Back to school – Week 1 & 2
During first two weeks of the school year I like to keep the environment very basic. Children are getting used to the new place, friends, rules and teacher. Starting pre-school is the next step in their life and very often it is quite hard for them, as they are separated from their parents for the first time.
There is still warm outside and some of us have just come back from beaches and to put out apples and autumn leaves now just doesn’t feel right. Summer things are out to begin the school year with and autumn things begin to appear in late September, when Autumn actually begins! We use sunflowers, seashells, or other summer type themes at the moment as cultural activities.
The focus is to reinforce classroom rules. I like to continue with daily reminders about caring for each other and our classroom.
Songs at circle time will be those that encourage learning the name of our friends. We discuss rules for circle time; walking around the circle, raising hands, being polite listeners. We talk about work time and the rules for that; walking feet, not disturbing others, how to watch your friends working, one work at a time, rolling up a mat.
A little poem I like to have the children say before they get off their chair to put their work away is “Stand up, push in, put away.” This provides just a little help to be sure they push in that chair before putting work away. We have group snack and then maybe introduce a snack table after a few weeks. Beginning with a group snack provides opportunity to talk about polite manners while we are eating. We take advantage of these times as it builds a pattern of good manners for the child when eating at the table.
During the work time period for the first week, I spend my time guiding the children in their work and helping them to go about the environment. I am an example of using slow feet and having a calm demeanour in the room (especially when the little pitchers of rice spill all over the floor).
I talk with the children about how we all have a way of thinking and feeling.
On our shelves this week. (Summer theme)
We are off to a great start in the classroom. We have two sessions with the majority being ECCE kids. We have spent the first few days on settling in and this week we are going over the routine of the classroom and the rules. The lunch routine is also going well. The children are already setting up the table, chairs and mats and also cleaning their area when finished. They check the floor and use little dustpans and brooms as needed. Soon we will start to wipe the tables with a sponge. Some of the children are so involved in the cleaning up of their space, that they are even sponging down their chairs!
We start off our circle time with a good morning song, calendar, a days of the week song, and then we have a lesson. We follow this same sequence each morning and this gives the children a sense of security and routine. They know what to expect and look forward to the lessons. The children are enjoying this very much.
Here are some Montessori classroom pictures from this week.
Matching the shells
Transferring water with the sponge
Counting the shells
Colour and shapes puzzles
First cutting exercises
Tidying up the room
Craft: Poster with helping hands
Spooning the pasta.
Big – medium -small
Play-dough activities – Water melon seeds
Exploring the shels
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