Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fourth Grade Fraction Feast

 Atticus had an assignment to find a practical application for fractions.  Logically, he chose baking. He is my child after all. 

He decided to make "Butter Horns" which is a recipe my mom makes and passed on to me.  These little buttery crescent rolls are a cross between brioche and a dinner roll.  They have 1 cup of butter, and 4 eggs  plus flour, sugar, milk, and yeast.  They are heavenly. Typically, we make these for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Never have they been made in January!  But they are perfect for the fraction feast Atticus was to have at school. 

Not only did it involve using measuring ingredients that were in fraction form, it involves rolling the dough out into 9 inch circles and cutting that into 12 equal triangles. 

There should be a picture HERE of Atticus enjoying his creation.  I'll work on that. 

I also got busy making some Toddler Montessori Material and writing my lesson plan for the Teacher Training I will be doing this summer. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

MLK Jr. Day

I was very touched to read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak about education this way, especially right now. I always get very emotional on this day, and am having trouble finding words to describe all the things I am feeling on this particular MLK day, so close to President Obama's last day in office.  I am concerned about the climate in the US, and how it will affect my children.  

One of the reasons I love Montessori Education, one reason I am drawn to it, is because it encourages children to have a global perspective.  Montessori build into the pedagogy, lessons to educate children on different cultures and how to care for other humans.  Montessori schools practice Peace education, and conflict resolution is actually part of the curriculum.  Montessori believed children are the hope of humankind. 
“Within the child lies the fate of the future.” 

“Preventing war is the work of politicians, establishing peace is the work of educationists.” 
― Maria Montessori

This photo of my 3 year old doing the Pink Tower is iconic of Montessori education.  I love this photo so much, and I love the pink squares he cut out and carefully glued onto the paper.  He is showing focus and concentration, and he is enjoying his work.  This is what Dr. King was talking about, giving a child things worthy to concentrate on, and allowing them the power of concentration.  From there, education builds, just like each block of the Pink Tower, to support a human who is aware of issues in society, who is empathetic and loving.  Education isn't just about academics.  It is about allowing a child to blossom into who they were meant to be, not forcing them to be something they are not.
The younger generation has always been the leaders of social change, and I don't think it will be any different now.  We need a strong group of young people to lead us out of this mess we have created.  I will continue to do my part as a teacher, helping to guide children and teachers as best I can.  

Monday, January 9, 2017

Nature Walk II; Montessori quotes about teenagers

We escape sometimes, far away, deep into nature.  As my children grow into teenagers, I find myself looking to my well loved child development books to figure out how to parent in a new way, to a child in a new plane of development.  I am sharing some of my favorite quotes from Marie Montessori about the older child.

"Life in the open air, in the sunshine, and a diet high in nutritional content coming from the produce of neighbouring fields improve the physical health, while the calm surroundings, the silence, the wonders of nature satisfy the need of the adolescent mind for reflection and meditation." (From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 67)

When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.- Discovery of the Child

"The adolescent must never be treated as a child, for that is a stage of life that he has surpassed. It is better to treat an adolescent as if he had greater value than he actually shows than as if he had less and let him feel that his merits and self-respect are disregarded." (From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 72)

It is also necessary for his psychical life to place the soul of the child in contact with creation, in order that he may lay up for himself treasure from the directly educating forces of living nature- The Montessori Method

Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and, when the grass of the meadows is damp with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath it's shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning as it wakes every living creature that divides its day between waking and sleeping- The Discovery of the Child

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Nature Walk I North Eleuthera

There is a cave in North Eleuthera, Bahamas, called Preachers Cave.  The cave was discovered in the 1600's by Captain William Sayles who was shipwrecked on Devils Backbone, a reef by the island.  Castaways took shelter in the cave.  It is a large, shallow cave that we really enjoyed exploring.

North Eleuthera has many beaches to explore.  There was nobody on them, we had the beach to ourselves.

I loved seeing the plants that grew in the rocks. Inspiration for a rock garden at home.

Snails hold onto anything.  

Rocky formations mingled with sandy beaches and made for good snorkeling 

A tiny little beach hut or a sculpture?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! 
Tomorrow it's back to school for me. Time to set the alarm and hope there is enough coffee and motivation to get me through.  
Also time to share a photo from our recent trip;

When I look at this picture, I think, the water was cold and we were being eaten up by bugs.  You know who didn't complain though, my 10 year old Atticus.  He was so happy to get in that water and look for fish.  He found a "happy little trail" as he called it, of warm water and soft sand.  

"Childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons."- unknown