Thursday, April 17, 2014

Overnight Trips, Practical Life Learning

 
Tara Hartley, Upper Elementary Teacher
 
 
The overnight trips for lower elementary, upper elementary and middle school are more than just fun; the trips are an integral part of the Montessori practical life curriculum. In Children’s House, young children receive specific lessons on such things as how to pour water, systematically clean surfaces, or care for a living plant. Elementary students build upon the practical life skills by taking care of jobs in their classroom and around the school. Pets are fed, pencils are sharpened, compost and recycling are properly discarded, the floor is swept and the environment is loved. The overnight trips add a strong dose of independence to daily practical life learning. The trips act as a capstone experience to each elementary year.
 
In Upper Elementary, the ‘big trip’ planning involved three months of learning about the destination, preparing to travel, as well as helping plan parts of the trip. The curriculum covered civics, the history of Washington DC and the significant sites. On Tuesday, we had our first ever Washington DC Expo. It was a great success! Children presented topics of interest in various persuasive communication styles. Letters, speeches, petitions, political cartoons and zines were created, drafted and redrafted. We learned that children feel passionately about topics such as gay marriage, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the right to listen to music in school, and gun control, to name a few. This week, students also met within travel groups, talked about museums and places of interest, then collaboratively mapped out a specific travel plan for Tuesday and Wednesday. Furthermore, they have planned their food choices, started to make packing plans and prepared for time away from home.
 
Many would agree that students return from an overnight trip standing a little bit taller. These trips are a rite of passage for students at Lexington Montessori School. Each level’s trip builds upon the previous. The Lower Elementary students will return from 2 nights away at the URI Outdoor Education trip this Friday. They will be tired, excited and have many stories to tell. A week from Monday, the Upper Elementary class will return from 4 nights and 5 days in Washington DC. They too will be exhausted and probably talk about ‘bunk time’ as a highlight of the trip. The middle school students traveled to Puerto Rico earlier in the year; they practiced their Spanish speaking skills by being immersed in a Spanish culture, worked closely with the Nueva Escuela Juan Ponce de Leon school, and managed to have some warm weather fun. Teachers and chaperones for each of these trips prepare themselves to be able to provide gentle nurturing and proactive guidance. Our goal is to help children feel capable, independent, safe and loved during the extended learning experience.
 
The overall goal of the school travel is to provide children with a real life situation where they can come away recognizing and appreciating their ability to make a meaningful contribution to a community. That may mean that students practice self care as an important group member, or that they patiently care for each other, or that they experience and think about caring for a greater world community.
 
Many may also agree that the hardest part of an overnight trip is for a parent. They practice waving farewell and giving their child a subtly-heart breaking, supportive smile, as he or she takes one of many steps towards becoming a joyful, independent person.
 
 See more images from the Upper Elementary DC Expo...
 

Check it Out 

Please join the LMS Community as we
 
march in the 2013 Boston Pride Parade
 
Saturday, June 8th - rain or shine
 
Meet at 11:30am, at the corner of Dartmouth and Boylston Streets (near Copley Square)
 
**It is strongly recommended that you arrive at the Boston Pride Parade by "T". Given the large number of people present in the city for the day's events, traffic will likely be congested and parking will be limited. By T: Take the Green Line to Copley**
 
Show your LMS pride by wearing any LMS apparel. Hope to see you there!
 
 
 
Summer Recess 2013! (ages 3-12)
 
Camp helps children develop character, learn valuable life skills, make new friends and discover new interests.  At Summer Recess children will participate in cooking classes, arts & crafts, music, dancing and sports.   
 
There's always lots of great stuff in store, tons of activities, field trips, good friends, fun and learning... with a Montessori touch. 
 
June 10-14, 2013
June 17-21, 2013
August 19-23, 2013
 
Spaces are filling up fast - contact Alisha or check it out online
 
 
 

 

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Lexington Montessori School | 130 Pleasant Street | Lexington, MA 02421 | 781.862.8571