Category Archives: Lower El Downstairs

Welcome to My Life: Biography Day in LED

MBTS parents and students recently had the good fortune of meeting some of history’s most brilliant men and women – and even a few legends and deities – during LED’s Biography Dress-Up Day!

The LED class’ Cultural exploration of Europe culminated in a display of biography projects on their chosen subjects, which included famous authors and artists, explorers, inventors and scientists, saints and Samaritans, athletes, rulers and royalty, as well as a mythical king and a goddess!

The children put a great deal of effort into their projects, with students conducting the research and writing processes as independently as possible. Younger students wrote their projects in first-person, and displayed their research in “speech bubble” form, while older students had the choice of writing their biographies from the more traditional, third-person point of view.

The day was made even more exciting because the children came to school dressed as their biography subjects, and stayed in character for the duration of the open house visit! It was so wonderful to listen to parents and visiting students from the LEU and MYP classes enthusiastically ask thoughtful questions, and inspiring to listen to the children speak knowledgeably and excitedly as their biography subjects.

Thank you to all of the parents, as well as to the students of LEU and MYP, who took time out of their day to come and support the children in their efforts to delve headfirst into History and Culture!

MBTS Has Got Talent!

On March 28th, students from Lower and Upper Elementary bravely and gamely took to the stage to share their talents during the MBTS Community Talent Show. (Scroll all the way to the bottom to see the photo gallery of the performers.)

This student-organized show was spearheaded by Grade Three and Grade Two students from the Lower Elementary Downstairs class, with the purpose of raising funds for the Cayman Islands Humane Society. The student organizers went through every step of the planning process, including booking dates for the hall,  creating posters and making announcements in different classrooms for the event, arranging the order of performers, writing the script for the show, selling tickets and adding up all of the proceeds. This project was a wonderful, real-life way to integrate and apply skills in so many areas, from writing and mathematics to grace and courtesy.

The talent show was attended by many staunch “fans” – families and friends whose support and enthusiasm were invaluable in encouraging the young performers to get up on stage and simply share a talent. Performances displayed a variety of skills and abilities, including dancing, sleight of hand and magic, acting, singing, playing the piano, recorder and violin, gymnastics, rollerblading, hula-hooping, and even beatboxing and breakdancing!

We were heartened to see students as young as six or seven muster up the courage to perform on stage, and every student who participated garnered heartfelt, enthusiastic cheers from the crowd. Thanks to the performers’ generosity of spirit, and thanks to the support of the families and friends who purchased tickets for the show, $235.50 was raised, and will all be donated to support the worthy work of the Cayman Islands Humane Society. Thank you for making the very first MBTS Community Talent Show a success!

Thanks as well to all of the teachers and administrators who cooperated with the student organizers and who were instrumental in making the talent show happen. Special thanks go to Ms. Ana, for lending all of the musical equipment and helping set up the microphones, and to Ms. Stacey, for kindly taking such lovely photos throughout the show. A big thank-you as well to the Rossiter, Alban and Pollard Families for their help in cleaning up after the talent show!

 

The European Connection: Creative Connections in Lower Elementary

An open environment for making connections.
An open environment for making connections.

“The essence of creativity is to be able to disassemble and recombine elements in new ways.” – Adele Diamond, Canada Research Chair Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, University of British Columbia

Presenting European biome brochures.
Presenting European biome brochures.

Connective thinking, which is considered to be the foundation of true creativity, happens easily and organically in the Lower Elementary Montessori environment. At any given moment, a diverse range of topics are being studied and pursued by the children, and more than one lesson could be taking place. All students do not learn a particular subject at a particular time; instead, individual students or small groups of children are invited to lessons while the rest of the children go about their own independent learning pursuits.

A world of ways to say hello!
A world of ways to say hello!

Connective thinking is also actively encouraged through integrative curricula and lesson-building: Currently, the LED class is studying the continent of Europe, and this focus anchors the webwork of our studies in Literature, the Physical and Life Sciences, as well as Cultural subjects, including Geography and History.

The children have worked on learning different ways to say hello in different European languages, and created various flags and greetings to decorate our community display board in the classroom. Already, the class has enjoyed a few independently-researched presentations on various European countries, almost always with the application of ICT skills on their Powerpoint presentations. Our story circle and novel study groups will be focusing on the work of notable children’s authors from Europe.

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Creating a biome booklet.

Much of our studies in the Life Sciences focus on the different biomes found on our planet. Some students have been enjoying writing and illustrating mini-booklets about the animals and plants that live in the various European biomes, using biome reader sets that reinforce their knowledge of sounds as well as sequence. Other children use more complex and dense biome research cards to write down facts in their own words, and record connections or questions they have about what they have learned. Some children have used the research cards to create “travel” brochures about different European countries, focusing on the different ways that humans have adapted to life in various biomes found on the continent.

 

Demonstrating Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion.
Demonstrating Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion.

Science and History have become natural partners in our study of famous European scientists and inventors. Over the past few weeks, the children have learned about the remarkable lives of Galileo Galilei (Italy) and Sir Isaac Newton (England), and have explored their important discoveries through various Science experiments on ‘Gravity’ and the ‘Laws of Motion’. We will be continuing to learn about scientists this month, including Marie Curie (Poland), Louis Pasteur (France), and of course, Maria Montessori (Italy), and will be moving on to famous European artists and explorers after that.

By making the learning environment a conducive space for connective thinking, and by actively facilitating opportunities for the children to make connections across various subjects, we are fostering true creativity!