Our March study of the solar system with its sun, planets, meteors, asteroids, comets and stars comes to an end soon, and in April we will focus more specifically on our own planet Earth…the “perfect” planet and the only one that supports life. We will talk about its air, its land masses (continents), and its many bodies of water. We are bringing in some concrete exercises which feature small objects and both large and small pictures which can be categorized into the three areas of land, air and water. It also seems like a natural time to bring up the importance of keeping our land, air and water safe and clean. We will use our beautiful and colorful Montessori globes and maps to find and identify the seven land masses or continents of Earth, and we learn a little about each one, especially North America. All of our materials are color coded specifically to each continent…yellow for North America, red for Europe, green for Africa, etc. Particularly fascinating for the children is the study of the animals most common to each of the continents. We have baskets of small animals that can be placed on the appropriate continent on our large, hand-made map. We will see which animals are the most popular. In the past it is often the sloth of South America and the mandrill of Africa.
In Practical Life this month two of our most favorite exercises, coffee grinding and bread slicing are coming in. Our students are enjoying silver polishing, and we invite you to bring in any small tarnished pieces of silver that you may have at home. Our adventures in color mixing continue, and these exercises become a bit more challenging as the weeks progress. We also have a continent tweezing exercise in Practical Life where the children tweeze colored beads onto a wooden board with indentations to receive the beads in the shape of each continent. Again, the beads are color-coded to each continent as they appear on our Montessori maps. There will also be tweezing and spooning pastel-colored eggs, chicks, flowers and beads.
In Sensorial as we learn about the senses, we will be adding the Smelling Bottles next to the already presented Sound Cylinders. These exercises are challenging and designed to enhance both our auditory and olfactory senses. With the Smelling Bottles, the children will match the pictures provided (lemon, coffee, rose , peppermint, etc) to the corresponding bottle (very tightly closed!) containing those scents.
On the Language shelves, there is categorizing and matching objects and pictures related to the continents and to land, air and water as mentioned above. We will be punching out each continent as well. We also have some new and creative tracing exercises with wood put together by Mrs. Davis. Lots of very attractive counting exercises in pastel colors have been put in the Math area, including counting with little bunnies, flowers, beads and eggs.
On our walks to the playground, the signs of spring are more and more evident as the days pass. The grass is greener, the temperatures are warmer, the trees are budding and the birds are singing. And so we will be busy creating spring gardens at the art table. We have already made our pussy willow and crocuses, and are working on both daffodils and forsythias which have popped up and are blossoming near the playground. Before month’s end we will also be making hyacinths, tulips, and shy violets as they appear in our flower beds. Also in April we will be completing our Restless Robin books and sending them home as our Robin, the unofficial “announcer of spring” is here.
“A child, more than anyone else,
is a spontaneous observer of nature.”