We hope you’ve had a fun-filled and restful summer. We’re very excited for the upcoming school year! The LEU classroom welcomes all new and familiar faces, especially the Grade 1’s along with Ms. Nanine and Ms. Jacqueline.
September is all about settling back into daily routines, exploring new materials and getting to know each other. Grade 2 and 3 students have the privilege of taking on the responsibility of becoming leaders in the classroom, while the Grade 1’s familiarize themselves with classroom work and etiquette.
LEU looks forward to a wonderful year full of learning, growing and plenty of smiles as we focus on holistic development. We hope you can join us on Saturday, September 19th for our annual “MBTS Welcome Picnic” taking place on the playground.
Ms. Sarah and Ms. Natalie warmly welcome you to Lower Elementary Upstairs!
In LEU this month we have been busily learning classroom routines, exploring new materials, and getting to know each other. It was wonderful to observe many of our returning students independently make challenging choices in their work. We have enjoyed working with the first-year students in many introductory and review lessons.
Children have particularly enjoyed listening to the First Great Lesson: How the Universe was Born, and the Second Great Lesson: Life Comes to Earth. The Great Lessons are a series of key Montessori stories that explain the creation of the universe, the beginning of life, the coming of humans, and the development of numbers and writing. The first Great Lesson, which focuses on the creation of the universe and the Earth, is presented as a series of science experiments. Experiments cover the forces of attraction in particles, the three states of matter, and how temperature and density affect matter. In The Second Great Lesson students were introduced to the life that gradually appeared on earth. They gained an overall impression of the major plant and animal groups that developed and the order in which these groups appeared. The story begins with the earliest life in earth’s ocean and ends just before the arrival of humans. The most wonderful part of sharing these lessons with the students has been listening to and discussing with them their thoughts, comments and questions afterwards.
Students have also really enjoyed making presentations to the rest of the class. Students can present things that they have made, or researched, or talk about an experience they had, such as a visit or vacation. This evolves the concept of ‘show and tell’ to a focused and informative presentation, after which the rest of the class are invited to make comments or ask questions. The children really enjoy sharing something they feel proud of with their peers and it helps students work on speaking and listening skills. They talk in a purposeful and confident manner, including relevant details as well as listening to and responding to others.
Every Friday, we hold our weekly class meetings. First, children are invited to thank or commend each other for something helpful or outstanding they may have done that week. This is followed by apologies or ‘next week I will be better at’. Children take turns to speak and listen carefully to each other. Finally we read out ‘suggestions’ which children have written and posted in a ‘suggestion box’ throughout the week. The children are quick to spot ways in which they could work together in the classroom, and they come up with positive suggestions to help keep the classroom environment a calm, peaceful and clean place to be.
We look forward to what promises to be an exciting and busy year ahead! If you’d like to see what we will be working on in LEU over next month please click here for October’s lesson themes.
These last few weeks of school have been fun-filled and enjoyable, with an exciting field trip to the Treasure Island Swim School and an after-school gallery of the children’s human body projects. Along with class meetings, mini-skits and other activities, these events have been lovely ways to end the school year.
Throughout the past year, we have found great joy in observing the children work in the classroom, noting the remarkable progress all of the children have made since the beginning of school.
In our older students, we have witnessed the emergence of care and consideration for their younger peers. It has been humbling and heartening to listen to older students in class impart their knowledge unto their friends with clarity, confidence and kindness. We cannot reiterate the value of the sharing of knowledge as the best gauge of mastery. As well, the learning is not limited to academic concepts; in the careful and considerate manner students share their knowledge with their friends, they also show a fundamental respect for each other and for themselves. They motivate and inspire each other not just as students but as human beings.
In all of the children, we have observed the development of independence. From our youngest first-year child to our eldest third-year leader, we have seen greater awareness of the responsibility that comes with freedom. They are now more than capable of not only being conscious of what needs to be done on their own, but also of being able to advise and remind their peers. In class, the students have developed the ability to navigate through the different areas of knowledge, make thoughtful choices, and challenge themselves. Through the careful building of solid work habits throughout the year, we have fostered a classroom culture that encourages students to explore their own ideas and apply and enrich different, unique skills and abilities in the process.
We have had a very special year in LEU, and we are so proud of how much the children have grown as students, as individuals, and as members of society.
We wish Dylan, Ella and Sam all the best as they embark upon their new adventures!