This term we are focusing our geography studies on the continent of North America.
Leo is smelling the North America native spice, All Spice, as he explores our Continent Box. The box includes project starters for different North American countries, three-part cards for the flora and fauna of the continent and pictures of famous landmarks, among other work choices. This has sparked projects on Canada, information booklets and artworks in the Orcas room and inspired our Multicultural day celebration of Mexico.
“The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge. Our apparatus for educating the senses offers the child a key to guide his explorations of the world, they cast a light upon it which makes visible to him more things in greater detail than he could see in the dark, or uneducated state.”
Orcas learn Mass and Weight
This term the Orcas have been learning about mass. We have enjoyed learning to use the scales to compare mass to find which objects are lighter and heavier than others. We have been weighing classroom objects and recording the weight in grams. Taking part in the National Simultaneous Story time when Jon read the book “Give me some Space!” by Philip Bunting was a fun activity. We found it very exciting and funny to watch the book being read by astronaut Dr. Shannon Walker while she was in the International Space Station. We laughed when she let go of the book and it started to float away. Then we had an interesting discussion about gravity and followed that up with a talk about the difference between mass and weight. Students have continued to choose activities such as pin maps and three part cards as well as our lessons. Some students took part in a lesson on the Decanomial Paper activity that engaged them for the rest of the work cycle. We are lucky to have a parent helper teaching us to sew. We are learning how to thread a needle and sew a button as well as a few different types of stitches. Maybe we can help you next time you need to sew a button back on!
Thank you to Mandy for helping us.
Orcas use lots of Montessori Materials
It’s almost end of Term 2, and our juniors have settled into the class routines and everyone was straight back to work. Students are enjoying exploring new material such as the Grammar Boxes, Golden Bead stamps, Test tubes and Pin Maps. Orcas have also started working on emotions using stories, games and drama activities to help them better understand their feelings. They are doing this in small groups with activities such as acting the emotion for the others to guess and matching scenarios with emotions. Students are checking in with themselves every morning using the Zones of Regulation charts. Our Orca students are looking forward to learning more and are really enjoy the acting component of the activities. Great work Orcas Class!
Wow, this term has flown by! 2D have continued to work on the Fundamental Needs of Humans by working with materials such as timelines and three part cards. We have collected natural materials and made two paint brushes, one to make thin lines and one to make thick lines. Then we followed the design process steps of designing, making, testing and evaluating. During NAIDOC week we learned about Aboriginal rock paintings before creating their own drawings for our “cave”.
As we enter our final few days for the year, 2D are enjoying using our creative sides during our crafting and baking activities. We enjoyed making sock snowmen and decorating gingerbread shapes. We made sure we challenged our brains during the last week of the year with Cubetto and 3D Noughts and Crosses. After a very unusual year, everyone is looking forward to the holidays and a rest! We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe, happy and healthy New Year.
This week the Orcas experienced the Third Great Story of Montessori – The Coming of Humans. Having been previously amazed by the Long Black Strip that represents all of time and highlights the small amount of time humans have been on Earth, this story focuses on ‘the gifts of humans’ and how these gifts supported our human development since our evolutional journey began.
The students always look forward to hearing the Great Stories and there was a sense of excitement in the classroom. Here is some of their feedback:
“I thought it was a bit scary because they had to kill animals to eat so they can get protein. They made houses out of grass. I loved it!” Aarash
“The bit I found funny was that people have only been on the Earth for a short amount of time but if feels like it was so long. I have looked in books and they have pictures of people from heaps of years ago. They had to find houses and make up ways to talk.” Ariana
“The Great Story was serious. There were heaps of people trying to survive. They had to kill animals to survive. The pictures looked very serious.” Joanie
“I was shocked how long the Earth has been alive for and how small the red strip that represented humans was. I enjoyed the music and I was impressed with the pictures. I really liked the caveman drawings. The animals that were here before the dinosaurs looked weird!” Elijah
“I enjoyed the music.” Eve
“I thought it was interesting when they had to find some food to eat and work out which ones were poisonous.” Benny
“I liked the pictures because they helped with the story.” Cortez
“What I found interesting was the first bit of the story that Jon told with the seaweed and other creatures and how they started to change. It made me feel interested in the rest of the story and made me want to find out more about it.” Charlotte
“I was really interested in the part where the humans came to the Earth. I learned that humans had to kill animals for food. I liked how the animals looked especially the short nosed kangaroo. I am curious to know where the babies slept before there was houses.” Xanthe
Once again, the Orcas have settled back into our class routine beautifully. They have been working in small groups as creative writers. Using a picture as a prompt, students came up with answers to questions such as: What do you see? How does it make you feel? What could be at the top of the stairs? What are the creatures looking at? We have gathered some very interesting ideas and are looking forward to reading the completed stories.
After exploring Pointillism last term, this term we have looked at positive and negative space in art using optical illusions, and are looking forward to discovering and learning about Line Art. We have enjoyed the challenge of a clapping game and Lisa is finding it hard to trick us with the rhythm now! We have resumed our “Show and share” groups and have started by sharing something we did in the school holidays. The Orcas are super happy to welcome Jon back after spending time with his family after the arrival of his new son, Leo. We don’t even mind that he is a tiny bit tired!
In class we uncovered ‘The Great Mess’ and heard the story of the king and the coins in his vault. Some of the students became Lords and Ladies to assist King Jon to organise and count his coins. Then the Lords and Ladies had to work out how to get the exact amount that had been allocated to fix the roads in the kingdom. The Lords and Ladies then had to think hard and work together to exchange the right coins to make the exact amount.
We have been using poems to practise our handwriting daily and this has inspired some of the students to work together to write their own poems. Thank you to our poets Ariana, Madison and Neo for sharing your work with us.
The Orcas enjoyed the mental and physical challenge of matching the correct hands and feet to the sequence of templates. It was lots of fun!
The Orcas have done a wonderful job of transitioning back into school and classroom learning. The children were excited to see their friends again and were quick to settle back into routines. We have been enjoying using a range of Montessori materials for our grammar work and have been learning about lines, points, surfaces and solids in geometry.
2020 is off to a busy start in the 2D Classroom. The children have been busy learning about The First Great Story, Planets, Volcanoes and their individual projects which is always a big hit. Jon and Hayley are learning so much about ‘sunburn’, ‘animals height, lengths and weights’, ‘where does energy come from and how does it get to our home?’ and also ‘plants’.