We wanted to see how it worked, before we embarked on such a huge project, so staff members made a little sample...
Our theme was “nature”. We each designed a 3” square, using Sharpies, and then collaged them onto the canvas. We don’t plan on putting this piece in the auction, but if you want to see it ask Dana.
We will post the finished piece, made by the children, when it is completed, so check back soon.
In keeping with our every-other year tradition, our 3rd-6th level students performed the play, "The Life of Maria Montessori". They did an excellent job of presenting her life from childhood, to being the first woman doctor in Italy, to her first school in 1907 and finally to her exile from Italy during WWII. All that in 20 minutes! If you haven't seen it, don't miss it when it is performed again two years from now.
After the performance, our staff talked about some of the many characteristics of a Montessori environment from Toddler through Upper Elementary and the developmental theories behind the Montessori philosophy. We also talked about how to make the home environment more consistent with what is successful for the students at school. If you were unable to attend, but would like a hand-out, we have some available here. We hope to see you all here for our Parent Education Evening #3 on December 5, when we will talk about Dr. Montessori's vision for what she called her Cosmic Education.
From our first Parent Education Night:
What does “independent ownership” look like? In this video, “Layers of the Earth”, a level four student gives a lesson to the level three students. What you see is an independent level four (upper elementary) Montessorian who looked at a piece of candy and saw a physical geography concept. She envisioned a lesson and made it a reality. She prepared the materials and reviewed the concepts. And then she taught it to some children. No adult asked her to do this. She used her free time to prepare. For her, this was an extremely enjoyable activity and what she most enjoyed was the understanding that this was her lesson to give. And she had been doing this for three years in the lower elementary classroom too! ~Bill
We have kicked off our annual fall fundraiser! Equal Exchange offers 100% organic coffees, cocoas, teas, chocolates and unique artisan made gifts. They are considered a green Fundraiser. With Equal Exchange we can all support sustainability, enjoy award winning products and make a difference in the lives of small farmers and artisans across the globe. We hope you enjoy this catalog as much as we do and hope you’ll find some items for yourself, as well as some great gifts for family and friends. We feel this company and their products fit in well with our goal of becoming a “zero waste” school. This fundraiser ends on October 22, so please return your envelopes and payments on or before the deadline.
Equal Exchange also offers a small but unique selection of gift wrap, cards and gifts boxes using handmade cotton paper. The gift wrap can also be used in crafts, scrapbooking and more! All of these papers are completely tree-free and handmade by Indian artisans. They use only 100% recycled cotton. The video below shows the paper making process from start to finish. This would be a great video to watch with your children.
Upper Elementary launched a hydrogen rocket, while other students from the school counted down.
This year at Children's House, we have divided our 98 “3 to 12 year old” students into four teams. Each team consists of children in Primary (preschool and Kindergarten), Lower El and Upper El. We will be getting the teams together at least once a month for dancing, singing and team building games.
Last week we had our first team challenge... to move the primary children across the lawn using the elementary children as a bridge.
The primary children could not touch the lawn (hot lava) so they had to stand on their teammates feet and get moved along the chain.
Pictures speak a thousand words so enjoy these adorable shots. You can see the concentration and the absolute delight in their faces! By the way, after a half hour, they only got half way across the lawn, so next month we pick up where we left off! More pictures to come! ~Korey
This is just one of the many hundreds, if not thousands, of new supplies we receive in preparation for the new school year.
Korey sorted all the lovely colors and put them all away. Ahhhh, there is nothing like new pencils.
“On Friday, August 31, Google will honor Maria Montessori on her 142nd birthday with a "Google Doodle." What does this mean? The Google homepage will display the Google logo built from common Montessori classroom materials!
In fact, as of this writing, the Google Doodle can be seen on Google homepages in other countries already! For example, visit Google in India or Australia to see the Doodle RIGHT NOW! This is a tremendous honor and one that will be seen by millions of people worldwide.
As many of you already know, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin both attended a Montessori school as children. During an interview with Barbara Walters in 2004, Page and Brin credited their years as Montessori students as a major factor contributing to their success. They said that their Montessori education allowed them to learn to think for themselves, taught them to be self-directed and self-starters, and gave them freedom to pursue their own interests.
Google has been known to vary their logo from time to time to honor famous people or events, often referred to as a Google Doodle. Make sure to visit Google on August 31st to see the logo as it will only be displayed for one day.
Happy Birthday, Maria!”
The above info is quoted from Go Montessori
Storyteller, Zette Harbour visited Children’s House on Thursday, August 9. She taught all in attendance, how to fold an origami paper crane. All the cranes we made will be used in a 1,000 Crane Peace Sculpture. “This sculpture is intended to be the expression of many individuals’ desire for a world that manifests Peace, and to begin the conversation about what a Peace-full world looks like. The sculpture will be unveiled at the Peace Love Story Fest, in Cambria on Sept. 16, then featured at several public locations throughout the week of September 16 - 21, in preparation for the International Day of Peace. This will create an opportunity for dialogue about the nature of Peace and the need for a strong Peace Story for our world. The cranes will be folded by community members involving as many people as possible in the creation of the Peace sculpture. Your crane, your name, and, your manifest intention for Peace in your world can be a part of this exciting celebration.”
I’ve been watching this amazing nestcam of an osprey family in Missoula, Montana, for the past two months. Okay, yes, it is a bit of an obsession, but honestly, it is a nice thing to do when the temp outside is 106. I’ve shared it with some of the children enrolled in our summer camps and they have really enjoyed watching whenever they pass by my computer. The webcam was set up as part of a study about osprey and the environmental factors they face. You can learn all about the Osprey Project on their Facebook page.
The eggs were laid in May and hatched in June. The mom is Iris and the dad is Stanley. The babies are Crown Royal (73), Captain Hook (72) and Squish (71). The babies are getting ready to leave the nest very soon...possibly two or three weeks? ~Dana
Screenshot of nest, taken on July 19. If you watch the webcam you will see how much the babies have grown in just one month.
On the 100th day of school, each student brings in 100 of something...
100 rose petals
They had 100 items for snack, they worked on dot-to-dots that go to 100, and they read a book called “100 Ways to Celebrate 100 Days”!
This week, we celebrated Valentine’s Day at Children’s House.
On Tuesday, the upper elementary students served herbal tea, baked goods and fruit to the primary children...
...and today, children in the early elementary were served by parent volunteers for the annual High Tea.
A grand time was had by all!
One more thing...a strange phenomenon occurred over the weekend.
Korey and some of the teachers have been glazing ceramic pieces for the auction, with the children. Last Friday, Jennifer Wills covered up the palette of glazes they were using in her classroom so they would be fresh for use on Tuesday, when we all returned to school. When she came in on Valentine’s Day, the red glaze had dried as you see below...
This morning, just before students did their dress rehearsal for our winter performance, the top lap-runners presented the money to El Camino Homeless Organization representative, Terri Sherwin. Terri was amazed and thankful for the amount of money the children raised and told them they were special for helping those in need. We are so proud of our students!
Terri also explained to the children, the shelter had recently taken in some new families and they now had eleven children staying at the shelter. Many of them will probably be there for Christmas. Hopefully our donation will help in some small way. Remember, a donation to ECHO, of $5, provides three meals and a warm bed for a man, woman or child for one night.
Each year our Kindergartners buddy up with our Upper Elementary students and together they take a field trip to the Loaves & Fishes distribution center at the National Guard Armory, in Atascadero, where they help to sort food that is distributed to the families in need. Before the field trip, the students and teachers talk briefly about where the food comes from, who will eat the food, and why they might need it. This is just one way that we can help people in our community!
The children start out with their own special job: counting out 10 tea bags and putting them in a baggy.
They work at that for about an hour...
and then begin sorting from the BIG pile of food items which involves sorting cans of vegetables, fruit, boxes of cereal, jars of peanut butter, etc.
They work until they are “done” - tired, exhausted, bored or finished - whichever comes first!
They scraped off the Oreo cream to mimic each moon phase and then...
...they glued each finished cookie half to a paper plate. Sally then labeled each of the phases for them.
It’s all pretty self explanatory but if you want more detailed instructions, with a lesson plan for older children, here is a link at leosciencelab.com.
Today, the students visited the library for a special annual lesson with Miss Joan, the Youth Services librarian, to learn about picture book writing and drawing techniques. Joan knows better than anyone what it takes to make a picture book popular with young readers and her guidance is invaluable as the children begin to write their own picture books this month. Joan also invited Grenda Ernst, the Friends of the Atascadero Library, President, to meet with the students and accept the Read-A-Thon donation.
The students were also given a tour of the new library. The building for the new library has already been purchased and is located at 6555 Capistrano Avenue. Friends of the Atascadero Library have raised two-thirds of the $1 million needed to fund the cost of construction on the interior of the building. If you would like to donate or learn more about the new library, visit Friends of the Atascadero Library.