Saturday, September 17, 2011

Letter Sound of the Week

We've tried something new this year in our primary classroom, and it's a hit!  My school follows Maria Montessori's teachings to the best of our ability through research and reflection.  I wanted to do something new and different to get the children a bit more interested in letter sounds, while still following Montessori's guidelines.  Although I still present the letter sounds to the children individually, I now implemented a "sound of the week" to highlight each sound specifically.  I present the sounds in the order that was presented to me during my training- the letters most commonly found in the alphabet first.

I started the week off by reading My "m" Book from the My First Steps to Reading series.  I infused the practical life activities with "m" objects, and added a large "m" to the tray of playdough.  The children rolled the playdough into a snake and formed the letter sound.  On Wednesday, the children brought in an object that started with the sound of the week.  It was so much fun to see the different ideas they came up with.  We saw a picture of a "mommy", a stuffed "monkey", a "marshmallow" experiment, and even a "merry go round music box"!

I wasn't sure if I would like this new format, but it really is a lot of fun.  The children are already more excited about letter sounds, and pointing out "m" objects everywhere they go!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Discussing the Events of 9/11 with Children

I decided not to discuss the events that occurred on September 11, 2001 with my class today.  First of all, I'm sure many parents do not feel their children are ready to discuss such tragic events.  Secondly, it was an emotional day for all of us and I'm really not sure I could keep it together.  One of my immediate family members was in the Pentagon that morning, and the emotions come flooding back whenever I think about it.  His life was saved, but many others were lost.

There are some parents; however, who feel their children are old enough (or mature enough) to handle this information.  For those brave souls, take a minute to read this article.  It's written by one of my favorite parent educators, Chick Moorman (author of the fantastic book Parent Talk). 

You can find it here:  9/11 Article

Saturday, September 3, 2011

This "School" of Ours

I've been so busy getting ready for the school year to begin, but I wanted to share this great little cartoon I came across.  It illustrates Montessori's philsophy that children are individuals with a desire to go their own way and choose their own path.