Well, February zipped right by! This warm winter has been wonderful to be in, but it does bring SSF (Student-driven Spring Fever) sooner than normal. Please remember, we are not done with school for the year! When you look at my somewhat ambitious plans for March, you will see what I mean. The clock still ticks toward the end of the year and I need to be certain the students stay focused on their work and responsibilities. Homework is still a very important supplement to my classroom curriculum so PLEASE be sure your child is doing the new assignments weekly, along with making corrections from the previous day’s work. Believe it or not, I still have students who don’t bring their homework in or make their corrections. The solution to that problem is for the child to work on it at recess, which breaks my heart along with theirs.
Spring fever has long been a challenge for teachers. (Secret – it is difficult for teachers to stay focused, too. I’m sitting outside typing this update on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.) Children really have not changed much over the centuries, but luckily for us, teaching styles did change. Having the Montessori Method to learn by is a blessing for the children, BUT it comes with responsibility – I expect the children to take responsibility for their own education by doing the work I ask them to do in class AND at home. They are expected to self-direct during the day at school, staying focused on their own work and doing it to the very best of their ability. They are expected to take pride in their work, and ask for help if they need it, and help others who might need it. If your child seems overwhelmed by these basic Montessori expectations, call me and let’s discuss it. If you and your child agree to these expectations, let’s all work together and support each other every day to grow these amazing future adults. After all, as Dr. Montessori said, “My vision of the future is no longer of people taking exams … but of passing from one stage of independence to a higher one, by means of their own activity and effort of will.
February brought us a wonderful success! We had an amazing fundraiser that raised $15,000 for our new school’s outdoor environment. You will see the new gardening boxes purchased with the money as you drive up to the front door of the school. The tile table the students created a portion of that $15,000. It was a great collaborative event in the room.
We had a beautiful Valentines Day. Many Valentines cards flew around the room and landed in our mailboxes – so many that the mailboxes were overflowing! Some were silly, some were hilarious, and some were hand-made and heartfelt. I love the fact that our room houses a community that appreciates and (yes) loves each other.
And the 5th years went to Patriot’s Point last Friday and had a great time learning about secret codes, WWII history, and the importance of protecting our watersheds. They had perfect weather and a really great time. Thank you to Barbara Wankmueller and Dana Stokes for driving.
It was a good month!
Now, on to March!
Science Focus for March: Spring Zoo and Botanical Curiosities: Our Donors Choose items are arriving! We will be hatching and growing invertebrates to learn more about life cycles, food webs, and biomes this spring.
DONATIONS NEEDED: We could use some potting soil, seeds (flower and veggie), and some decorative pots for our spring gardening. It would be great if you have anything sitting around that you are not using anymore, or are visiting a garden center and feel like picking something up for us, please send it in! We will be planting seeds in our greenhouses for our new garden beds as well as to send home.
During March we will also be working on Independent Research Experiments. Each grade will be focusing on a particular area of the SC State Curriculum to design and implement a research experiment/project*:
- 4th – Seed Germination
- 5th – Humans and pollution impacts
- 6th – Tropisms in Plants
*This research will take place at school.
I’m thankful for your support! I can’t wait to get all of the research going with the kids!
History Focus For March:
All students will be finishing up their biography projects in the next week. We will have the Wax Museum on Tuesday from 8:45 – 9:30 or so. Please drop by and experience it with us if you can.
Biography Presentations will be the week of March 13. We will wait until after the 6th Year MMUN trip to NYC. Here is the schedule:
Monday – March 13 – 1:45 – Lily, Sean, Hawkins, Harrison, Harper, Liam
Tuesday – March 14 – 8:15 – Caroline, Maggie, Delaney, Nash, Abby, Ethan A., Nick
Wednesday – March 15 – 8:15 – Taylor, Jake, Luke, Ayla, Carrigan, Mekhi
Thursday – March 16 – 1:45 – Gabriella, Hanlen, Collin, Hannah, Ethan S., Emma
Please come watch if you can, but note the time! They are different because I have to work around our different specials classes. If you need a different day because the time suits you better, please email me and I will see what I can do.
Ms. Hillary will be continuing with a study of the Civil war during the month of March.
Geography and MMUN: We will continue looking into the topography and political boundaries of the countries of Africa this month. Many of the students are finishing up their MMUN position papers, and participating 6th years will be heading to NYC for the annual MMUN conference on March 7th.
Math: We are still working on our Geometry and Measurement Unit this month.
Language: We have spent a lot of time this winter working on writing an essay, focusing on topic sentences, introductions, and conclusions. In word study, we’ve been researching homophones, prefixes, and suffixes. We will be moving into quotations and apostrophes this month.
March 3 – Free Dress Day
March 7 – 10 – Montessori Model United Nations Conference in NYC – The other Upper Elementary teachers and I will be out these 4 days with 14 sixth year students presenting their hard work and using diplomacy to solve a few of the world’s problems! Wish us luck!
March 15 – Dollar Dress Day
March 17 – Staff Development Day and No School for children.