Last week Julissa and I visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens Orchid Show. It was a grand experience touching our senses in so many wonderful ways. The fragrance, the colors, the textures, the arrangements... Every step we took we were surrounded by beauty. As you enter this amazing space there is a sign that reads: "For more than 100 million years, orchids have evolved in ways that set them apart in the plant kingdom. In this orchid show, we look at the colors and "intelligence" of orchids in all their brilliance." This truly captures the essence of what you will experience throughout the exhibit.
The study of nature and botanics is pivotal work which links all cornerstones of the Montessori environment from toddlerhood through elementary and middle school--first as a sensorial experience and, later as an in-depth research into the function and parts of flowers themselves. And, the appeal of flowers is universal--for centuries flowers have marked important milestones in our daily lives; expressed feelings of love, gratitude or sadness; or been admired as an appreciation of natural beauty.
Flowers and plants are such an important part of the Montessori classroom and caring for them can also be practiced at home. Arranging and caring for flowers is great fun and is a classic exercise in our practical life activities where children can learn a lot:
And these practical skills are deepened in this beautiful activity, such as:
So remember, the Chicago Botanic Gardens is the perfect winter 'get-away' for the senses. Brilliance is the theme for this year's Orchid show and their team created a new take on the ravishing colors of orchids. The modern art pieces showcase more than 10,000 orchids in bloom! It is a great 'family' place to go to discover the power of nature year-round. And, check out all of the other wonderful family resources they have to offer while you are there!
Debra Trude-Suter, PhD, Executive Director
Chief Education Officer
How to Facilitate Oral Language Development: 5 Tips for Parents Whose Primary Language Is NOT English
I hope you find the following tips helpful to develop oral language skills in your young child. They are based on my experience as a speech and language pathologist and include wisdom gathered from English Language Learning specialists:
Your child's language learning years are precious. Your child will not pass this way again. Jump into his language learning using your primary language and by all means, delight in the experience.
Elaine Alzos, MA-SLP
Speech and Language Pathologist
Alexander Graham Bell Montessori School and Deaf Services
Please join us for our annual truck or treat. If you wish to decorate your trunk please notify your child’s classroom teacher. All candy MUST be NUT Free. If you are decorating a trunk please bring your own candy to hand out.
You may set up from beginning at 9 am and the students will come outside around 9:30.
Reminder that school closes at noon on Friday for teacher in-service. Please arrive between 11:45-12 for pick up.
Today the school remembered 9/11 by gathering in circle drive for a moment of silence and lit candles. They also offered flower in remembrance of this heartbreaking day.
A great time was had by all!! Thanks to all who helped and all who attended. Enjoy some photos below...
It is hard to believe that summer camp is all done, even though we had 10 weeks of it! (that's an extra week compared to our usual summer program!). We had so many amazing moments and we think that this has been the best summer yet!
Here are some of our Summer Camp Highlights:
A very special thank you to all parents and staff who participated in our Summer Camp program and for making it so much fun! Enjoy the break.
The school will be closed until August 23, the first day of school. Parent Orientation at 1 pm.
Are you ready for one more week of summer? It flew by really fast. We just finished week 9 and it was "Theater and Face Painting" week. We did face painting and more face painting. Children asked to be specific characters of plays, movies, or wild animals. The three stories that became our plays this week were: "The Coyote and the Lizard", a Native American story; a Russian story "Bear Squash You All Flat", aka "The Mitten" and "The Little Red Hen". As we practiced our lines, casted the characters in the roles and acted according to the story, we quickly realized - this is hard work! And it takes a lot of time! But it was also a lot of fun. By the way, here is link to a study about the effect of Drama on Brain Function:
This week we were able to have a Bike Day! Children were super excited to ride their bikes in the parking lot. After riding, we had a delicious watermelon snack in the "coffee shop" section of the parking lot, by the sensory gardens.
We raised our lady bugs who have successfully transformed into adults and we released them in our gardens next to the insects that we thought looked like aphids. Hopefully, they have a good life. We read that they live for about a year in the wild. We will be watching them.
Next week is our "Garden Harvest Week". Please remember:
Enjoy the photos.
See you next week.
We just finished our Science Week, which is week 8! Only 2 more weeks to go. We have been studying astronomy! Some of the most interesting celestial objects that captured our attention were nebulas, stars, star systems, planets, galaxies and black holes. We even learned about the different parts of the galaxy and had so many questions about what's out there. Are we really alone in this universe? Are there aliens out there? Would we be aliens to them?
After watching fascinating short films and looking at NASA photos we painted our own versions of celestial objects. We have a gallery of our artwork by the front door. Please stop by to admire.
We also made slime and more slime, built a solar motor and a solar boat, both of which worked in the sun! The children are still working on the solar robot as it proved to be a more challenging project than we thought.
Did you know that we also have been learning cursive in the summer afternoons? Here is an interesting article about the benefits of cursive and handwriting:
We are growing lady bugs and have been observing this metamorphosis in our classroom. It looks like the they are about to turn into pupa! Let's see what happens next.
Children are welcome to bring water squirt bottles to school on Fridays. We have a lot of fun playing with water and mud!
Next week is: Theater and Face Painting!