Diary of a First Year Montessori Kindergarten Teacher - Week 7

Hello Kindergarten Montessori Families,

I hope your weekend is full of fun adventures! We have a lot going on over the next two weeks as far as half days and conferences so please make sure to mark your calendars appropriately. This Wednesday we have a shortened day as well as NEXT Wednesday, Thursday and Friday which will be our first parent teacher conference today -YES! I am incredibly excited to share what I have been experiencing with each of your children in the classroom and to hear your feedback on your Montessori journey thus far. For SPECIFIC times of dismissals please check out your newsletter from Mrs. E.  We worked on a couple of major projects this week: peace banners for International Day of Peace which was Friday and a science experiment on Frost and Condensation which turned out so cool! 🙂

We had our first Farmer Sean visit and our special guests were Charlotte the pig and a piglet that was so new the members of the farm had not named her yet. We also began to work with a program called Handwriting without Tears. I attended a workshop on Saturday and I was really excited to roll the handwriting curriculum out in the classroom. I work with the students in 2 groups — 1/2 day and full day — and we go back to the basics of how letters are formed. We had a lesson on 3 options for how to hold a pencil, we practice together on chalkboards (thank you to L’s family for the chalkboards!) and then they work on the letters separately on a sheet of paper using the techniques we have practiced on the chalkboards. We use the terms ” long line, short line, large (or big) curve, small (or little) curve. The emphasis is on uppercase letters at first but we are still working on lowercase letters. We started creating our peace banners by choosing fabric and designing mandalas and thinking about our wish for the world.
30 Days of Emotions: offended
Weather discussion: What is a flood?
Math: Relationship of materials — number cards with units, ten bars, 100 square (1–100)

Introduction to Geometric Solids: Cube, Sphere, Cylinder, what other shapes remind you of these shapes, how do they move
Continue on peace banners
Language: Antonyms and Synonyms
30 Days of Emotions: Kind
Math: solving word problems using number rods
Grace and Courtesy Lesson: care for our school
Our first glass dish was broken 🙁

Complete Peace Banners and hang them in the hallway
30 days of Emotions: Timid
Reading Poetry at group time — weather themes “The Muddy Puddle” and “Fog”
We have new tables in the classroom where only one student can sit at each table
Geometric Solids: rectangular prism, cone
Math: teen numbers — what is more than…. what is less than…
Learning a new song: Shoo Li Lou: 
Practical Life Lesson: “What Do you Do with it? (hairbrush, toothbrush, guitar, etc.)
Science Experiment: Frost and Condensation
Draw/Write a story explaining how to recreate this experiment: practice informative text writing
30 days of emotions: resentful
Geometric solids: pyramid, triangular prism
Music and movement: “You Get to Dance”
Language lesson: compound words
Poetry: “Spring rains” and “Rainbows”
Friday: International Day of Peace
Video: The Peace Crane Project — 

Share 1 minute of silence with the Montessori students all over the world
work plans go home
30 days of Emotions: proud
Geometric Solids: Ovoid, Ellipsoid
Sensorial Lesson: Baric Tablets
A little note about the work plans: you may see that sometimes a student is working on the same topic/math type all week. I want to point out a few things that you need to know about the way the classroom works. Because most of the work in the classroom is choice based, a child at this age tends to work on something for about 5–10 minutes and they she/he is ‘finished’ or when talking about the single addition math work, the student works on 3–5 math problems. So what’s key to remember is this age group is working on concentration and repetition is a valuable part of this process. Also, please know that I try my best to pay attention to a student who may be picking something that does NOT invite the child to grow in knowledge.
Extending the learning:
1. On Monday, we are going to discuss types of thermometers and I will give a lesson on temperature. A worksheet will go home on Monday and each day your child is invited to find out what the temperature is for the day and mark it on the log I am sending home. I leave it to you to decide how you would like to have them discover that information. Please send the log back on the following Monday.
2. Now that we are in full swing of the handwriting process, those of you who have students that are wanting to practice writing at home, have them practice making lists of things like items you need at the store or chores for the day. They do not necessarily have to spell word correctly — phonetically is fine. The invitation is for them to discover organizational skills, how time works and the amount of time tasks take to be completed and the way words work as they attempt to figure out the sounds. I leave these choices to you as you notice your child’s developmental stage.
3. (I know! Last week I did not share any learning extensions — here is my week to make that up to you) Also I want to keep in mind that you have a half day this week and a few next week so I want to make sure you have some ideas handy. I found a great tutorial on how to make a barometer which would be a bit too cumbersome for me to do with 20 students. Here is the link and if anyone tries it, feel free to have your child bring it to class:

Thanks dear ones for your continued support.

Warm regards,
Mrs. Norgren