What a week! We’ve been very busy these past few days getting to know each other and our school routines. Each day the children have come in and found their cubbies with a little help from their teachers, then changed into their indoor shoes, again with some help, before settling in for work time. This routine has gotten easier each day!
Some children have been ready to dive right into our work activities, while others prefer to wait and watch a bit. Our ‘apple pie’ sensory table has been a big hit with most of the children, filled with dry oats and cinnamon, small plastic apples, cupcake tins, and measuring cups, and spoons. The children have also enjoyed working with our puzzles, play dough, stacking cups, wood blocks, and practical life activities such as pouring and transferring.
On Thursday at circle time we had a very brief presentation on using a work mat on the floor. The children practiced rolling and unrolling the mat, and walking around it rather than over it. Since then many children have been excited to take out a mat to work on the floor and even just to practice unrolling and rolling it!
Next week we will continue our presentations and practice with the basic routines of our classroom, and begin to get ready for Rosh Hashanah with some new stories and songs.
What a wonderful first week we had together. We have been spending a lot of time getting to know each other and the routines of our new classroom. The children are getting comfortable with changing their shoes, from outside to inside shoes and back again. During Morning Meeting this week we have been quite busy. On Tuesday we took a “caterpillar crawl” tour of our classroom and took note of where different kinds of materials are stored. Wednesday we had a lesson on how to unroll and reroll a mat and on Thursday we looked at how to properly carry a tray. These are all skills that are laying the foundation for our Montessori work.
Inside this week we spent a lot of our work time working on puzzles, playing with play dough, making an apple collage, observing others, painting, locking and unlocking our lock box filled with real locks and keys, and more. Meanwhile we observed the children to see what they were interested in and what will be presented to them in individual lessons in the coming weeks.
Thursday we had our first music class with Morah Dawn. The returning children greeted her with such excitement and all of the new children were eager to see what music class was all about. She taught us about singing position and why it is important to have good posture while we sing.
We had such a lovely time celebrating Shabbat with Alim and Keshet in the chapel. It was so wonderful to be all together to celebrate Shabbat! Back in the classroom we enjoyed blessing the candles, grape juice and challah and of course enjoyed Shabbat snack.
Next week we will begin talking about Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and of course continuing on with learning our classroom routines and getting even more comfortable in our space.
We had a great first week of school. We sang a lot of friendship songs and played many games to learn each other's names. There were many lessons shown each day to teach the children the work process of a Montessori classroom. Throughout the week we observed and helped the children acclimate to the classroom routine. So far it’s been smooth and everyone seems to be content. We started Music this week and the children met the music teacher, Morah Dawn. Next week there will be new activities in the Practical life and Art area. Slowly we will be adding more Montessori Materials to the classroom. We started talking about Rosh Hashanah and making some tissue paper apples in art.
The first days of the school year went by in a blurr, good thing we have photos that captured some of what we did! We have a wonderful group of kindergartners who are all getting to know one another with a ‘getting acquainted’ morning activity each day, including introducing ourselves in both English and Hebrew, clapping each person’s name, and on Thursday, introducing the friend sitting to the right. This seems to be the focus of the week ‘Getting Acquainted’ with art activities (portrait collage, oil pastel name coloring), ‘journal paper’ - picture prompts, which included ‘my favorite food’, ‘me and a friend’ and name writing practice which we are starting with, more specifically letter formation.
We are learning words in Hebrew alongside English, reading stories about friendship and the introduction to Kindergarten, where kindness matters every day, by Vera Ahiyya and talking about kindness and being part of a group. We introduced a school wide project of recognizing kindness and the children cut out green leaves which we placed in our kindness basket, waiting for the day that a student is recognized and their name recorded along with their ‘act of kindness’. The student and teacher will walk together to place the leaf on the Kindness Tree’ in the main Ezra hallway.
See this week's photos here