Today went well, with one teeny tiny little setback: over the weekend, Miss D's two-year-old girl fell and broke her arm and will need surgery. Bummer. We're sad for our little friend and praying for her safety during the surgery and for her full and speedy recovery.
Miss D's absence means a couple of things. First, she and her four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter will not be with us for the next two weeks. Second, she had been leading Music on Tuesdays and PE on Wednesdays. Third, she had been managing the two-year-olds, including my daughter. Without Miss D and her kids here, my two-year-old not only has no "manager," but she also has no playmate. Fortunately for everyone, my husband was home today and took our daughter with him on some errands. That was a lifesaver, because my daughter is, well, TWO, and she wants to do everything everyone else is doing, yet she also does not want to cooperate. Does that make sense? He won't be here tomorrow, though, so Miss C is going to try to keep my daughter occupied while also managing her own one-year-old and the two infants. Miss K also said she could "float" between the two rooms when things get quiet on the Montessori side. Pray for us!
Miss K started today's Circle Time with the Pledge, the National Anthem, a good morning song, and a months of the year/days of the week song. She reviewed the calendar (today is _____, yesterday was _______, tomorrow will be _________). [I'm flying through this part, but she does a really great job with this, asking in turn, "Tomorrow is Tuh-tuh-Tuesday, can you find Tuh-tuh-Tuesday and put it on the calendar?"]
After she had reviewed the calendar, Miss K led the kids through this week's Circle Time theme, which is the United States of America. She showed the kids a globe, the US, the fifty states, where we live, states where relatives live, etc. She showed the kids the US flag, discussed its colors, and then read them a kids' version of the Pledge so they could get a feel for what the Pledge actually means: "I promise to respect the flag..."
Next it was time to begin Independent Work. My approach to Independent Work has not been so independent thus far. Here's how I've been going about things (I'd love to hear any opinions/comments on this system): Each day at the beginning of Independent Work, I've been introducing the kids to a new Sensorial activity as a group. For example, on Day 2 we did the pink tower, brown stair, and pink and brown tower extension as a group. Today we did Color Boxes 1, 2, 3, and 4 as a group (more on that in an upcoming post). It's been going well. The children work together SOOO nicely, sharing and taking turns. The younger kids stick around for the "basic" (for lack of a better term) part of the presentation before very naturally moving on to Practical Life activities, and then my 4-year-old daughter, who has had a year of Montessori, usually tries an extension. I think this is a good way to introduce the kids to the various activities in the classroom, and then they can come back to them whenever they wish. Thoughts?
After we did Color Boxes 1 - 3, my daughter tried an extension with Color Box 4 while Miss C's and Miss K's three-year-olds did Practical Life activities: cutting, sorting, tonging, spooning, etc. My four-year-old also worked on the Limited Bead Material, Miss K's daughter worked with the Wooden Cylinders again, and she and Miss C's son worked with the Ten Bead Stair and Hanger.
The kids had a nice work cycle today. My daughter started to get a little antsy, and I looked at my watch and was shocked to see that it was 11:00. I steered them toward their snack, which led nicely into their Enrichment activity. Monday is Arts & Crafts day, so Miss K had the kids make cards for Miss D's daughter, who will have surgery tomorrow :(. We actually forgot to close the day with a story from My ABC Bible Verses (this week we'll do letter B), so we'll introduce that tomorrow.
I didn't get a ton of pictures today, but here's quick glimpse into our classroom:
Ten Bead Stair and Hanger
Limited Bead Material