Friday, 17 December 2010

~ Happy Holidays ~

School is now officially out for the holidays!  What a glorious few weeks all of us have shared together - children, parents and teachers.  The season began with our Annual Food Drive for the Richmond Hill Food Bank at the beginning of December and ended with a fantastic holiday party.  We were extremely fortunate to have Santa drop in to see all of us at the party! Santa was so happy that we had all managed to stay on the Nice List this year.  The children were so delighted to see him and had lots to tell Santa.  Needless to say, everyone was on their very best behaviour.  Santa absolutely loved all the songs we sang for him and even managed to eat a few cookies!  It was really very  nice of him to visit with us so close to Christmas.

We at The Children's Montessori Academy would like to wish you a very happy and safe holiday season!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Hanukkah and Christmas ~ Parents Sharing in the Classroom

The days around special holidays are always magical times in the classroom.  This year a few of our parents volunteered to come into the classrooms to share their holiday experiences with the children.


 M.'s mom came in to speak to all of us about Hanukkah.  She began by reading us a story about Hanukkah.  After the story we watched and listened while she and M. lit the menorah and sang the traditional blessing.  We all had fun playing with dreidels and singing the Dreidel song.  M.s mom also brought in delicious potato latkes with applesauce and sour cream for snack!  It was a very lovely morning.


D.'s father and G.'s father came in to speak to us about the Christmas story.  G.'s father had prepared a slide show that the children truly enjoyed watching while they spoke.  The children had lots of questions and comments about the presentation.  The fathers also presented the school with a lovely nativity.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Bats and Things That Go Bump in The Night

Last week we made these scary bats for craft. 

This lead beautifully into a study of bats.  The entire class was introduced to the Parts of the Bat as well as different types of bats.  Years ago, we found wonderful close-up pictures of different types of bats in a magazine and made a picture matching activity out of them.  The children  learned about bats such as hoary, fruit and the ever popular vampire bat.  Some of the older children made booklets about the different types of bats. It was wonderful to see the interest of the youngest children.  They would look at each picture card very intently and come over to a teacher to tell us the name of the bat they were looking at.

There is a certain mystery surrounding bats.  Although they live amongst us, they are active when we are asleep.  We are diurnal and they are nocturnal.  Now that the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer, we also began a study of nocturnal and dirurnal animals.   Here is a sorting activity we have in the classroom.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Baking in the Classroom ~ Little Apple Sweetie Pies

Since our trip to the apple orchard, we have been enjoying the apples we took back with us at snack time.  We saved some so that each child could make a Little Apple Sweetie Pie.  What is a Sweetie Pie?  It is your very own tiny apple pie!

We began by washing our apples.  Each child had a turn peeling the apples using an apple peeler.  Once the apples were peeled and cored, each child cut their own apple into small pieces.

They placed these pieces into a prepared tart shell.  Using measuring spoons, they sprinkled flour, cinnamon and sugar on their apples.

The Sweetie Pies were put into the over to bake.  They sure smelled good when they were baking!

Once the Sweetie Pies were baked and cooled, each child took home their pie to share with their families.

We love to bake and cook things with the children.  These baking experiences are wonderful opportunities for the children to put some of the Practical Life skills they practice in classroom activities to use.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Fire Safety Month ~ A Visit From A Firefighter

October is Fire Safety Month.  One of our students has a father who is a firefighter.  He came in to speak to the children about fire safety.  He brought all of his equipment and had the classroom teachers try it on.  It is unbelievably heavy!  The children were fascinated by the big boots, helmet, visor, axe and especially the air tanks.  Did you know that the air tanks have a device on them that will start to make a beeping sound when a firefighter is down?  This helps the other firefighters find a fallen firefighter in a real fire.

In addition to our visit from Firefighter F., the children made their very own fire engines for craft.

Since his visit to our classrooms, Firefighter F. has become somewhat of a celebrity at our school.  When the children see him arrive in the morning with his child, they will stop and stare or follow him around.  We are truly fortunate to have a real life firefighter in our midst!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

In our classrooms this past week, we have been discussing Thanksgiving and what it means to be thankful.  During one of our circle times, we read a lovely book that explains what being thankful feels like.  At the end of the book, we all shared some of the things that we are thankful for.   Here is a selection of the responses.

I am thankful for all the new friends in my class this year.  - age 4

I am thankful for my big brother. - age 3

I am thankful for getting to spend time at the cottage with my nonno and nonnie (grandfather and grandmother). - age 4

I am thankful that I went to visit my cousins in Boston. - age 4 1/2

I am thankful that my dad makes me pancakes on the weekends. - age 4

I am thankful for my mummy and daddy.  They love me and I love them.  - age 4

I am thankful that my big brother helps me. - age 5

I am thankful for trees, crocodiles, nonna (grandmother), nonno (grandfather), mummy and daddy. - age 3

I am thankful for my blankie. - age 3

We, the teachers here at school, feel very fortunate and thankful for the precious time we get to spend with all our lovely students and their parents.  Thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A Visit to the Apple Orchard

At the beginning of October, we went for a trip to the local apple orchard.  We couldn't have asked for a lovelier Fall day.  Trips are quite an event at our school.  The whole school goes on the trip and parents, grandparents and younger brothers and sisters are invited to come along.  It is  not unusual for us to have more adults than children.  This trip was no exception.  For the teachers, it was lovely to spend time with parents and grandparents in a setting other than our school.  We had a wonderful time catching up with grandparents we hadn't seen since our concert in June, as well as getting to know our new parents better.  Times such as these make us all thankful for the warm and loving community we have formed together.

In the classroom, we had been learning about the lifecycle of an apple tree and the parts of an apple.  The trip to the orchard allowed us to experience the things we had been learning.  At the orchard we took a walk through the apple orchard, picked apples, saw how apples are sorted and sampled some apple cider.  Our tour guides were very impressed with the level of knowledge our children had.  Everyone's favourite part of the trip was munching the sweet, juicy apples we picked.  At the end of our trip, we were given bags of apples to take back to the classroom.  We will be turning these lovely apples into something delicious to eat.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Gardening ~ Our Potato Harvest

Our school is situated on half an acre in the heart of town.  At the very back of our property, beyond our second playground, we have a HUGE vegetable garden!  Each Spring the children help prepare the garden for planting.   This year we planted seed potatoes in our garden at the end of April.  The children were each able to plant a few seed potatoes.

At dismissal and recess time, we would water our garden and watch it for signs of growth.  We watched as stems and floppy green leaves emerged from the ground and grew bigger and stronger.    As the leaves and plants above the ground started to wilt, we knew our potatoes under the ground were ready to be harvested.  In mid-September the children starting digging in the garden only to find lovely large potatoes below the surface!  The hot and dry weather we experienced this summer was ideal for the potatoes. 

We harvested a large bushel full!  Each child was able to take home a handful of potatoes to share with their families.  They were very tender and oh so delicious!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Welcome to Our Little Corner of the World

Welcome to Montessori Magic, our little corner of the world.  As I enter my eighteenth year as a Montessori teacher, this blog is a place for me to share the joys and precious moments that I experience working with children at my  Montessori school, The Children's Montessori Academy.  It will also include Montessori related research, events and articles.  I hope you will join me on this journey.