Showing posts from March, 2013

Mindfulness and Montessori

Mindfulness, although it has ancient origins, is something that we are hearing more and more about. Mindfulness means being focused in present time and space. You are aware of what is happening in your environment, what you are doing now with your hands, your voice, your body. You are aware of things happening inside your body. When you are driving, are you lost in an endless stream of thought about what has happened in the past or what you are going to do in the future? That’s an example of how we often move through our days on autopilot, not mindfully.

Maria Montessori discovered her own route to the practice of mindfulness, and its essence is embedded in the early childhood curriculum. As a scientist and observer, Dr. Montessori realized that children are naturally present in the moment. She also saw how important this acute attention is to learning. Many of the Montessori early childhood works are designed to sharpen the children’s skills of observation and help them focus on the …

Abintra Art - Week 24 (2012 - 2013 School Year)

The Nashville Opera brought their performance of Little Red’s Most Unusual Day, an operatic twist on the traditional Little Red Riding Hood story, to Abintra. Upper Elementary Guide Maria (pictured far right) made a cameo as a lumberjack!

ECA friends experimented with clay.  This work helps strengthen the hand muscles for writing and performing practical life activities.

ECB friends reviewed a book of children from different cultures and chose a child to create a paper doll using fabric, glue, and crayons.

ECC friends experimented with watercolor paint by painting Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting, Sunflowers.

ME was honored to have the Nashville sculptor, and former Abintra parent, Alan LeQuire, visit their classroom to teach them about sculpting.  He did a demonstration by starting an armature of a student’s head for another student to finish. LeQuire is best known for his colossal sculptures, Athena Parthenos, the largest indoor sculpture in the western hemisphere and Musica, one of …

Abintra Art - Week 23 (2012 - 2013 School Year)

EC students have been working on matching sets of paintings from different European artists such as Matisse, Miró, Renoir, and Van Gogh.

LE created these beautiful landscape paintings using watercolor and the paper they made in their previous art class.

ME was introduced to Wycinanki, or Polish paper cutouts, representing the Tree of Life. The original Polish designs usually included birds, flowers, hearts and lacey designs and were cut with sheep shears. The students used color opposites for contrast when gluing the trees on a backing.

During the European Renaissance, painters moved from using egg tempura to using oil paint. UE kicked off their study of Renaissance painting by experimenting with both. They enjoyed making their own egg tempura by mixing the yolk with pigment. 

UE also visited the Schermerhorn Symphony Center to see the dress rehearsal of the Nashville Symphony performing Tchaikovsky and Copland.  Copland’s colorful El Salón México opened the performance with lively L…

The Big Work of Lower Elementary: Building Work Habits Through TimeManagement

Practice: Lower Elementary students have been focusing on time management. Using the time-timer as a visual aide helps students understand the length of time it takes to complete a task. The students have been reflecting on the work they complete during these blocks of time, and commenting that it assists them in making choices during the work cycle.

Reinforcement through discussion: During our community meetings, we discuss the practice of time management. Many children have observed that they complete more work when they are quietly working and are also becoming aware of the amount of time spent on each task.

Skill building: In addition, the students are learning to tell time. It has been exciting to hear the discussions in comparing the analog clock to the time-timer; many of the children are sharing their strategies in using their blocks of time. We remind the students that their social time is scheduled into each day during morning exercise, lunch, and recess. Working quietly is a …

Abintra Art - Week 22 (2012 - 2013 School Year)

ECA students learned about the work of  Agnes Martin, an American/Canadian abstract expressionist.  The students created drawings influenced by her work.

ECB experimented with paint by placing a couple of paint drops (two colors) on a piece of paper and then fold the paper in two. When they open it they see a beautiful art creation made by the two colors.

ECC has spent a lot of time working on Chinese lanterns. They have been talking about the Chinese New Year and the importance of the lanterns in New Years celebrations. We made lanterns using construction paper that the children decorated with crayons. After decorating, students cut slits in the paper and, with some help from a guide or older friend, stapled the sides to create a lantern. We enjoyed hanging the lanterns in our classroom as we look forward to the "new year"!

LE made recycled paper from the paper shredded in the office.  They enjoyed seeing the process of soaking the paper and putting it in the blender to create…