November Banyan Newsletter

Dear Banyan Families,

October was a busy month for the Banyans, and it went way too fast. New and old students are starting to settle down in the classroom with their peers and in the classroom environment. The process of adapting to the classroom, becoming familiar with teachers and friends, learning the lessons, focusing on work, and gaining self-control and self-discipline will take time. Dr. Montessori named this period “normalization.” We work together to make this beautiful blooming period arrive, and I feel that is slowly happening now.

November is called “Harvest Sharing month” at our school. All three Primary classrooms will gather in one place to share food made by each classroom. Banyans are going to make vegetable soup to share with the other classes. Our Kindergartners are planning to write a gratitude note and have all the Banyans sign it to share at our gathering.

We have been working on using our hands for purposeful work, taking care of ourselves, the environment and others, and learning how to avoid reacting with hands. Please make sure your child is using their hands purposefully at home as well. At school we say, “As a gentle reminder, hands are for taking care of ourselves, the environment and others.” For gentle touches and hard touches/hits, we immediately stop the child, talk with them and have them solve the problem with the other friend using a peace rose if we are in the classroom. I record my observation every time that happens and find ways to support the child to use their hands purposefully.

Focus of the month: Observation

Observation is a key for knowledge, and it helps us support others. Every day we observe things, situations, and people in our surroundings and learn from it. Observation is part of our day to day life. Some observations are conscious observations where we knew that we wanted to observe those particular surroundings/people. Other observations happen without us realizing (unconscious observation) that our brain is collecting information on that specific moment. For young children, observation is a way of learning. They learn and behave by watching the environment and people around them. Kids follow directions quickly if we show them how to do rather than tell them what to do. Direct commands take time to reach them and process in their brain. What we show is what they see and what they see is how they react.

In a Montessori classroom, the teacher observes each child follow their needs and guides the children accordingly. Every child is unique, and every child’s intellectual, physical and emotional needs are individualized. Some children show us their needs, some children take time to find their needs and some children want to mimic other friends until they find their own needs. The teacher observes them ALL, respects their needs and offers what can be offered to fulfill their needs while the child is in our care.

I would like to share a few of my observations with you all:

Observation 1 – In the classroom:
Me: “Banyans. one person talks at circle (group time), if you have any comments or concerns to share, please raise your hands.”
Child:[ by raising hands] “but Ms. Karthi, I have lots to share in my brain, and sometimes I can’t hold it.”
Yes, what a true statement. That was a Monday, and I understand friends see each other after a two-day break so have lots to share with each other.
Solution: Still following the rule of one person talks in the group, but if they cannot hold it, they can take a friend to the snack table (it is for two people) and share their stories.We discussed how we cannot hear if everyone start to talk at the same time at the group time.
Lesson learned: We can still respect and fulfill our needs without affecting others and the situation.

Observation 2 – On the playground:
One day one child from another classroom came to me and asked, “Ms. Karthi, why you are standing here at the same spot every day?”
Me: “great question,” and I showed her how we could see/cover most of all the areas of the playground if we stood on that spot and explained how it would help us help them.
Child: Big smile and satisfaction on her face.
Lesson Learned: Our children are taking all in through their senses. A few kids question their observations, a few of them will follow as it is and a few kids will take time to process the information. However, observation is happening every single moment!

November Unit Studies:
Living vs. Non-Living
Classification of Animals – Mammals, Reptiles, Birds, Insects, Fish.
Giving Thanks
We will continue learning our previous month’s unit studies.

Dates to remember:
November 8, Thursday : Banyan class photos (group and individual)
November 16 @2:30 : Harvest Sharing – NO AFTERCARE

Ms. Karthi and Ms. Desiree