Showing posts from October, 2013

Abintra Art - Late October 2013

Early Childhood A artists are studying leaves.  They made leaf prints by doing pencil rubbings as well as a study of positive and negative space using pin-punching.

Early Childhood B artists were introduced to a new medium, collage.  They created these collages using recycled paint swatches.

Lower Elementary artists continued their study of the elements of design focusing on space the last two weeks.  We discussed the importance of making good use of space when creating their artwork.  To prepare for their classroom study of the planets, LE artists created artwork of "outer space" to illustrate their knowledge of the three elements of design: color, shape, and space.

Middle Elementary artists created these elaborate works in marker using overlapped initials to divide space for pattern making.
Middle Elementary has also been working really hard on their Great Lessons Play which they successfully performed this week.
Upper Elementary is working hard learning their parts for their u…

Middle Elementary: "The First Great Lesson"

Science in Middle Elementary lends itself to the study of the world around us and the laws of the universe. The first Great Lesson, "The Formation of the Universe," introduced students to the states of matter and how varying degrees of heat and cold affect these states by performing simple experiments on readily available materials. 
Did you know that without grasses there would be no human civilization beyond the hunter/gatherer?  Botany has included the study of grasses and grains, and extended that study to their importance to human agriculture and civilization. The study of the water cycle also contributes to knowledge about the effect of water, or its lack, on different biomes, and how that has affected the migration and settlement of animals and humans around the world. Biology has included the Time Line of Life and the interconnectedness of plant and animals, predator and prey.
Students receive a lesson about spiders while observing one on our campus. Our lovely campus …

Montessori At Home

A student helps empty the dishwasher in the classroom. We often have questions about how parents can provide reinforcement at home for the lessons the children are learning at school. The most effective lesson is to model the behavior we want to see and the language we want to hear. We demonstrate how to roll a rug, how to solve a problem with a friend, and how to eat lunch by sitting through the meal and being engaged listeners. We model how to hold a pencil and how to write.
We reinforce our math and language work throughout the day in conversation. We count things to show relationships with numbers. For example, a guide may comment, "I have three children with me and I need six in my group, so I still need three more friends."  We model reading, storytelling, and having conversations with the children.
We encourage the children to help in any way they can and to do for themselves what they can. The key to their success is making sure they have plenty of time to…

Elementary Spanish News - October 2013


T.P.R.S. is Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling. This is the method I use for Spanish language instruction in the elementary classrooms. I use a simple process of "SHOW, TELL, and READ" to reinforce learning.

Show: In the Lower Elementary classroom, the students draw action verbs that we used during T.P.R.  I say the verb and they draw it. Another group is doing the same activity, but they are constructing sentences. We practice the verbs querer (to want) and gustar (to like).

Tell: To reinforce T.P.R., the Middle Elementary students are drawing the verbs, creating sentences, and writing stories using the T.P.R. verbs querer (to want), gustar (to like), and the articles él (he) and ella (she). They work with a partner to write the story and then share it with the class.

Read: In the Upper Elementary classroom, the students are translating sentences and paragraphs. They also translate or summarize chapters from the book we are reading. They can com…

Abintra Art - Early October 2013

Early Childhood Artists were introduced to the work of the American painter, Jackson Pollock.  They created their own Pollock-inspired art by moving a marble dipped in paint around on a piece of paper. One week they focused on using primary colors, and the next week they used secondary colors.

LE friends had fun working on their theater project with Christy Berryessa, an Abintra graduate. They prepared their theatrical demonstration of the two African folktales Kitoto the Mighty and Mabela the Clever.

Each student had an important and active role in the theater production. Their practice helped them learn to bring mindfulness to their voices, body language, eye contact and placement relative to the other performers. They learned to project their voices as they retold the stories to an audience. Students had great fun with this project, from acting and staging, to creating props and backdrop.

Lower Elementary friends have rehearsed their songs for the play with Vanessa.  They started the …

Mindfulness in Early Childhood

Mindfulness is an essential educational tool. Mindfulness activities such as yoga, sitting quietly, breathing deeply, taking a walk, and practicing silence help develop emotional regulation and cognitive understanding, bodily awareness and coordination, and interpersonal awareness. Practicing mindfulness in the classroom and outdoors relieves stress and anxiety, allowing the child to experience well-being, peace, confidence, and joy.

Developing these skills takes time and practice as the students learn to promote peace in themselves and towards those around them. With mindfulness, we see changes in students as they interact peacefully with others and accept others for who they are.  At home, friends can practice mindfulness by doing a lot of what we practice in the classroom. Turning off the electronic devices and experiencing a moment of silence, practicing deep breathing, or engaging in a Mindfulness Walk (pictured right) can be just the tools needed to promote awaren…