Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Postcards: A Memorial For Children

A few weeks ago, I came across an interesting article about Anne Frank and her American pen pal from Danville, Iowa.  
Like the students at our little yellow school, Anne Frank also attended a Montessori school.




Here is a link to the article.

 http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180415-anne-franks-american-pen-pal


I was particularly moved by the mention of Danville's eighth grade students and their inspiring Postcard Project.   Their goal is to collect 1.5 million postcards from around the world to help end intolerance and encourage the acceptance of all people.  Here are some excerpts about their project from their Facebook page.

Unfortunately, intolerance is shaping the world we live in.  Every day, at every level and every age, people face intolerance because they are different in some way.


To tolerate someone is not good enough.  If you are merely tolerating someone, you are still implying that something about them is "not good enough".  It is time to accept people for who they are.  Instead of rejecting differences, such as religion or race, accept those people for who they are.


https://www.facebook.com/PostcardsAMemorialForChildren/


When I read about their project, I knew that the students at our little school must help these eighth graders reach their goal.  While we did not go into great detail about the background of the project, the children were very eager to write postcards to remember children who died in the war. 



Our little preschoolers are not able to comprehend war, hate or intolerance.  They have such a huge capacity to love and to help one another.  Everyone who comes to visit our little yellow school is considered a friend.  All are welcomed into our school family. 




The children had such a fantastic time writing the postcards.  Many had never written a postcard before.  It was a great learning experience.  The older children wrote their own messages, while our youngest students dictated their messages or wrote their own names.




 





Here are some of their messages.



A Young Three Year Old
A Young Three Year Old
A Three Year Old - This postcard is for you.  My mom and dad say hi.

A Five Year Old - Dear Children,  My school is called Children's Montessori Academy.  I wish you get all the postcards you need!

A Five Year Old - I play the guitar.

A Three Year Old - This is my postcard for you.  I like the Toronto Maple Leafs.

A Five Year Old - I feel bad for the people who died.  I feel really sorry for some of the people that died.

A Five Year Old - I am sorry for the war.

Our postcards are now off to Danville, Iowa. A huge THANK YOU to Mrs. M.'s husband for finding us some lovely Toronto postcards to send.







If you would like to help the eighth graders of Danville, Iowa meet their goal, send them a postcard.  


Danville Postcard Project
419 South Main
Danville, Iowa  52623
USA



Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news.  The good news is that you don't know how great you can be!  How much you can love!  What you can accomplish!  And what your potential is.

                                       ~ Anne Frank


Saturday, 21 April 2018

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

The children at our little yellow school are a very peaceful and caring community.  Our days are spent working, learning and playing together.  

Playing the Glockenspiel During our Friday Kindermusik Classes

Arithmetic - The Golden Beads

The Puzzle Map of the Continents

Every day, in many little ways, our actions show how much we care for one another and for our school.  Whether it is rushing to help a classmate who has dropped something, tucking in chairs that have been left out, or lending a hand to a struggling classmate, the children want to help one another. 


A graduate (third year student) assisting a first year student with his shoes.

We are a school family.


Friends

Young children want to help their fellow classmates but may not know how.  Maria Montessori created Grace and Courtesy lessons - social lessons - to help children with friendships and collaborations.  Lessons at the casa/preschool level include waiting your turn, blowing ones nose, walking around objects, interrupting/asking for help and using a quiet voice.  Lessons are taught through role play and reinforced in the classroom.  Dr. Montessori believed that these lessons would help children become kind and compassionate in the classroom and in society.  

Trick-or-Treat - Halloween Grace and Courtesy Lesson


Our young students are always eager to lend a hand to one another and to make a contribution to the world around them.  In September, our school community raised money for cancer research through our Terry Fox Run and Toonies for Terry.  Many children came in clutching coins from their piggy banks to contribute.


Terry Fox Run

Terry Fox Run

Toonies For Terry


Toonies for Terry

For Remembrance Day, the children made Valentines for Vets.  The cards were distributed to Canadian vets on Valentine's Day.


Valentines For Vets

In December we held our annual Food Drive for a local Food Bank.


Food Drive

Food Drive

Food Drive - Last Day

At the beginning of April, our country and many around the world were shocked and saddened by the news of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan.  On the first day back at school, the children talked about the crash.  They wanted to do something to remember the hockey players.  At recess, they decided to draw "Hearts for the Hockey Players" with sidewalk chalk.  When they were finished, they formed a heart around the chalk hearts and sang "Oh Canada".  It was a powerful moment.  The Humboldt Broncos and their families continue to be in our thoughts and in our hearts.


Sidewalk Chalk Hearts for the Hockey Players

Remembering the Humboldt Broncos

This week the children will be mailing postcards from our province to help some fellow children reach their goal.  More information about this will follow in a future blog.


Postcards of Toronto, Niagara Falls and Wasaga Beach

Through their actions, our young students are showing us that we can all make a difference.  Every effort, no matter how big or small, counts.  Together we can make the world a better place.  


The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.

~ Maria Montessori



Saturday, 31 March 2018

We're So Eggcited! ~ It's Easter

The days leading up to Easter are very egg-citing ones at our little yellow school!

The festivities began with the decorating of some hard boiled eggs.  We placed an egg and some tempura paint inside a plastic sandwich bag. 


A Hard Boiled Egg and Tempura Paint

We sealed the bag and moved the egg around.



Smooshing the Egg and Paint

When we were done, we removed the egg from the bag and allowed it to dry.  Beautiful and mess-free eggs!  

Our Eggs

They are so beautiful!

We placed our eggs in Easter baskets.

Easter Baskets

For snack the children made their own bunny bagels.  


Making a Bunny Bagel

They were so much fun and very tasty!






This cute little bagel is from the 'Picasso' school of bunny bagel making.



Look what we found outside!


What could it be?

It was a basket of goodies from the Easter Bunny!  Thank you Easter Bunny!


Goodies from the Easter Bunny

Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter weekend!




Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Captivated by the Winter Olympics

For the past two weeks, the children and teachers at our little yellow school have been caught up in the excitement of the 2018 Winter Olympics.  These Olympics brought joy to our days.

From Culture to Arithmetic to Language, interest in the Olympics permeated our classrooms.  It all began with the question "Where in the world is PyeongChang?"  We used our atlas along with the Puzzle Map of Asia to find South Korea.  The Asia map has been in constant use over the past two weeks with children labeling the names of the countries in Asia.


The Puzzle Map of Asia

Hard at Work


Many stories were written about the games and the medals Canada won.




Our favourite activity occurred each day at circle.  That is when we would track the progress of our Olympic team on a simple wall graph.  


Our Graph

The wall graph provided the children with the opportunity to collect data and organize it.  Through our graph, the children were able to:

~  collect information
~  count and sort
~  read graphs
~  make observations from a graph
~  ask questions about graph results

They spent much time counting and discussing the medals Canada won.





Discussing the Graph

While we learned a lot about South Korea and the different sports, it was the stories of the Olympians that taught us some very important life lessons.


Dedication - All of the Olympic athletes on our screens displayed dedication.  Most began their training as children and put in countless hours of practice to be among the best athletes in the world.  Our students were particularly interested in the story of Olympic darlings Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.  Our beloved Canadians began skating together in 1997.  Twenty years later, they leave these Olympics as the most decorated figure skaters in history with five Olympic medals each.

Perseverance - All of the athletes have persevered through good times and bad.  The story of Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris's comeback from near death resonated with our students.  With his accident occurring a mere 11 months before the Olympics, Mark refused to give up and landed on the podium with a bronze medal.  Very impressive!  Mark's perseverance was referenced by India's Prime Minister in a speech to young students. 

Teamwork - In the Olympics, there are individual sports and team sports.  It was inspiring to see veteran speed skaters Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais, medal winners at previous games, supporting and guiding the new young stars of the sport.  It was also great to see athletes from different sports coming out to cheer on their fellow Canadian athletes.  This also resonated with our students as this happens in our Montessori classrooms each and every day.  We are always here to support, guide and cheer one another on.

Good Sportsmanship -   In each Olympic sport, there are those who receive medals and those who do not.  As Canadians, there were some losses in key sports that we did not anticipate.  Despite this, our athletes always tried their best and were gracious in both victory and defeat.  They set a wonderful example.

At the end of these games, our wall graphs showed us that Canada won an impressive 29 medals - 11 gold, 8 silver and 10 bronze!  We placed third behind Norway and Germany for the most medals won.  This is our highest tally ever at a Winter Olympics!


Hooray, Canada!

Thank you to PyeongChang and the people of South Korea for being such gracious and elegant hosts.  A huge thank you to all of our Canadian Olympic athletes on a wonderful Winter Olympics!  We kept you in our hearts and in our thoughts.  You brought light into our wintry February days and made Canada proud!  Congratulations!