Has it really been four months since my last post? Definitely time for an update!
Teaching in the local Montessori school this year has been fabulous! I absolutely love it. The kids are great, my coworkers are wonderful and a pleasure to be with, and of course I am a huge Montessori fan so I feel right at home there. I recently completed my 3 to 6 year-old certification so now I am “official.”
In a few weeks my fellow teachers and I will be off to San Francisco to attend the American Montessori Society Annual Conference which should be a wonderful experience. My seminars sound really interesting (it was so hard to choose just a few) and I think I’ll return to school inspired and energized.
The year has been busy with lots of projects, works, and lessons at school. I had hoped to post regularly on what we’ve been up to, but I find that school, prep, and my family take up nearly all my time. I think from now on I will keep a small camera at school so that I can at least post some photos.
~A small sample of some of our class activities~
Last fall we cut open a pumpkin and filled it with dirt to see if the seeds would grow in the pumpkin and they certainly did! Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the sprouts in the pumpkin, but we now have a pumpkin plant growing happily in a pot in the classroom:
Once the plant was large and the pumpkin skin was beginning to soften and grow moldy we decided it was time to bury the whole thing, pumpkin and all, in a large pot. It is too cold here in the winter to grow anything outside, but in a warm climate you could just plant the whole pumpkin outside and really watch it take off.
At the same time last fall, we also planted a seed in a transparent glass and recently noticed a flower on that plant:
This led to a discussion of what that flower would become…a pumpkin of course!
Meet King Cutey Patooty, our mummified pharaoh chicken (well, guinea hen actually – much smaller and less time-consuming to mummify):
The King was part of our Africa unit last fall and he is now all wrapped up and resides in a shoe box “sarcophagus” on a shelf in the works storage room. We’ll unwrap him in a few years to see how he fared.
Kindergarten Class Totem Poles:
As part of our North America unit we studied totem poles. After talking about how the purpose of totem poles is to tell a story, we learned where they are found, and looked at photos of real totem poles.
I wanted to make this a teamwork activity so I divided the class in to two groups of five, gave each group a pile of construction paper, and told them to come up with a story for their group that they all agreed on.
Once they had a story they had to work together to create a totem pole telling that story. A group “story teller” dictated the story to me and I wrote it on a paper that we hung on the wall next to the completed totems poles.
Cool Brain Hat!
As part of our Human Body unit we made these great hats that I found at Ellen McHenry’s Basement Workshop (a really cool site for lots of educational ideas, especially science). You can download the pattern here for free! Just print on card stock and cut out.
Since I was dealing with kindergarteners, I thought it would be easier to cut them all out myself ahead of time. I then outlined each area with the color that they should color it with (it can be a little tricky to see the boundaries). They colored the hats and then I assembled them.
Assembling ten of these was a bit of a painful process since tape did not stick well to crayon (or colored pencil – I tried that too), but I got it done and they each went home with a hat. Maybe try marker next time?
PS. I got lots of compliments from parents on these!
Well that’s it for now.
If there is any interest, I could write up a post about the details of our mummification project.
I’ll try to post more regularly and be better about taking photos!