Dayspring Montessori School Blog

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Month of Valentine’s and International Awareness March 5, 2014

Filed under: News,Snapshots — dayspringmontessori @ 4:16 pm

It’s a month of celebration in many ways.  First off, we celebrate a day of love and care for others through expression of giving.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

With the goody bags each child has made, they all sit on the line to begin Valentine's Day party.

With the goody bags each child has made, they all sit on the line to begin Valentine’s Day party.

Beautiful drawings are done by the children for their goody bags.

Beautiful drawings are done by the children for their goody bags.

Singing songs and doing motions

Singing songs and doing motions

"We love you~"

“We love you~”

Many gifts have been prepared by children and parents the night before.

Many gifts have been prepared by children and parents the night before.

Passing out Valentine's Day gift

Passing out Valentine’s Day gifts

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And another special theme has surrounded our learning here at Dayspring.  Our children come from many different ethnic groups, and they share their culture and foods through presentations and our very special International food festival!

A presentation about Ukraine is given by a parent.

A presentation about Ukraine is given by a parent.

Afterwards, each child gets to decorate their own egg on paper!

Afterwards, each child gets to decorate their own Ukrainian egg called Pysanky on paper. Begin with the lightest colors white and yellow. Then, add a darker color on the egg. Keep coloring till the whole egg is full of color!

Here is a presentation of traditional Romanian clothing.

Here is a presentation of traditional Romanian clothing.

A Korean parent brings in traditional children's clothing. One child experiences wearing a "hanbok."

A Korean parent brings in traditional children’s clothing. One child experiences wearing a “hanbok.”

Other children try on hanbok as well!

Other children try on hanbok as well!

A Canadian parent brings a map to show different regions of Canada.

A Canadian parent brings a map to show different regions of Canada.

Children are trying on hats, too!

Children try on hats from Canada, too!

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And finally, we celebrate all of our cultures together at a potluck lunch, and we invite parents to join in on the fun! Let the International Food Festival begin!

Before having the potluck, our children enjoy watching and participating in a puppet show.

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Everyone, including the parents are mesmerized by the story of the show.

Everyone, including the parents are mesmerized by the story of the show.

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“Hello there!” says the puppet.

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Let's see what's in the bag!

Let’s see what’s in the bag!

With a lot of energy and excitement built up from the puppet show, both children and parents experience different cultures and history through eating various types of food.  We have families representing Canada, Ukraine, Norway, Russia, Poland, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, India, China, Korea, Mongolia, and the Philippines.

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Look at all these cookies and appetizers!

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Everything smells delicious.

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And after presenting each food and country, the feast begins!

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We hope our children are able to continue to embrace each other’s cultures and backgrounds by learning that every country brings a special element and meaning in this world. Through this, each child can be a vessel for peace and love for one another and the world.

“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.”

– Maria Montessori

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Refining Our Skills February 5, 2014

Filed under: Montessori Work,Snapshots — dayspringmontessori @ 4:16 pm

January has been a cold, cold month for the Windy City.  As many of the Chicago schools closed due to the severe temperature drop, our school has also had to close for a day and also fight the huge amount of snow that has fallen in this area.

Despite such challenges, Dayspring has had a great start of the new school semester in January 2014.

For the returning, as well as new students, our main goal has been to refine our senses and to continue to develop our gross and fine motor skills.

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Upon returning from Dominican Republic for vacation, a student brings in a huge seashell for sharing time.

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Directress: “Listen carefully, and you will be able to hear the sound of the sea inside the seashell.”

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Children take turn to hear.

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We refine our sense of touch through tracing sandpaper letters. By tracing each letter and sounding it aloud, children are able to store the feel and shape of it internally.

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We all like to create beautiful things. Painting allows us to see beauty and make sense of what we create through hand movement and visual aesthetic of the picture.

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Children, what has the Directress painted? Can you describe the painting for us? How do you feel about it?

The development of gross (large muscles) motor skills and fine (small muscles) motor skills should go hand-in-hand during these invaluable years (15 months-6years).

For gross motor skills, we hone the skills of walking on the line (as well as marching, jumping, hopping, galloping, running, tiptoeing, and heel-to-toe) during line time.  Also, the children have created a new activity of creating a huge circle in the gym to jump through the hoops.

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Jumping and hopping, as well as balancing on the beam!

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Can you walk on the beam without falling?

Also, we go out to play in the snow and go sledding (when weather permits).

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Let’s go sledding!

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Creating a hill so that we can all sled!

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Having fun walking, jumping, and climbing in the snow~

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With others making a fort with the snow~

As for fine motor skills, we guide the children to do activities that can help them strengthen their wrist, hand, and fingers.

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A toddler works with pots and pans to life knobs and do the swirling motion with kitchen utensil.

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This 19-month-old toddler is sweeping the floor, strengthening his wrist and coordination.

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This 2-year-old toddler is strengthening his grasping skills by squeezing the large sponge to transfer water from one bowl to another.

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She is learning to use her pincer grip and concentrate on punching on the line.

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This 5-year-old is gluing her map parts for Australia. Gluing requires her to coordinate her finger and wrist muscles in order to glue within the given boundaries.

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Older children (4 and 5-year-olds) learn to use paper and pencil to write equations and also write vocabulary words and sentences. This enhances their finger pincer grip and also enables them to express their thoughts through words and numbers.

The goal of developing our senses, as well as gross and fine motor skills is so that we can be balanced individuals who can create order, concentration, coordination, and independence into all that we do (internally and externally).  This will naturally lead us to have greater minds in language and numbers as we continue to grow and mature.  

 

Winter Is Here! January 9, 2014

Filed under: Projects,Snapshots — dayspringmontessori @ 3:26 pm
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A lot of snow is coming this season. Let’s make some snow angels!

December was a super exciting month, with white snow and afternoon projects that made the holiday season all the more special.  

We had our annual donation drop-off box, where we collected new clothing, shoes, gloves, scarves, and toys to children in need.

Donating a new shirt to a child in need

Donating a new owl shirt

Joyful giving this season~

Joyful giving this season~

Learning the love of giving

Learning how to give with love

And then, here comes more snow!

Playing outside before meal time!

Playing outside before meal time!

Roll roll roll your snowball~

Roll roll roll your snowball~

Is this big enough?

Is this big enough?

It should be this big~

It should be this big~

We're all great snowball builders!

We’re all great snowball builders!

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Is she riding a sled?

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That’s quite creative, children!

We love to play in the snow!

We love to play in the snow!

Cheese~~

Cheese~~

We also had some interesting things to share and learn.

M. brings something special for Show and Tell.

M. brings something special for Show and Tell.

She shares about finding unique seashells on a beach.

She shares about finding unique seashells on a beach.

Making the Brown Stairs into a tall tower

Making the Brown Stairs into a tall tower

Learning how to add numbers in thousandth place

Learning how to add numbers in thousandth place

Creating a maze with Red Rods and walking through it

Creating a maze with Red Rods and walking through it

Sorting beads by color

Sorting beads by color

Toddlers matching objects with sound cards

Toddlers matching objects with sound cards

Do you know what this is? It's a Christmas tree!

Do you know what this is? It’s a Christmas tree!

Patterning during project time

We make it through simple patterning.

We also make holiday ornaments using small bird trees.

We also make holiday ornaments using small bird trees.

Lots of fun projects every day~

Lots of fun projects to do in the afternoon~

Can't leave out the sparkly sprinkles for the roof!

Can’t leave out the sparkly sprinkles for the roof!

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Running after the Directress! Catch her if you can~!

 

Thanksgiving Feast December 4, 2013

Filed under: Projects,Snapshots — dayspringmontessori @ 3:32 pm

Beginning in November, we talk about the history of Thanksgiving and the relationship between the Pilgrims and Native Americans.  We include the thankfulness of this year and of parents (and many other areas of our lives).  And we celebrate a Thanksgiving feast as the pilgrims and Native Americans did in the past.

Children creating hats during project time to get ready for the Thanksgiving feast!

Children are creating Native American and Pilgrim hats during project time to get ready for the Thanksgiving feast.

Everyone making their own turkey mats, too.

Everyone is making their own mats for the feast, too.

On the day of the Thanksgiving feast, the children’s family came, as well as the alumni!

Singing Thanksgiving songs altogether

Enjoying Thanksgiving songs with Dayspring family

The feast begins!

The feast begins!

All friends and family of Dayspring gather for a wonderful lunch.

All friends and family of Dayspring gather for a wonderful lunch.

We have turkey, corn, yams, cornbread on this table.

We have turkey, corn, yams, cornbread on this table, like the very first Thanksgiving.

Filling up the whole room with love and care

Filling up the whole room with love and care

Dayspring children sit on a long white table to enjoy their food.

Dayspring children sit on a long white table to enjoy their food.

Siblings at the table together

Siblings at the table together

Together with Mom for the feast

A. together with Mom for the feast

Look over there, E!

Look over there, E!

Yum Yum Yum

Yum Yum Yum

What should I eat next?

Mmmm~ corn

The alumni, who have already experienced the Thanksgiving feast with Dayspring before, are now here to enjoy it as visitors.

The alumni are here to celebrate with us as well!

A group of alumni sit together here and enjoy their food.

Playing together afterwards

One of alumni and toddler playing together afterwards

My, how the alumni have grown!

And the 1st graders say, “Goodbye Dayspring! We will miss you!”

 

Empowering the Toddlers November 21, 2013

Filed under: Montessori Work — dayspringmontessori @ 12:03 pm

The toddlers are our school range from ages 15-36 months.

We are excited to have them here because they bring a lot of joy and fun into our lives.  Also, the toddlers have many opportunities to enhance their gross and fine motor skills through the materials and activities in the classroom.  Line time is especially important for toddlers because they get to experience community time by learning new words, sharing thoughts (even if it’s just a “dah”) with peers, singing songs, dancing, and learning new materials from the teachers!

Toddlers have their own line time with Ms. Christine!

Toddlers have their own line time in the morning.

"The wheels on the bus go round and round..."

“The wheels on the bus go round and round…”

Ms. Christine: Where is your chin?

Teacher: Where is your chin?

Mr. Larson visits the toddler room to teach Spanish words to the toddlers. He incorporates words, hand motions, and songs.

The Spanish teacher introduces Spanish words to the toddlers. He incorporates words, stories, hand motions, and songs to bring interest and fun in the learning.

M. works on his fine motor skills after snack time.

M. works on his fine motor skills after snack time.

I. loves to scrub the pumpkin!

I. loves to scrub the pumpkin!

S. works on the animal puzzle.

Teacher: S., what animal is that?

 

Sing, Dance, and Play! November 6, 2013

Filed under: Montessori Work,News,Snapshots — dayspringmontessori @ 3:31 pm

Our children enjoy singing, dancing, and playing with instruments here at Dayspring.

Our Directress shares her music abilities through various activities.  She is a certified Orff instructor, so she knows how to teach musical notes and instruments to our children as well!

Singing together in one voice

Singing together in one voice

Train, train, go train!

Train, train, go train!

Let's do the train motion!

Let’s do the train song and motion!

and clap and sing

Can you clap to the beat?

~Jack be nimble, Jack be quick~

~Jack be nimble, Jack be quick~

Play some drumsticks today with Ms. Karis~

Play some rhythm sticks with the Directress~

Ta Ta Tee Tee Ta

Ta Ta Tee Tee Ta

Ta Ta Ta Ta

Ta Ta Ta Ta

Toddlers join for singing, too!

Toddlers join for singing, too!

Let's add some percussion to our melody.

Let’s add some percussion to our melody.

S. plays the beat for us.

SI plays the beat for us.

Now, SA is learning how to do our bass percussion!

Now, SA is learning how to do the bass xylophone!

Swirl and beat to the music!

Swirl and beat to the music!

Swirling to the step dance music.

Swirling as you step dance!

Step towards the middle of the rug!  Step back to the line!

Step towards the middle of the rug! Step back to the line!

Children ages 4-6 receive recorder lessons.

Children ages 4-6 receive recorder lessons.

And our learning continues...

And our learning continues…to another fun-filled day at Dayspring!

 

Our Children Are Excited To Learn! October 30, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — dayspringmontessori @ 3:49 pm

September has been a month of getting to know each other, going over classroom rules, and adjusting to the work available in the classroom. As always, we are encouraging children to find order, coordination, concentration, and as a result, independence within themselves.

Here are some of the learning we have been doing so far!

Good morning Dayspring Montessori!  Everyone is gathered for line time.

Good morning Dayspring Montessori! Everyone is gathered for line time.

And now, it's time to celebrate J's 4th birthday the Montessori way!

And now, it’s time to celebrate J’s 4th birthday the Montessori way!

Ms. Karis teaches the children about sound cylinders.

The Directress teaches the children about sound cylinders.

Let's try to match all the cylinders by hearing the intensity of the sounds they make!

Let’s try to match all the cylinders by hearing the different intensity of the sounds they make!

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A. is scrubbing the dinosaur as a part of our practical life work. She is learning how to do the work from start to finish, all by herself.

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W. is beginning to learn how to count. He uses the acorns to create numbers 0-10.

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J. received a presentation from the Directress on geometric shapes. He has understood and memorized the names of the shapes and is now writing it out on paper.

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S. is reviewing the 100 board. She is putting all the numbers in order without help!

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O. is learning how to add using our special beads. He really enjoys doing math work.

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SF is showing SK how to how to add numbers in the thousandths place using the bank game. We always learn from big numbers to small numbers in Montessori schools.

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S. is learning with A. on cube chains. This is work that requires a lot of order, coordination, concentration, and independence.

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And it’s A.’s birthday today! Happy 5th birthday!

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The children are shown of the new changes that occurred in the classroom. The Directress makes sure all the children know where things are in the room.

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M. loves to learn about parts of flowers. Here, she is creating her own pages in order to have it as a book to take home.

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E. is learning about North America map. She loves to know about all the different countries on this continent.

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A. is pasting the various countries he has traced and punched out to create his own South America map poster.

Children receive a presentation on color tablets. They can learn how to grade all the colors in the box!

Children receive a presentation on color tablets. They can learn how to grade all the colors in the box!

Ms. Karis is showing during line time how the globe (3D) and the world map (2D) are the same thing.

The Directress is showing during line time how the globe (3D) and the world map (2D) are the same thing.

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It’s amazing how we can teach this fact using an orange!

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And how do the toddlers learn? E. is building the pink tower the best way she can.

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They work hard in their classrooms, focusing and concentrating on the tasks they are interested in.

Ingrid loves to do water work. She is transferring water using a large sponge.

I. loves to do water work. She is transferring water using a large sponge.

A. and S. are enhancing their fine motor skills/ sensory skills using knobbed cylinders.

A. and S. are enhancing their fine motor skills/ sensory skills using knobbed cylinders.

A. is learning the names of fruit that are represented in the basket.

A. is learning the names of fruit that are represented in the basket.

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During project time, toddlers join the older children and create different crafts.

I. is pasting the pieces of paper she cut onto a green apple.

I. is pasting the pieces of paper she cut onto a green apple.

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Toddlers also join the older children for Pledge of Alligience and My country Tis of Thee.

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We play out in the field and at the park every afternoon.

And M. is turning 2!  Happy Birthday M.!

And M. is turning 2! Happy Birthday M.!

Drawing in front of our school on a nice day. =)

Drawing in front of our school on a nice day. =)