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Montessori Pathways' News

November, 2013

Montessori Kindergarten School in Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills-


Notes from Miss Alena


        “Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence”.
Maria Montessori


        This month, the school was full of Thanksgiving spirit. I think that the “I am not a Turkey” family project was the biggest hit of the month. So many “disguised” turkeys were created by the kids and their families. So many different characters, so much creativity, energy and family time were involved! We had several Ballerinas and Fashion Ladies turkeys, Fall leaves pile turkey, FedEx and Train Engineer turkey, Chicken and Lamb turkey, Shark and Zebra turkey, Veteran and Marine turkey, Gymboree turkey, Bulls and BlackHawks turkey, Nascar Driver (Jeff Gordon) turkey, My hobbies turkey; Santa, Rudolf the Reindeer and Christmas Tree turkey, Easter Bunny turkey, Hawaiian turkey, Angry Bird and Queen turkey and many others.


Private Elementary in Crystal Lake, Cary, Lake in the Hills, Algonquin         Then we continued with a Giving with Gratitude Week, when kids and their families were able to donate food and other items to the 22nd Annual Community Harvest, which will benefit clients of the Crystal Lake Food Pantry as well as the Jaycees’ Share a Christmas program. Together we collected and donated 453 pounds of food and other items. It was a great chance to teach our students not only the importance of giving thanks for what they get, but also the importance of giving.


       Thank you everybody who participated in both events and gave our kids a chance to feel the Thanksgiving spirit


       We concluded November with a Thanksgiving Activities Morning, where the children prepared a small surprise to thank their families for giving (we hope that you enjoyed it!) and then spent wonderful time together with music and a light snack. Thank you to all parents who joined us and helped.


        I hope everybody enjoys the long Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends!



        Miss Alena




Working with Montessori materials:

 Montessori Grammar Boxes in Elementary class.




       The Montessori Grammar Box material consists of eight grammar boxes with colored compartments representing the following parts of speech: article, noun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, pronoun, conjunction and interjection. The colors of these compartments do not necessarily match that of the grammar symbols to prevent memorization of colors by the children. The materials used along with the grammar boxes include sentence cards, word cards and grammar symbols. Montessori Preschool Elementary School in Cary, Lake in the Hills


        An elementary student receives presentations with the grammar boxes usually following work with some of the other Montessori Grammar Games (one to many, logical partners, envelope and chart work, etc.).


       The purpose of the grammar box is to explore the different types of adjectives, verbs, adverbs etc. For example, when a child is working with adjectives they will fill the box with a phrase card that contains, “the blue pencil, the red pencil and the brown pencil.” The child would bring these three pencils to their rug, lay out the cards “the” and “pencil”, and replace only the adjective to label each object. At this point the guide or teacher would point out the order of the phrases. He or she might ask the child if the meaning of the phrase changes or does it still make sense if it were, “the pencil blue.” This would be an opportunity to discuss the importance of word order in sentences.


        Other concepts taught using the Adjective Grammar Boxes might be sense of color, sense of size, sense of shape (incorporates the subjects of language and geometry), sense of touch, sense of hearing, smelling, tasting, logical adjectives, and comparison of adjectives.


        As with most Montessori materials, the idea is once again hands on and builds upon previous knowledge. Follow up work for this material might be writing the phrases that were built in the child’s language journal and symbolizing the parts of speech used in the phrase or sentence.


     Ms Katy



 Vocabulary Development Sequence Cards.




        Montessori Preschool Elementary School in Cary, Lake in the Hills Material: Several sets of cards showing a sequence of actions in three or more pictures.


        The language experience begins with materials that “train the ear.” They encompass a wide variety of activities from storytelling to the silence game. At this time, the child develops listening skills. The directress takes part in information giving conversations and lots of naming is done throughout the classroom. Language specific activities such as: matching and rhyming cards and sequencing cards can be presented to the child.


        Sequencing cards show a process from beginning to end. Simple sequencing stories have three or four pictures, more complex stories will have more. The teacher begins by telling the story to the child while setting the cards randomly on the table. The teacher will then retell the story while setting the cards in order from left to right. Later, the cards are mixed and the child is invited to tell the story and lay out the cards. When three or more pictures are mastered, longer stories are introduced to the child.


        The direct aim of the sequencing cards is to develop visual discrimination, develop language skills, and to learn sequence and causality. Indirectly it helps to prepare the child for reading and writing.



Miss Patty