Showing posts from March, 2015

Mindfulness Practice in Middle Elementary

Mindfulness is a practice we use in our classroom every day. We are using the Mindfulness curriculum designed by Mindful Schools and practiced across the country in many different school settings. The curriculum is structured to present a concept each week for intentional practice, which builds on concepts presented previously.
Within this structure, mindfulness is defined as "paying attention to what is happening in the present moment." Mindfulness can help us pay attention to many things, and can help us calm down when we are angry, sad, frustrated, or in the midst of any difficult emotion.  This practice can also help us feel happy and help us focus on our tasks.
The first lesson was having a mindful body, keeping still, and listening to the sounds in the environment.
The second lesson was on mindfulness of breathing, paying attention to the rhythm of our breath, and finding an anchor place in our body for our breath to return to when our mind begins to wander,…

March - Español in the Elementary classes

“I believe that acquiring a new language happens best through JOY.”
One of the stories that Lower Elementary students are working on is La Selva: The Jungle.  We looked at the Africa map, listened to some African music, made masks and drawings, and then  performed a play.

One of the favorite things in Lower Elementary is to identify and summarize the main point and significant details of a story.  The students also like to predict what will happen in the story.

Middle Elementary students have finished the novel Las aventuras de Isabela.  This novel has high frequency vocabulary and grammatical structures.  This story takes place in Guanajuato, Mexico, and the students had a chance to see pictures of the city.  I asked the students how many places they recognize in the story and which places they would like to visit.

Students  summarize and draw the story.

The students chose one chapter from the story and took turns reading paragraphs in Spanish and then translating them into English.


February Arts

Early Childhood artists learned about the work of the most international prestigious Spanish architect and designer, Antonio Gaudi. They viewed several pieces of his work including his stained glass work.  The students designed their own version of a stained glass out of melted crayon shavings. 

"The New Year is off with a bang with our Early Childhood musicians! We began with discovering new rhythm and tonal patterns. The children are successfully playing Mouse Mousie as their duple rhythm ensemble piece. It's played on resonator bars for melody and a variety of percussion instruments to layer complementary rhythms. This year, I'm consistently introducing triple meter activities during each class in a variety of new songs. Its important that the children continue to experience the success they have earned so we are sure to maintain and revisit our previous material. Their creativity and ability to express themselves through music and movement is growing in leaps and bound…

Handwriting in the Early Childhood Classrooms

Handwriting is an important part of our Language curriculum, which includes speaking, writing, and reading.  At Abintra, we teach the cursive method of writing from the beginning.  Cursive writing corresponds developmentally to the physical and mental needs of the EC child. 

Children in a Montessori environment learn cursive in steps.  They begin learning how their sounds correspond with written letters with the Sandpaper Letter lessons, tracing each letter with the first two fingers of their dominant hand and verbalizing the sound the letter makes.  Then they create the same letters in a sand tray, increasing their sense of touch while connecting the shape of the letter to its sound. Next, the letters are written on a chalkboard. After practicing many times with the chalkboard  or whiteboard, the child is introduced to paper and begins to learn how to write in cursive with fluid movement.  The final step in the sequence is to write on lined paper where they learn to shap…