Here we are embarking on our second month of school. September always brings a fresh sense of inspiration as it feels like we have gone through the “back to school” transition and are ready to begin. We have gotten pretty comfortable with the routines and procedures of the day. Many of the children feel a newfound sense of independence as they change their own shoes and understand they can choose an activity they have had a lesson on from the shelf. They are able to and encouraged to follow their inner directives as they make the choice of what kind of “work”/activity they would like to do.
One of my focuses at the beginning of the year are lessons on Grace and Courtesy. These lessons show the group how we will develop social cohesion and function in the classroom, as well as demonstrate behaviors to be used outside of school. It is a term we use to describe manners and what it means to be polite. Some of these lessons include:
- How to set up a work area
- How to move in the classroom
- How to get a teacher’s attention
- How to observe a lesson
- How to walk around a rug
- How to carry a tray with something on it
The list goes on, and lessons are repeated throughout the year as needed. Demonstrations happen in small groups with “elders” in the classroom being chosen to role play with me to show certain scenarios. It is my observations of behaviors in the classroom that show what lessons need to be given/ repeated.
By focusing on these lessons now we pave the way for what Maria Montessori called “normalization”. More on this term later, but in a nutshell, normalization describes a calm and settled feeling in the classroom, where everyone feels comfortable, and knows what to do…It is my hope that dedicating the time to these lessons now will create a peaceful environment where concentration and joy may flourish.
- Ms. Kirstan is greeting everyone at the door and taking temperatures. You may not see me because I position myself in the art room to help guide the children to choosing an activity right after washing hands. I will be greeting at the door as well once we are a bit more settled in our routines. I appreciate the short bit of face-time I get with the families at drop off:-)
- Please keep your child home with even the most minor of cold-like symptoms. Review our policies in the parent handbook for any questions on this topic.
At the beginning is a good place to be,
What will the day bring for you and me?
New songs, new friends, new things to do
At the beginning is a good place to be.