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SOWING THE SEEDS OF LIFELONG LEARNING

A child displays pride and enthusiasm for his work.

When we walk back into the classroom at the end of the summer, we are ready: Ready to learn, ready to discover, ready to begin a wonderful school year. The first few weeks of school are a key time for us as a class to plant the seeds of a vibrant classroom community, unified by the love of learning.

Mapping studies - inspired by the study of the Earth.

THE SEEDS OF WONDER  We started off the year with a BANG – the volcanic Great Lesson! This comprehensive story offered children a fundamental point from which to launch their own wonderment on the origins of our universe and our planet. The children enjoyed partaking in a little bit of the lesson – and its accompanying, exciting experiments – over the course of several mornings. This gave them the chance to digest the great scope of the story, covering states of matter, the laws of physics, and fundamental geological concepts, and the time to delve into independent streams of study.

It is wonderful to note that some of the younger students launched Botany experiments, inspired by some of the older children finding sprouting seeds on the playground and bringing them into class. This led to lessons on seeds and the needs of plants. Such organic development of intellectual curiosity is intrinsic to a Montessori classroom.

 

 

Students exploring fractions.

THE SEEDS OF CONNECTIVE THINKING  Cross-curricular learning is a crucial component of any Montessori classroom. Students engage in projects and lessons that dovetail different disciplines, dividing their families into fractions, seeing the angles formed by the hands of a clock, applying organization, comprehension and presentation skills by staging a skit.

Students exercise language, comprehension and presentation skills through drama.

Such an inter-disciplinary approach and environment encourages connective thinking – a key trait of innovators and leaders, as cited by a Harvard Business Review study in 2009. This ability to “…make connections across seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas” is fundamental to highly successful innovators, “… because new ideas aren’t created without connecting problems or ideas in ways that they haven’t been connected before.” Because learning in a Montessori classroom is not limited to delineated information, students’ minds become fertile for connections – across subjects, across skills, across ideas and concepts.

The LEU Class

THE SEEDS OF CITIZENSHIP   Just as the students have been working hard to build and foster good work habits, they have also been working to build the foundation of a respectful, peaceful classroom. They worked in groups in early September to brainstorm on classroom ‘Rights and Responsibilities’. In class, students are expected to carry out classroom jobs, cleaning and tidying up, caring for plants, preparing and serving snack, and making daily, routine announcements. The classroom thus becomes a truly functioning community, with citizens who share inherent rights and responsibilities.

Ryan blows the shofar.

With awareness of our actions comes reflection, and Ms. Marcia from the LED class treated us to a wonderful presentation on the celebration of Rosh Hashanah. The children enjoyed partaking in apples and honey, and took turns blowing into the shofar, or ram’s horn. We had the opportunity to listen and discuss the importance of reflecting on our own actions, and the value of making amends. Thanks to Ms. Marcia for spending time with us for this special occasion.

 

OTHER NEWS:

– We would like to thank all of the parents for attending preliminary meetings last week. We appreciate that you took the time to share with us you observations and questions. All parents are encouraged to please contact us at leu@mbts.ky if you have any questions about the classroom.

– Please visit this blog regularly for updated information on upcoming curricular or seasonal themes of study in the LEU classroom. You can expect to read all about October’s themes by this Friday, October 7th.

Thank you for visiting the LEU Blog!

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