Lower Elementary Room 3 - 2013 - 2014
|Welcome to Lower Elementary Room 3's class page!|
The return from Thanksgiving break has been an energetic one! And with two weeks left until winter break and all the events these weeks will hold, we anticipate the energy level to remain high with excitement and learning. One moment of excitement was the Chanukah presentation given by Arlo's mom Michelle. Please check out our photo section for December worktime photos and snapshots of Chanukah in LE3.
María-Verónica and Laura
|Where does pizza come from?|
We've been talking a lot about systems and interdependence this year. Farmer Ben gave an inspiring lesson on where we get our pizza. We started at the farmed products and followed them on their journeys to us, as pizza consumers. The process was observed and analyzed and a discussion followed on how we might make the system more efficient and environmentally friendly.
|How was the Universe created?|
In telling the story of the Creation of the Universe, we give little snapshots of important changes and reactions that occured along the way. One of these moments in time was when the particles zooming around in space began attracting to each other. We demonstrate this scientifically with water and glitter. Please check out our website to see what happened to the particles as they spent more time in "space" and catch a glimpse of your children participating in some experiments.
|For Kids, By Kids|
This week, the members of LE3 have been working on something close to our hearts. In conjunction with our clothing donations to Cradles to Crayons, we have been making notecards for children to receive along with their packages. The children have been working on watercolor painting in Art class with Sue lately and they are taking that experience into the classroom to make personalized cards for the recipients of Cradles to Crayons packs. Each card includes a message of kindness, happiness, love or all of the above, as well as a work of art. These cards will be brought to Cradles so they can include them in the packs they provide to children in our community. To learn more about Cradles to Crayons and how you can help any time, please visit their website: cradlestocrayons.org.
|What is VTS?|
Visualization Thinking Strategies
Sue Galeros, LMS Art teacher, periodically visits the Lower Elementary classrooms in an effort to have the children not only making art, but also admiring it.
Sue brings copies of masterpieces with her. She shows them to the children while asking, “What do you see?” The children become detectives and look closely to the works of art. “What small details do you see? What do those details tell you? Where, when, how was this scene painted? What makes you say that?” These are questions that Sue presents to the kids. They run with them. They observe, like art critics, like scientists.
This week Sue used the works of Picasso and Cassatt for her lesson. The children had so much to say that she let us borrow them for a while. A Montessori classroom is by nature interdisciplinary, the children learn language through science and history. They learn math trough practical life, grammar through geometry and so on. This week we used art to compare and contrast, learned about Venn Diagrams and as creative writing starters. What is happening in this work of art? Who are the characters? What are they doing? What happened just before? What do you think will happen next?
I think we can call ourselves interdisciplinary.
|What is Community Meeting?|
“The environment itself will teach the child.” Maria Montessori
So much of what a child learns comes from their environment. Children observe their classroom and learn to distinguish things that are working to help them and their community, and those that are not. Then, they take charge.
In LE3, there is a Community meeting every Wednesday at the end of the day. When a child observes something that s/he considers needs to be brought to the community’s attention, s/he writes it down in our Community Meeting Log. On Wednesdays, the elders decide which issue the community will be addressing that week and they lead their classmates in a meeting structured in three parts. First they discuss the issue, then they propose solutions, and last they vote for what solution to implement. The children take turns to raise their concerns and to explain their suggested solutions. The elders fulfill the roles of facilitator, time keeper, and scribe, making sure that everyone listen to whoever has the floor at the time and that anyone, who wants to, expresses their opinion.
Our children are involved in a democratic process, where their voices are heard and where they are empowered to make changes for the good of their classroom community. They notice the problems, design solutions and implement them. The elders are practicing their leadership abilities and modeling them for the younger children. Every Wednesday for about half an hour they are practicing how to solve problems in peace.
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