A few weeks ago I gave the 3rd and 4th year students a pop quiz (what? In a Montessori school?). I wanted to see how many countries in Africa they could name before we began our study of the continent. In true Montessori fashion, students were thrilled with this challenge. After about 20 minutes everyone had turned in their tests with a variety of answers – most students had Egypt, Libya, South Africa, Madagascar, Tanzania, and my favorite answer, Cape Elizabeth (they meant to write Cape Verde). Yesterday we had a second test and students were surprised at how many more countries they could list after such a short time. Everyone was able to list at least twice as many as before. More importantly, they were able to tell each other a little about most of the countries they listed. Students have requested that I leave out special paper in the cultural studies room, so that they can test themselves regularly.
Allagash & Moosehead Lake students have also been exploring Africa. They are creating a set of cards about the different biomes in Africa. Over the last two weeks we looked at grasslands and deserts.The cards illustrate some of the ways that people in these biomes meet their fundamental needs. In addition to learning about biomes, students are getting a lot of writing practice through this work.
Another popular work this week was card making. The American Red Cross has asked students around the country to create holiday cards for the troops. Our students set a goal of making 50 cards to send & they achieved that goal yesterday afternoon. We had class meeting to brain storm ideas for what to write in the cards. They listed many messages of peace and thanks. Students were quick to point out that they should not include “Merry Christmas” in the card because they can’t be sure that the service member receiving the card celebrates Christmas. Students did a lovely job decorating the cards. The 1st and 2nd year students enjoyed using their new flag drawing skills to make American flags on the cards.
*Students are welcome to join me for violin practice from 8-8:30 on Monday. We have had a pretty good turn out in recent weeks, but I thought I’d give one last reminder.
*Eileen (Charlie & Helen’s mom) has generously donated a microwave to the elementary classroom. It is my hope that this will allow students to bring a wider variety of foods for lunch. I know I am looking forward to having soups & stews this winter!
*Thursday is the final library day of the semester. Please remember that students need to bring a backpack or canvas bag on library day. We have lots of books to carry!
|This poster by a 4th year lists a number of Russian words and their pronunciation.|
|1st years are busy studying African biomes.|