The Parkside Montessori School
53 Norwood Avenue
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043


APRIL - 2019

This month we will move from our study of the solar system and its planets to taking a closer look at our own planet Earth, the “perfect planet” and the only one that supports life.  We will discuss the land, the air and the water that make up our world.   We have some concrete exercises complete with maps as well as small objects and both large and small pictures that can be categorized into the three areas.  This is a natural time to discuss the importance of keeping our land, air and water clean and healthy.  We will talk about the seven land formations that make up our earth…the continents.  The children hopefully will be able to point out each continent on our Montessori globes and on our large world map. We also have handmade large sewn continents color coded to our Montessori maps.  There will be some lessons on the different characteristics of each continent, including its geography and weather.  We will be tracing and coloring continents.  The most interesting lessons toward the end of the month and even into May will focus on the animals that are particular to each continent.   We have many small replicas of these which the children can place on the appropriate continent on our world map.  Some of them are very unusual such as the solitary and elusive Okapi of Africa who resemble both a giraffe and a zebra and the South American sloth, the slowest mammal on earth who eats and sleeps upside down.

Our Robin has arrived in New Jersey, and so in the next couple of weeks the children will be completing their Robin books and also making covers for them.  Another welcomed spring tradition at Parkside is the emergence of the bulbs we have planted around several areas outside of school over the course of many autumn seasons.  At the art table we have already made our crocuses and our pussy willows.  We will also be creating forsythia, daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and cherry blossoms at the art table. 

As always,  Practical Life is bustling and busy.  The children are continuing silver polishing, celery cutting, carrot cutting,  egg beating liquid soap, and orange squeezing.   We will add two of our most popular exercises…coffee grinding and bread slicing.  In Sensorial, joining our sound cylinders on the shelf will be a special olfactory exercise featuring our smelling bottles.  The children will be differentiating and identifying the smells of coffee, lemon, flower, peppermint and evergreen.  

Last month Annie attended the annual Montessori Conference in Washington, DC and returned with some great ideas and materials as well.  There were a number of excellent workshops, and she brought back videos which the teachers will all be seeing over the course of the next few weeks as part of our ongoing professional development.  And while staff development is required both by the state and by the Montessori organization that certified many of us, these experiences are valuable for all of us, and provide lots of positive discussion about how to implement the ideas presented. 

“The best thing about being a teacher is
that it matters.  The hardest thing about being
a teacher is that it matters every day.”                

                                                                                                        Todd Whitaker

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