Friday, May 28, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
We wanted to remind everyone that Bloom! Montessori will be closed Thursday, May 27th and Friday, May 28th for parent teacher conferences (you will need to make alternate child care arrangements during your conference time).
At your conference, you will receive:
- Your child's portfolio of work (since the vast majority of Montessori lessons do not have paper products, most of this will consist of photographs of your child engaged in lessons which the guide feels are "keys" to your child's progress. Each picture has a brief explanation of the lesson and references the appropriate pages in A Parents Guide to the Montessori Classroom)
-A complementary copy of the book, A Parent's Guide to the Montessori Classroom (this is given to you at your first conference to be used as a reference throughout your child's time at Bloom!)
- A CD containing any additional photos
- A written End of Year Report prepared by your child's guide
-A complementary copy of the 2009-2010 Group Photo
If you are unable to attend conferences, these materials will be placed in your child's cubby on their last day of school. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
This afternoon, the children convened in the yard to release the Painted Lady Butterflies they reared from microscopic butterfly eggs into beautiful adults. Although they were visibly stirred by the sunlight and fresh air, the butterflies choose to cooperate with our plan of allowing each child to carefully remove one from the cage and hold it on their palm for a few seconds before watching it flutter away into the warm spring breeze.
Monday, May 17, 2010
In the Montessori environment, the primary purpose of all Practical Life activities is to assist the child in acquiring self-discipline (order, concentration, coordination, and independence). For Montessori, discipline is not to be confused with passive immobility ("Be quiet!" "Be still!"), but refers to purposeful work. By directing the child's actions to a purposeful end, their behavior no longer has the appearance of disorder, but of meaningful work. Although there are innumerable examples of Practical Life activities (limited only by the imagination of the child's guide) with differing aims, my belief is that the most effective ones for helping children acquire self-discipline are those that permit them to imitate adult activity in a purposeful way, to care for themselves (and be more independent), or to contribute positively to their community by caring for the classroom environment.
Like all Montessori guides, I am always on the lookout for new Practical Life activities, but I try to be really discriminating- personally, I have a definite aversion to plastic materials and I definitely prefer "classic" Care of the Self or Care of the Environment activities to endless variations of hand transfers. So, you can imagine my excitement when the newest Montessori Services catalogue arrived with this on the cover:
But, hammering nails into a tree stump... that is truly inspired! The stump is beautiful, pleasant smelling, makes a nice sound when struck, and very stable- allowing the child to concentrate all of their efforts on hitting the nail. In short, it is the perfect first hammering activity! Pounding nails is a very pleasant, centering, soothing past time, and sure enough, children seem to adore it!
The lovely oak stump that the children are using was donated by Fred Bustamante Wood Products. When we offered to pay, he gave us a kind, unassuming shrug and said "It's for the kids." Indeed! Thank you for your kindness!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
After two days of frost, drizzle, and even a light dusting of snow, the storm finally cleared enough for us to don our Wellies and resume our Spring planting.
mud to muck in, damp garden beds to explore with friends (populated with an abundant supply of wriggling worms, frenzied birds, the first radish sprouts, and wild mushrooms poking up between the garlic bulbs),
Later, we went out as a group and planted four kinds of heirloom beans- some pretty stringless ones in assorted colors for eating (Red Swan, Climbing French, and Golden Crescent) and some for shelling (Slow Foods Arc of Taste Hidasta)- some peas (Dwarf Gray Sugar and Green Arrow for shelling), and some broccoli raab/rapini (pungent, Italian "broccoli"- actually a relative of the turnip).
We concluded our planting with a little tasting of some broccoli, sugar snap peas, and haricot vert that was very well received.
My sincerest thanks and gratitude to Anna Applebaum at Mapleton Montessori (Boulder, CO) for the "Writing the Garden" work. I never think of Summer in your classroom without envisioning children hand writing lists of vegetables they want to plant in the garden and their darling handwritten garden signs.
Monday, May 10, 2010
"The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious. The beet is a melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip! The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the Autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized. The beet was Rasputin's favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes."
-Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume
Nevertheless, we went out to the garden and sowed several rows of seeds,
Saturday, May 8, 2010
smoothed it out with the rakes,
meticulously sowed rows of carrots and radishes,
Radishes and carrots are a wonderful choice for a children's garden because of their relatively quick germinating time. With a little luck they can be plucked from their beds and land on our table in no time!