Patterning activities to accommodate different learning styles and interests

Concepts are presented in many different ways to accommodate the different interests and learning styles of children. In addition, this work develops hand coordination as the soft and colorful elastic loops are placed on the appropriate finger. Earlier this year, students studied birds and used a different patterning material where the child created a bird with beak color, wing color and tail feathers to match the picture of the bird on the card. Click this link to see the post about that work.  

Elementary art teacher, Robin Hartmann, appeared in an international fiber arts magazine

New School Montessori elementary art teacher, Robin Hartmann, shared her experience of using art to heal with the editors of the fiber arts magazine Hand/Eye. The article was called, “Instrumental Healing: Surviving Cancer Through Art.” The article begins with Robin telling about her love of art at an early age and having the support of her family to follow her dreams. Robin completed her art training at Pratt Institute and began creating costumes for Broadway shows and Saturday Night Live. From there, Robin created Muppets for the TV show and movies, and she eventually moved to Cincinnati to work on …

Preprimary children practice Dr. Montessori’s exercises in grace and courtesy

Grace and courtesy lessons help create a culture of respect for self, for others and for the environment. Preprimary children have a high need for order in their lives. They grow more comfortable in an environment when they learn their place in that environment and take responsibility for their role as a member of that social structure. Montessori curriculum helps give children the vocabulary they need while also providing step-by-step instructions for the children to practice. As a result, children are more aware of the needs of an environment and the needs of others and they have the skills to …

Preprimary students are processing what they’ve learned about artist Yayoi Kusama

New School Montessori preprimary students have been learning about the work and style of Yayoi Kusama and her iconic polka dots in the Obliteration Room. As you can read from this student’s language work spread out on her cloth mat, she wanted to process what she’d heard about this fascinating artist writing, “The Obliteration Room has lots of dots. The Obliteration Room is a room filled with dots. Yayoi Kusama is an artist. She is from Japan.” Below, you can learn more about the artist and see what the Obliteration Room looked like before visitors were invited to place colored …

Students study many aspects of African culture, geography and animal life

New School Montessori preprimary students have begun their study of Africa. They are making flags of various countries in the continent and are learning about some of the crops harvested there like plantains, passion fruit, mango, eggplant, sugar cane and papaya. Students have been learning about some of the ways babies are carried in other cultures and will even be balancing a few items in a basket on their heads. Various African habitats have been studied and children have practiced classifying animals by their habitat: rainforest, desert or grasslands.

Students get a hands-on experience to explore a pig’s heart

First, second and third grade students in Sophia and Jean’s class have been studying the circulatory system. Sophia brought in a pig’s heart from the butcher shop so that students could observe a heart that is very similar to their own. Students were thrilled to be able to touch and probe the various vessels and chambers of the heart. The large vessels were also quite impressive! Just as students had learned in class, they noticed that the upper chambers (atria) of the heart were smaller and not as muscular as the lower chambers (ventricles). Students understood that the heart’s ventricles …

Students learn about various properties of light

In physical science, 4th-6th grade students explored various demonstrations to learn how light is reflected or refracted as it hits objects. Students used a mirror to reverse an image, got to see how light reflects at the same angle that it goes in, and they even tried to make their own rainbow. Next week students will look at how light interacts when it passes through different lenses.    

Metric system comes to life as a mythical kingdom

One way to bring the metric system to life is to cast it in a mythical kingdom of kings, dragons, unicorns and other animals. Knowing that kings have dominion over the entire kingdom helps students remember that the prefix kilo is their highest prefix. Next to kings are humans (hecto), then dragons (deca), then unicorns (unit), dogs (deci), cats (centi) and finally mice (milli). These prefixes are used with units of meters, grams and liters and are all based on powers of 10. And of course in the kingdom of metric, powers of 10 are the most amazing and sensible …

Students made wildflower hearts

Students in Catherine and Gina’s (6-9) classroom are looking forward to spring by preparing a heartfelt wildflower seed project they’ll plant in the coming months. Students mixed wildflower seeds with water and pulverized paper, added red food coloring, and shaped this mixture into heart shapes using cookie cutters as molds. Once the seed paper hearts were dry (ish) they were sent home to sit on a windowsill or other safe place until the snows of February have abated, the winds of March have died down and the warm showers of April have fallen.  

Students learn about reptiles shedding their skin

New School Montessori preprimary students have been studying snakes and lizards. Fascinated by the way these animals shed their skin, students have enjoyed taking part in a molting work of their own.   First, students paint a thin layer of glue on a small patch of skin and feel the tightening as it dries. They then peel themselves free as they experience their own version of what it might be like to shed their skin.