This year’s science fair was a spectacular showcase of innovation in experimental design. We had students that asked questions like “can you generate electricity from a plant?”, “are wetlands nature’s kidneys?” and “if you were to get in a bath with a hairdryer, which salt would conduct electricity the fastest?”. Quite simply, electrifying.
The Elementary class are inviting their parents to school on June 5th at 12.30 to view their botany portfolios and share a lunch they designed made up of all parts of the plant (roots, leaves, stems, flowers, fruit and seeds). Please rsvp.
Today the children who wrote submissions for the Young Voices contest co-sponsored by The West End Phoenix and Six Shooter Records presented them to Dave Bidini at the Gladstone Hotel. Dave reviewed them and gave them some writing tips. Next we met with Jalani Morgan, the Photo Editor at The Phoenix about getting the shot and creating a visually sensitive layout in collaboration with the editor, art director and graphic designer. All budding writers and their families are invited to come to the Gladstone on Monday, May 27th where the five winners will be announced.
Two of our Upper Elementary students used the cubing material to demonstrate the Fibonacci sequence to their younger classmates. As a lovely touch, they added objects from the nature museum in the classroom to describe how it is found in everything from the human ear to an ammonite fossil to floration in a sunflower head.
The cubing material is one of the last concrete materials used in Montessori. It is representative of a culmination of material that begins with the sensorial pink tower, translates through the colours of the decanomial and arrives in three dimension to explain larger concepts like the Table of Pythagoras.
On Wednesday, May 22nd, Upper Elementary students will meet with Dave Bidini at the West End Phoenix offices at The Gladstone Hotel to chat about the paper and hand in their submissions for the New Voices award co-sponsored by the paper and Six Shooter Records. Please make sure your submissions are at school by Tuesday, May 21st.
We are completing the botany series on functions, parts and adaptations of plants. Each week, an Upper Elementary child collaborates with Holly to present the material on leaf, stem, root, flower, fruit and seed. Today, our presentation on flowers coincided perfectly with Mother’s Day this coming Sunday. We used the flowers remaining from our dissections to create table top set ups of still life to paint. The results made lovely gifts to honour our mothers, who one child equated to the flower, which is the ovary/woman of the plant. How cosmic.
Today we welcomed Marina Dempster for a workshop on journalling in Upper Elementary. This is a part of a series of exercises that we hope will expand capacity for self-reflection and awareness. She used a variety of techniques, including blind contour drawing, poetry assemblage, collage and word association. The first few pages of the journals are just beautiful and we will continue with this work on a weekly basis. One of the exercises asked the children to seal a piece of paper that listed a dream they have for themselves in ten years’ time into an envelope. Then they were to write on another piece of paper a fear that they have which might stop them from reaching that goal. As a final exercise, we literally took those fears on scraps of paper outside and fired them in a metal canister. It was the perfect closure to a beautiful morning.
“Find out who your children are. Really get to know them and find out what their passions are, what they love, what they care about. If you find out what they care about, and then build curriculum to that, or around that, their love, their passion…will drive your curriculum.” Jon Hunter, Founder, World Peace Game
Thank you for opening your kitchens and your wallets yesterday to raise money for Kpedze Todze Basic School, in Ghana.
We raised $592 dollars which we’ll convert to US dollars for Links Across Borders to take to Headmaster Amoako to share with his school community. For those of you who don’t know, the money we raised last year funded:
-a complete elementary Montessori math apparatus (which we shipped in May and Holly went over in July to train them on)
-new sewing machines
-school activity fees for 24 children who would otherwise have been prevented from sitting their final exams
This year, the faculty at the school will decide how to use the money that we’ve raised and we’ll find out about it later. Meanwhile, Links Across Borders will pick up our book donations, penpal letters and the cash at midday on Monday.
Addendum: This morning in Elementary, I presented my slides and stories from my trip to Ghana last summer. Then we cracked open letters the students sent back with me. Orchard children wrote return letters about their school life and interests outside of school. Some wanted to include small tokens in their letters, which is possible, but only if they arrive early Monday morning to get them into the envelopes before they are picked up.