Ms. Heather and Ms. Katie
Introduction from Jessica Engel, Director of Operations
Ms. Heather started teaching at Dancing Moose Montessori soon after it opened. She watched hours of lesson presentations on Montessori materials and incorporated them into her classroom. She created an environment filled with lessons, kindness, quiet voices with peaceful control. Ms. Heather's lessons are quiet and mythotical. All of the children learn in awe as she presents new work. She is always consistent and dependable, which results in happy children.
Ms. Katie came to Dancing Moose Montessori at the beginning of the school year and jumped right in, introducing herself to new parents and students with enthusiasm. Katie has soaked up the Montessori learning enviornment and wishes to extend her knowlege by getting Montessori certified. She has a great love for the children. Ms Katie is kind, patient and encourageschildren to be successful.
The combination of Ms. Heather and Ms. Katie is a great one. They compliment each other so well in all that they do. This is a wonderful model for children as they learn communication and cooperation skills. If you have not visited room 11, please make an appointement to observe. You are in for a refreshing treat.
Teacher Speak: From Ms. Heather and Ms. Katie
I think our favorite unit so far this year has been Space. We were lucky to have one of our parents, Giuliana, who is West's mom, come in and teach us about the moon! West was SO excited to have his mom there and to be her little helper. She read us a book about the moon and then taught us about the phases of the moon. She even brought in a felt board with felt pieces for all the phases of the moon, and let us borrow it for several weeks as a work for our class! This was a very popular work during those weeks. We learned a lot about Space and Ms. Katie and I were continually impressed by the class's interest, understanding and knowledge on the subject!
We try to have a variety of works on the shelves--sometimes we have large puzzles that go along with the special unit we are studying. Students will sometimes work in pairs to tackle the challenge together. It's fun to see them help each other and work together. They are always so proud when they have completed the puzzle and usually everyone in the class, at some point, wanders over to marvel at it! Right now we have re-introduced the "cutting with scissors" work, which is quite popular. For the younger students, they are working hard to master this complex skill. Some of the older students are getting creative and cutting out shapes on their own, like a trapezoid or rhombus!
Questions and Comments to Smile Aboutcoming soon
One thing that is so fun about this age is imagination. Many students seems to completely lose track of time and space when they are in the bathroom. Some of them do this more than others, and we have to remember to check on those who tend to get creative in there. One day, Ms. Katie was checking in on one of these friends who had been in the bathroom for some time. What she saw was this little three-year-old girl who had gone potty, and still had her pants around her ankles, but was prancing blissfully around the bathroom with about three feet of toilet paper trailing from her “backside”. Ms. Katie really had no idea what to make of this, so she asked her what she was doing. The child excitedly answered, "I'm a unicorn!"
Creative Arts Project in an Integrated Curriculum
At the end of our Space unit we made rocket ships from paper towel and toilet paper rolls we had been collecting all month. We had so many donated to us by parents that we probably had enough for two classes! The paper towel rolls, or two toilet paper rolls taped together, were wrapped in shiny tinfoil. Then the students got to choose colors for the cone at the top and the "fins" at the bottom and they glued those on. We used markers to color and decorate, and the kids really got into it. We were all pretty much covered in glue and markers--but they had so much fun decorating them. The final touch was to glue some red strips of crepe paper coming out of the bottom to look like fire. Everyone was pretty excited about their rocket and they all turned out really cool! They were so tempting to play with that many of them probably fell apart before the glue dried and before they ever made it home!
Ms. Katie had the Love and Logic meeting that day, but I was lucky to have a parent volunteer and several other "impromptu" parent volunteers who came early and ended up being a great help in assisting everyone through all of the steps!
This is such a fun age to teach because they are so ready to learn and soak up knowledge about everything. It's really fun to see their "absorbent minds" at work each day as they observe the world around them, and learn by observation, and then trial and error, how to become more independent. It's very rewarding to see them practice and eventually master practical life, fine motor and gross motor skills as well as academic skills, that give them confidence in their own abilities. I think one of the most important things a child learns in a Montessori environment is self-motivation. As teachers, we demonstrate how to do a particular work, but whether or not a child chooses to get that work out and try it, is completely up to them. I think they can learn a great deal about self-motivation and independence in this kind of environment that will help them in all aspects of their lives.
Posted: May 4, 2012