for you to come in and see what is happening in your child's class. I am available through email, phone conference at 919-933-0040 or at school everyday between 3-4.
Please don't forget to bring in a piece of fabric or clothing that is special to your child for us to use to make a classroom quilt.