Friday, April 26, 2013

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Becoming Thirteen

Daniel Cleary Born April 25th, 2000 
 Today's post is special. Today,  my first baby is turning 13.  It feels like so many emotions I am not sure I can entirely put it all into words.  I have decided to share some very personal pitcures today of this amazing boy.  It is my way of honouring this big milestone for him and me.
1st Bithday
The following is a conversation I had with Daniel last night.  More like an interview and it really speaks to who he is.

Michelle:  What do you remember about Montessori?

Daniel:  That someone brought a coconut in and you tried to break it open with a hammer and couldn't!
I also remember working with the red rods and pink tower a lot.

Michelle:  What is your life ambition?

Daniel:  I want to have a studio or production company that helps promote young people in the music industry.  

Michelle:  Why?

Daniel:  I really love music and I know it's really hard to break into the music business.  I want to promote young local talent.  

Michelle:  What are you hobbies?

Daniel:  I love hockey, violin, djing, snowboarding.

Favourite Violin Pieces: Aggressive and powerful pieces like Knight Rupert. Music especially from composers like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  

Michelle:  What are you playing right now on your violin?

Daniel:  Bohemian Rhapsody, Amadeus!, Animal, Knight Rupert

Favourite color: Blue

Favourite Food: All seafood especially seafood chowder

Favourite Number: 1It's my Jersey Number
Book reading right now:  Wildwood and Beginners Guide to C++

Favourite Quote:   The loneliest people are the kindest, the saddest  people smile the brightest, and the most damaged people are the wisest.  ~dr. Who 

Michelle:  What's cool about 13?

Daniel:  Your only 13 once.  It's nice to have some freedom and be carefree.

14 months Puppet Boy

Lady Bug Boy

Family Year 1

Cold Masked Man

The Look

2nd Halloween

snow fun during White Jaun

Working at Maple Tree

Listening Centre

Three is so sweet

Three year Birthday Circle
Four is Fun
Five year Birthday Circle
You go through this life and you work hard and you try to make all the right choices with your children.  Shawn and I have gone toe to toe over many things.  What's to much?  How much freedom do we give this young man?  Will he be kind and gentle and responsible?  Will he make good choices?
Harry Potter Seven Year Birthday

My favourite. Phineous Trout in School Musical Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Daniel is an amazing young man.  I am proud to be his Mom.  He is a great kid.  And we (his parents) did ok!
Thirteen, So Sure, So Cool
Happy birthday Daniel I Love You!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mother Earth is Calling

 On Monday I spent my morning at Cork Street with the children cleaning up our front Garden.  I can't think of a better way to spend my time on Earth Day.

We raked and bagged old leaves and then the push brooms came out and mulch.  I can't remember where I got these brooms.  I want to say Montessori Services but it may have very well been Kent.  We would have cut down the handles to make them child size.  Such great work and these boys swept with such purpose!  I told them they could go out and sweep the sidewalk when ever they felt it needed sweeping as long as a teacher was present.

 Mittens came off for mulching and there was a general excitement in the air to be working out side in the sunshine.
We will be adding some vegetable plants to this garden space and sunflowers.  it will no longer be a space for strollers and little bicycles to be parked.  You children will be reminding you of that when you bike to school.

Maple Tree Garden at Cork Street

Our Earth Day Sun Catcher Project at the Art Table

Friday, April 19, 2013

This Week at Cork Street

 Beautiful, Blindfolded Binomial Cube.

I have had the pleasure of being at Cork Street this week to work with the children and it has been a lot of fun for me.

For the first time I watched a few children do the Binomial and Trinomial Cubes Blindfolded.  There is such excitement in the air when the blindfold comes out.  I especially love the focus in which the children give to this work.  The extra challenge of not being able to see their work but trusting their sense of touch instead is amazing.  Simply Lovely!

Fine Motor Work

Spindle Box Work

Cosy Corner

Clothes Peg Work

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ahoy There!

 I love watching the children draw. "L" spent over an hour working on
his cross section of a pirate ship.  He included many details.

Here is a close of the flag.  Notice the skull and cross bones.  We
talked about how this flag is called the Jolly Rodger.
 Here is where the pirates eat.  "L" thought it was funny that its
called the "Poop Deck"
Here "L" is drawing Captain Hook".
~Posted by: Ms. Melanie

Friday, April 12, 2013

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Feeling Empowered

"Help me to do it alone." ~M. Montessori
 Nothing gives me a greater sense of satisfaction than when I teach a child how to do something new.  Especially, when that child thinks there is boy work and girl work and, that doesn't happen very often in a montessori environment.   

A montessori environment is designed and created with each and every child in mind.  There is no gender specific work in a montessori classroom and children need to know they can do anything.  It goes the same way with colour.  We have been saying, "boys can where pink and purple too!"

 "Education ~ is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment."
~Maria Montessori

An so it is that we "create" these opportunities or spaces to work in so that the child can experience and know that he or she can do anything!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Signs of Spring

Quince Branches
 It has been a long winter.  I have never been happier to see one come to an end as I am this winter.  I am not a happy girl when I am cold and it was cold this winter.  I am loving the way the air is changing and the children seem to need less to get out the door each day.  The trees are getting ready to burst open with leaves and then flowers.

Right now we are enjoying that experience in both classrooms as we force some forsythia and quince.  I am looking for some magnolia as my source for it the last two years has dried up and my friends have moved and no longer own that magnolia tree I have so lovingly nipped from in the past.

Do you think I will get into trouble if I take my pruners into Point Pleasant Park?  Hmmmmmm

 More about clouds.  We set up an experiment to show the children how a cloud absorbs water and releases the rain or rains.  In these pictures you can see the children using a fluffed out cotton ball that they are adding tiny drops of water to.  Eventually when the cotton ball gets too full of water it starts to rain.  The children have really enjoyed this exercise and we have found it to be very soothing.  Some children have been very engrossed with this particular work.  Who says rain isn't fun?  It has also open up lots of conversation about the life cycle of water.

Transferring clouds with tongs

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's Cloudy

cumulus Clouds
 I have April Showers on my mind and with that Clouds and blue, grey skies.  We've been making clouds and taking about clouds and experimenting on how clouds fill up with water and rain.

I am completely in love with this latest art project.  I had no idea you could do so much with shaving cream!

From a sensory experience, this was brilliant for our children.  It was calming and thought provoking.  We watched as many children explored with their hands and minds.  Maria Montessori says, "Hand is the extension of mans intelligence".  I couldn't agree more.  Hand and mind were definitely connected on this project and the results are stunning.
 So, if you are interested in doing some sculpting at home you will need to make some special shaving cream.

2 Cups of Shaving Cream
1/2 Cup of Elmers white glue (non toxic)
Food colouring of your choice.
Mix it all together and let you children get creative.  It will dry very well and will look amazing.
Cirrus Clouds
 We are going to do much more with shaving cream.  My head is spinning with ideas as I write this.

Speaking of all of this, I got the idea from the The Artful Parent.  
Jean Van't Hul is an artist, blogger and parent and she writes about art for children and parents.  I have just recently purchased her latest art books.  She is very inspiring and shares some brilliant ideas about art for children.

Nimbostratus Clouds

Stratus Clouds