Dear Spanish Lime Families,
Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! The Spanish Limes are off to a fantastic start and looking forward to learning and growing together this year. For those that are new to the Montessori Elementary Philosophy, your child is in a development of what is known best as, childhood. This is a period of relative stability, health and even more growth! Great emphasis is placed on intellectual growth and independence, reasoning, moving from concrete understanding to abstract thinking, imagination, culture, research, understanding right from wrong, and good from evil, and seeing the self in relation to peers. Children at this period seek to acquire information and want to find out about everything.
Maria Montessori believed that the elementary child could be properly educated only in the context of presenting the whole of the reality or subject, then going back and examining the parts or details. She explored this concept as a “cosmic task,” which is created by telling stories. The goal of the “cosmic task” is to guide the child toward an initial examination of the question, “Who am I?” This is the time to introduce the child to a quest that they can pursue for their entire lives and create an inner guide system. It is the task of the teacher is to place great emphasis on stories and share the power of creative imagination.
The entire curriculum for the elementary years could be called the “Story-Centered” curriculum. We present stories called, The Five Great Lesson. These stories give the child a vision of the whole universe and how everything is interconnected. This allows them to focus on learning, and organize knowledge, while sparking their imagination and desire know more. Using stories can make classrooms more progressive and more traditional at the same time. The progressive element lies in utilizing the child’s imagination as the driving force of education. With imagination captured, inner curiosity and questioning are activated, and education truly becomes a lifelong process. At the same time, classrooms that use stories become more deeply traditional. Storytelling extends our long, great human tradition of oral communication. Long ago storytellers were the educators, the keepers of tradition, and sometimes even the priest or shamens. Modern storytellers carry forward that ancient tradition. Stories, like all art, open our minds to the strange and wonderful world that surrounds us.
This year has started with a bang, The Big Bang, that is. The first great lesson presented to your child was, The Story of the Universe and How the Earth was Created. This story takes children back more than thirteen billion years to the creation and development of the universe and eventually, our planet Earth. The lesson includes work with specific impressionistic experiments and charts. This story sparked research of all kinds. Some examples of questions and research promoted by the student were: Space; Planets; Volcanoes; Largest, located around the world/Types/Parts, Plate Tectonics; Pangaea/Continents/Erosion/Land Forms, Weather: Hurricanes/Clouds/Atmosphere, Fossils; Invertebrates/Rocks, Oceans, Moon Phases, Calendar Work: Seasons/Months/Days. If you are interested hearing the story told please join me for Parent Education Night, October 17th from 5:30-6:30. All are welcome! Childcare is available. This story involves science, drama, intriguing information/facts and a sneak peak of the Second Great Lesson, The Coming of Life! Prepare to be amazed!
The Second Great Lesson is told a few weeks after The First Great Lesson. This story is called, The Coming of Life. It is accompanied by the Timeline of Life; a long impressionistic chart, printed on vibrant color, illustrating many of the events discussed in the story. We explore how life changed by having cells that compartmentalized. We discuss each period and what Era means and the animals that were dominant at that time. We look at the armored fish that were slow and heavy and the sea scorpion that could crunch through any armor with his claws. The fish evolved and grew skeletons inside their bodies, this made them quicker. Life evolved again and amphibians appeared. They lived their life on water and on land but found fewer predators on land and evolved. Reptiles appeared and they lived life mostly on land so they became dry and scaly. Reptiles got bigger and bigger and one special group developed with special hips and we know them as, Dinosaurs. Dinosaurs died out and the mammals took over; they were huge like the wooly mammoths. They developed fur so they could withstand cooler temperatures. We talk briefly about humans at the end, as this is another story…
Afternoon enrichment is in full swing! Reminder:
Monday: Music with Ms. Ann
Tuesday: Community Experts
Wednesday: Mindfulness with Ms. Sally
Thursday: Physical Education with Mr. Kevin (bring/wear running shoes)
Friday: Art with Ms. Jaycee.
Ms. Sally and Ms. Jennifer