Friday, January 28, 2011

Presenting at CMA

On Monday, our Upper Elementary students presented their work and research on the United States of America. At first glance this might seem to be a mere sharing of projects they have worked on. In reality though it is a long worked on and practiced skill as well as a valuable assessment tool. Even our young children present to us every day. Often times you will hear a Montessori teacher say to a child, "Tell me about"... or "Show me..." or even "Can you create...?" In a child's response to these questions a secret power is revealed. When a child presents to us they are owning their own learning and solidifying what they know both in depth and in scope. It is true for us as adults also. When we present something, we become more expert at it. The same is true for kids. Presenting also serves as an assessment tool. Through observing and evaluating the children's presentations we are able to discover not only what they know, but also if they can apply their knowledge, draw conclusions from it and connect it to other learning they have acquired. With this in mind, I invite you all to have your child (young or old) present something to you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spelling Bee at CMA

We had our first school-wide Spelling Bee earlier this month! Tracie Gooley, the 9-12 teacher, organized and conducted the championship bee. The two winning class representatives from each of the elementary class rooms competed in the school bee. Those representative are pictured above. (Kennedy, Zoe, Miles, Peter, Emma and Maya) We are proud of how everyone did! The champion word was "uncouth" spelled by fifth grader Emma Hynes. The next step is for Emma to take an online test to quality for the local city Spelling Bee. We'll keep you up to date on her progress! Way to go, CMA kids!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Working Together

As you may have noticed, the Montessori learning environment is very different than the traditional classroom setting. This is true not just in the physical environment but also in how the children engage in learning with their teachers and with each other. Students are encouraged to work together. Unlike a more traditional teaching approach, the teacher does not provide every answer the child is looking for. Children are encouraged to discover answers for themselves. They often find a peer to guide them on their search. This collaboration teaches children how to cooperate with their classmates and builds a bond of inter-dependence not typically seen in more traditional classrooms. Our students become skilled in working independently and in collaborating with others. These types of skills will help them succeed not only in their education but also in their lives!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! We hope you had a wonderful winter break with your children. We are so happy to have them back with us. As I walked through the classrooms today I was astounded with the kids focus and enthusiasm. It seems that they were ready to get back to work and back to their routines and friends. Thanks again for sharing them with us. Stay tuned to this blog for 2011 upcoming events and pictures of your children.