The children of the Elementary Class were busy this late fall gelling into a true community of learners. We are focusing on establishing classroom and individual routines that will facilitate our progress as a cooperative body and each person’s growth as an independent learner.
Most of the returning students are now involved in Young Adult Literature Study with Mrs. Paseltiner, while the younger, emerging readers are concentrating on their sounds, phonemes (unique spelling patterns and the sounds that are associated with them), pronunciation, punctuation, and inflection, all with high interest books.
We are getting ample opportunities for handwriting practice along with paragraph composition. We are moving forward with Word Study (exploring the many types of words – compound words, prefixes and suffixes, word families, etc.). Grammar Study and Sentence Analysis and Spanish round out our Language progress.
In the Mathematics and Geometry areas, we are gaining lots of experience with the four basic operations, place value, multiples, squares, fractions, decimals, square roots, lines, angles, and polygons and we are exploring the concepts of congruency, similarity, and equivalence. The breadth of the Montessori Mathematics materials provides for many representations and manipulations of all of these concepts.
In the History area, we are exploring timelines and learning the Montessori approach to evaluating people groups and cultures in terms of how all humans meet their fundamental needs. Geography and Biology provide many hands-on demonstrations and experiments to exemplify the make-up of the Earth, the properties of matter, and the needs of living things.
Budding Artists and Musicians
Our environment is alive with budding artists and musicians who love to draw, make decoupage items, finger knit and crochet, weave, stitch, practice simple tunes on the tone bars, keep time with rhythm instruments, and sing as if at a hootenanny.
They enjoy the art of children’s literature, selections from the masters, short pieces of many music styles, and longer exposure to The Pirates of Penzance and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Their artistry and musicality are on display at each of our holiday celebrations!
Fun at Recess
Elementary children love to be on the move and stretch their physical limits! Each day at recess, the VFKH Elementary children organize their own versions of their favorite games and make up some new ones.
We are enjoying our local college intern, Andrew, who is helping us master the skills for the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge and strategies for conditioning and competitive sports. We are reviving the classic schoolyard staple, jump rope, to gain mastery, pacing, and coordination.
A Community of Independent Learners
Because we function as a community of independent learners, we aspire to respect others and work together to make our environment a wonderful place. We are learning how to view conflicts from the other person’s point of view, how to think before we act, and how to appreciate our schoolmates for their own unique strengths. We also learn that we can contribute a lot of ideas and efforts, such as conducting class meetings, working together on Friday afternoon clean-up, and supporting each other in our weekly jobs.
We are maturing as individual students, daily facing the challenges of managing our clothing, lunches, personal spaces, academic workload, and practical responsibilities. It’s not easy, but we can do it and all the stretching makes us stronger!