This week teachers all shared "Practical Life"
lessons with each other.
In Upper-Elementary, cleaning and taking care of
the whole environment includes so many activities that connect to
their early childhood days and Lower-El days. We also volunteer at Northwood
memory and assisted living center on Day Rd.
Some examples of practical life in the classroom are using a planner, recycling, cleaning tables, dusting, plant care, trash removal and gardening.
The annual UE field trip to Camp Eberhart on Corey Lake was a huge
success. This year activities included were canoeing, lake communities,
archery, rock climbing, tie dye, and of course beach time! More pictures
and information will be shared at our assembly this month. Archery was the
Clearly, these five stories encompass an enormous amount of
information about the origins of the world around us. When each story is
shared, it should never be left alone - there should always be further study
open to the children so that the story becomes the springboard but not the
focus. The stories can be referred to throughout the year when new topics are
introduced, as a way of providing unity and cohesion to such a wide variety of
The best source of further information on the Great Lessons can
be found at The
Montessori Great Lessons Page, created and run by
Barbara Dubinsky. There you'll find detailed lesson plans for each Great
Lesson, as well as background information and classroom activities. This site
uses slightly different terminology for the names of the Great Lessons than I
have used (there's some variety within the Montessori method), but the concepts
remain the same.
The last of the lessons is the Fifth Great Lesson: The Story of
Numbers, also called the History of Mathematics. This lesson begins with the
earliest civilizations, who often only had "one", "two",
and "more than two" as their numeric system. It continues with a look
at different numbering systems throughout the centuries, culminating in the
decimal system that we use today.
The Fourth Great Lesson is the Story of Writing, sometimes
called Communication in Signs. In this lesson, the story of the development of
the written alphabet is told, with an emphasis on the incredible ability that
humans have of committing their thoughts to paper. Included in the story are
pictographs, symbols, hieroglyphs, early alphabets, and the invention of the
printing press. (See photo: ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics)
This lesson leads to the study of:
Reading: literature, poetry, non-fiction, myths and folk tales,
authors, reading comprehension, reading analysis, literary terms
Writing: elements of style, function, voice, composition, letter
writing, research, study skills
Language: origins of spoken language, foreign languages, history
of languages, speech, drama
Structure: alphabets, bookmaking, grammar, punctuation, sentence
analysis, word study, figures of speech