Friday, September 24, 2010

Walk-A-Thon 2010

The dots can tell the tale of how many laps were walked at CMA today. The children received a stamp for every lap they completed. In total 3,428 laps! We estimate that some of the older children walked over 6 miles and some of our younger children walked almost 2 miles! The longer laps walked by the elementary children were about 1/5 of a mile, while the younger children's laps were much smaller. Thanks to all our entire community for making our event such a success. Special thanks to our corporate sponsors: Emery Oleo Chemicals; Kamphaus, Henning and Hood Accountants, AXA Financial and CARSON . Photos are on the blog. Click here to see a short video.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CMA Sings Peace

Yesterday, September 21, was World Peace Day. To commemorate, our children along with many other Montessori students from schools around the world sang a song called "Light A Candle for Peace". The experience was heart-warming and oh so sweet. Click here to see the video.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Independence Day

"Oh, how cute!" is one of the first things often said as we gaze into the toddler room. And, the indisputable fact is that they are cute, very cute. But upon a closer look, perhaps we should be gazing in and saying, "Oh, how independent!". After all these children have an amazing drive for independence and a strong motivational force that makes the exclaim: "I do it!" In our toddler program these traits are quite evident in our children who have recently mastered walking and can now focus on doing so much with their hands. These children can work on their own, eat on their own and to do so much more for themselves. They are also developing independent thought. Of course, many of us have heard young toddlers voice this independent thought with a strong "NO!". The infant and toddler staff are so patient as they listen to these voices of independence with respect and attention. After all, they recognize that for a toddler, every day is Independence Day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Patriot's Day at CMA

CMA Graduate Jacob Hauer shakes hands with a grateful Megan

This morning the children and staff of CMA welcomed some local heroes to our school. In celebration of Patriot's Day we gathered around the flagpole. On this day of remembrance we talked about three ways to celebrate this day and to remember September 11th. The first way was to think about our country. The children responded to this prompt with words like "freedom" and "happiness". The second way was to serve. The children had lots of answers for how they could serve others today. The third way was to say thank you to those who protect us and keep us safe. Our celebration was brief, sweet and happy. For us adults, we remember the pain of that day nine years ago, but in celebration with the children we were able to smile and know that our children are growing up as thoughtful citizens who love to serve and who express gratitude in the most magical way. Special thanks to our visiting heroes: Carl Blackwell (Dad to Camden and Myles), Jacob Hauer (Brother of Nick and son of Cheri), Jerry Kinebrew (Dad of Shannon), Tom O'Connor (Dad of Aidan, Brennan and Addison), and to Suzanne Casteel, Boyd Collett, Alan Guile, Randy Miller and Mark Thurman of our neighboring fire station with the Springfield Township Fire Department.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dance of the Cosmos

As a part of our introduction to the solar system, the Earth room and the Lower elementary classes ventured outside to "build" a working model of the planets as they orbit the sun. Maria Montessori called this the "Dance of the Cosmos". This concrete experience helped the children conceptualize how the planets move around the sun and serves as an introduction to more detailed solar system studies in later years. Click here to see pictures and here to see the corresponding song, "The Family of the Sun" .

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Power of Concentration

There are many important pieces to building the foundation for the house we call learning. Key among them is the power of concentration. In our Montessori classrooms we nurture this power, even with our youngest members. In fact, in our early childhood program nurturing this power is the very aim of many of the materials. Another way this is nurtured is by the Montessori teacher’s discipline to resist the urge to hurry up to help the child and “fix” something for them. Instead the Montessori teacher waits and observes, allowing the child to build focus on the problem at hand. Of course, she is there if needed and if the child just needs the comfort of not being alone in their quest. Additionally, concentration is aided is by allowing children to finish what they start. In our early childhood classrooms, it is rare for a child to be interrupted while focusing on a work.

Concentration has always been an important cornerstone for human learning. One might argue that in today’s world, building this power in our children is more important than ever as children must learn to remained focus in an age of an undeterminable amount of information and interruptions.