Monday, 26 January 2015

Enjoying a Concert Lunch

Once a week, the children who stay for lunch enjoy a 'Concert Lunch'.  I read about this idea on the blog of Beautiful Sun Montessori in Aruba.  On Concert Lunch day, the children listen to a musical selection.  They do not talk, only listen and enjoy their meal.  I thought it would be difficult for the children to give up their chance to 'mix and mingle' at lunch but they absolutely love the Concert Lunch!  They will ask "Can we have a Concert Lunch?" and are thrilled when we say yes.

We have been exposing the children to different musical genres since our concert lunches began.  We have listened to Classical Music from Mozart, Steel Drum music I purchased in Barbados, sitar music from India, and their very favourite, the Wizard of Oz Soundtrack.

Our Concert Lunch Selections

At Christmastime we listened to some Christmas music including a cd of children's Christmas songs, Quithmuth (kid's Christmas), purchased at Restoration Hardware many years ago.  The children could not get enough of the song "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas".   They thought it was very funny and we all found ourselves singing it throughout the holiday season.

Quithmuth cd

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do  
No crocodiles
Or rhinoceroses-es
I only like hippopotamuses-es
And hippopotamuses like me too! 

The children react differently to the different styles of music.  You can see them swaying to the Indian music and moving their bodies to the beat of the steel drums, and we all love to sing the songs from The Wizard of Oz.

Enjoying A Concert Lunch

Try a concert lunch.  I'm sure you'll enjoy it too.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Montessori Is All Around

Last summer, I spent part of my summer vacation in Paris. 

The Eiffel Tower At Night

As this was not my first visit to France I had earmarked some time to look for French teaching resources and items that I could bring back to share with the children at our little yellow school. Before I left home, I did some research and found a few stores that I wanted to visit. While wandering about in an enormous bookstore in the Latin Quarter, I came across the following display. Can you see what the display is about? (Click on the image to make it larger.)

A Montessori Display

It was a display of Montessori books and actual Montessori materials all in French! 

A Close Up 

Could I really walk away from this display without taking something home with me?  Of course not!  If you enlarge the first image and look at the bottom left shelf, you will see what followed me home.

French Classified Cards

 It is a box of French Classified Cards!  I was so excited to have found these as they are both French and Montessori! (Classified Cards are used throughout the three year Montessori preschool program.  They can be used for vocabulary, classification, reading and writing.)  The box contains Classified Cards for plants and animals.  The drawings are stunning!  Madame D. will begin using them this term. 

Inside the Box

The Stunning Cards

Animals and Insects

Fruits and Plants

So many graduates of our three year Montessori preschool programme go on to attend French Immersion programmes. Our French programme is an integral part of our little yellow school and our students receive French daily.  Our four and five year olds are constantly using various French Classified Cards that we have made.  Here is a child working with Les Vetements (clothing) Classified Cards.

Setting Out The Classified Cards

Matching the Picture Cards

Reading the Word Cards

The cards have all been set out and matched.

Making a Booklet

A Page From a Booklet

Here are some of the other goodies I brought home from Paris.

The  book of comptines (nursery rhymes) has such delightful little songs.  While we already sing many of them, there is a lovely little song about a coccinelle (ladybug) that we plan to sing at our end of year concert.