Greetings Spanish Lime Families,
This is the first Spanish Lime Newsletter of the 2019-2020 school year. Newsletters are meant to provide insight on what is happening in the classroom and around the Children School community. I would like to begin by giving you a snapshot of what the Elementary Program looks like, what the Spanish Limes have been doing so far, and what to expect to hear in the next month from your child.
The Montessori Lower Elementary program is an extraordinary program for 6- to 9-year- old children. The children are at a time of their lives were they are very social beings, so the classroom is really their community, and is considered a “social lab.” There is a great deal of learning how to work through conflicts, how to negotiate friendships, and the tasks that are required for collaborative and independent work. Part of what works so well is that these students have typically been with their teacher and classmates for three years, so there is a great sense of trust with one another and with the type of learning that takes place.
The entire curriculum for the elementary years is “story-centered.” We present stories called The Five Great Lessons, which give the children a vision of the whole universe and how everything is interconnected. This allows them to focus on learning and to organize knowledge, while sparking their imaginations 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 shamaens. 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 14 billion years to the creation and development of the universe and eventually our planet Earth. The lesson includes work with specific impressionistic charts and experiments. Questions and research promoted by the students included space (planets, black holes, stars, astronomy, moon phases), volcanoes, rocks, oceans, inner and outer layers of Earth.
For the month of October, the Spanish Limes will hear the second great lesson, “The Coming of Life.” This story explains how life began as a simple single-cell organism, and transformed and evolved over a long period of time into other organisms such as plants, vertebrates, and invertebrates. Research on botany, zoology, and earth science stem from this unit study. Keep a lookout for photos and emails that give further details on your child’s studies.
We are looking forward to another great year learning and growing together!
Ms. Sally and Ms. Sarka