Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Richness of Life ~ Reflections on a Stellar Year

It is hard to believe that the school year has come to a close.  It has just raced by!  It has been a very productive, harmonious and joyful year!  As we look back on our year, we remember all the wonderful moments we shared.  Here are some of them.

~ the beautiful work we did ~ 

parts of the plant by a 3 1/2 year old

tonging work by a 3 year old

a story by a 5 year old using the story alphabet

~ the birthdays and parties ~

celebrating birthday circle

Valentine's Day Party

~ learning and working together ~

a 4 year old helping a 3 year old learn the name and label the continents on our continents map

two 3 1/2  year olds happily reading pink words such as sun, hut

~ baking ~

making muffins

~ our end of year concert ~

singing the songs we love best of all for the people we love best of all

~ savouring the natural world around us ~

harvesting potatoes in our garden last fall

the joy of raking leaves

going for a winter nature walk

~ other joyful moments ~

using the parachute during weekly Music class

riding our bikes

our trip to the apple orchard

a visit from Santa!

These are some of the drops of small, precious moments that made our hearts smile, filled our days with joy and reminded us that our lives are rich indeed.

A huge THANK YOU to our parent community.  Your support, assistance, positive spirit and precious children have made this a stellar year!   We hope you all have a fantastic and safe summer!  We look forward to welcoming you back in the fall.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Yard Sale ~ Saturday, July 16 ~ 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

We invite you to visit our Yard Sale taking place on Saturday, July 16.  The teachers and many families from our school will be selling items.  Some of the proceeds from the sale will go towards purchasing items for our school. We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Plant and Animal Life Cycles ~ Exploring the Wonder of Our Natural World

When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.

~ Maria Montessori

Since the beginning of her work over one hundred years ago, a basic tenet of Montessori's psychology and curriculum for children is the universal need for attachment to nature and the subsequent personality integration that evolves from outdoor activity.   The Montessori casa (preschool) curriculum should be filled with real experiences in nature.  Our little yellow school ~ with two playgrounds, towering pine trees, separate flower and vegetable gardens on half an acre of land ~ provides our students with numerous opportunities to become intimate with nature daily and throughout the year.

Preschool children are natural scientists who enjoy exploring the natural world.  The study of life cycles is an exciting way to learn about the biology of plants and animals and is rich in new vocabulary.  This year was chock full of experiences from the life cycles of an apple tree and pumpkin in the fall, to frogs, butterflies, ladybugs and dragonflies in the Spring.  The following is just a little taste of our life cycles work this year:

Life Cycle of a Ladybug

Here is a child's life cycle work.

Life Cycle of a Dragonfly

Here are Dragonfly Pupas and a Dragonfly that the children explored with magnifying glasses.  We found these specimens in one of our playgrounds.

We are so fortunate at our little yellow school that our children are able to experience nature daily, yet very few Montessori schools and daycares are able to offer children this level of intimacy with nature.  In today's world, a child's intimacy with nature on a day-to-day basis is fading.   Richard Louv has coined a term, "nature-deficit disorder" to describe the human costs of alienation from nature.   Richard Louv has written a very interesting book about this subject, Last Child in the Woods:  Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder.  It is a wonderful book that gives all of us much to think about.