God With No Hands Projects – Revisited

Chart 1 showing the size relationship between the Earth and the Sun.

One of the ways children show me how they are processing the impressionistic lesson of the formation of the Universe is by how they are interpreting the posters in our room which are used during the presentation.

First, the most immature child processes this wonderful impressionistic story very literally.  I find this is often a young first year child.  This vision is not wrong for where the child is developmentally.  I know the child will see it from a different facet as he is older.

The second and third year child (and often the first year upper child) is wanting to show what he believes really happened at that moment on the Earth. His drawings are more “photo realistic.”

Volcanos spewing smoke. The sun hides herself behind a veil of ashy clouds.

For the older Upper Elementary child,  the interpretation is often back to the impression of the work.  He understands the work and many of the concepts literally and is now ready to put his individual stamp on Dr. Montessori’s work.

AV and JV had become interested in creating their own God With No Hands cards.

Well not cards in the case of AV.  AV wants to quilt the felt to make a soft poster.

JV has been focused on a minimalist approach. JV is using cut paper. Elegant.

I find the child’s vision is very helpful for discussions of other Montessori lessons.  It provides a window into the child’s thoughts, understandings, and tendencies.

I have observed some Montessori classes shading photo copies of the charts as line art sheets and making a book.  I would find this difficult for me as a directress, because the meeting of the child with the story is personal and provides such a window into her soul.  I wouldn’t want to miss those clues.

Our actual lesson and my charts are here.  The core text is here.

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Filed under Art, AV, Geography and World Studies, God With No Hands, JV, Montessori

Process

BW working out the laws of division. “Mhhhhh. I wonder if there is a way that you can know if this really giant number is divisible by four without having to divide it alllll the way out?”

Just a reminder to myself:  

The process defines who we are.  It isn’t the product that defines.  It is the journey that guides us and allows us to guide others.  It is the way we approach the difficult, the impossible, the unknown that determines who we are in the end and what we understand once we have reached the product.

How we approach the weak, the needy, the hopeless shows the depth of the understanding of ourselves and our own poverty of soul.  It is not the giving of charity as a product but rather the recognition of the deepest needs in ourselves and overcoming those needs to aid another person in their pilgrimage through this mortal plane. When it is in “pardoning that we are pardoned” then we are aware of the importance of the work.  This is process.

How we sit with the suffering in silence; how we laugh when laughing is easy; how we find hope in the time when laughter is impossible;  these are process.  This is what matters.

What my hand, mind, mouth, soul makes is not as important as the process by which it is envisioned, spoken, pursued, constructed, and loved.

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Filed under BW, Educational Philosophy, Mathematics, Montessori, Moral Compas, Operations, Practical Life - Elementary, Students

DW – creative writing – How to Eat Your Tongue

We were discussing eating your words as a idiom.  Then the kids got a little silly – so did the adults – and this creative writing ensued:

Eating your tongue is a very interesting process.  It’s important that you know that once you have eaten your tongue, you can not have a tongue again.  If I ever ate my tongue, I would eat it on my dying day.  Yes, I have never eaten my tongue.  My friend did, and graciously wrote down how to do it, and now I’m going to tell you how to do it.  Eating your tongue is painful, once you have eaten it you can’t talk, taste, or anything else you tongue does.  Although you forget all of this once you taste it, nose taste.

First you take a knife and cut off your tongue, make sure you have plenty of bandages for this step.  Cut it up and use it as the meat in a favorite food dish, or cut it up and eat it plain.  Apparently both are tasty, so pick what you heart most desires.  When you are eating it, try not to think about the fact that it is your own tongue.  This dish is better than a good steak, and since you have had all that good food it adds to the flavor.  They say you are what you eat, it is totally true.  Because your tongue has the slightest flavor of everything you have eaten.

I hope wherever you decide to eat your tongue, take heed of my warnings and tips.  But it does have a good flavor.  Writing this has inspired me to eat my tongue.  I’m sure just the tip of my tongue won’t hurt, right. Oh, Oh, Oh it’s so good.  Just a little bit more. That won’t hurt. Right? Mm, M mmmm mm mmm m mmm mmmm! ( Oh, I knew it was a bad Idea!)

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Filed under 15 minute writing, DW, English Language, Students

DW’s Compare and Contrast European Paleolithic Cultures

There are many different types of hominoids. The one with the most complex life-style is Homo Sapien. Homo Sapien is divided into smaller people groups: Aurignacian, Gravettian, Solutrean, and Magdalenian. All of these people groups lived in Europe and some lived in Asia, and they  all lived when mammoths were on the Earth.  They lived during the last global maximum which was below 15 degrees celsius.

Aurignacians lived in southern Europe and Asia. They lived during a period where the Earth was entering an ice age. Aurignacians used stone, antler, and bone to make their tools. They had spears, knives, scrapers, and invented the bow and arrow. They ate fish, large game, and a variety of plants. They lived in caves. They were not nomadic. They did not bury their dead which leads us to think they did not have a religion. They had simple, artless drawings which backs up the theory that they had a religion. So, if they had religion or not, that remains a mystery.

Magdalenians lived along the western coast of Europe from what is now Portugal to Poland. They lived in a period when the Earth was coming out of the ice age, although it was still cold. They used mostly bone and antler to make their tools, though they still used stone in small amounts. They made very complex tools like harpoons and weapons made for only one type of animal, though they still are using simple tools, too. They ate: herd animals, plants, and seafood. They lived in mobile homes that they carried with them. They buried their dead, leaving the dead with food, clothes, and burial rituals. They had cave art and sculpture; all of these things lead us to know that they had religion.

Both Aurignacians and Magdalenians were Homo Sapiens. They both lived before humans were recording things. They lived in Europe and hunted big game. During very cold temperatures, both cultures expressed themselves in art. Unlike later cultures, neither farmed nor raised animals. They both lived during a period called Upper Paleolithic and were stone age peoples.

Although they are very similar, they were very different. Magdalenians buried their dead and had a religion, while Aurignacians more than likely did not have a religion. They lived in different locations in Europe. Magdalenians used mostly bone for tools and weapons and had harpoons and snares, while Aurignacians used simple tools, like the bow and arrow.

Although Magdalenian died out about 9,000 years ago we still continue the generations of Homo Sapiens. Even though Aurignacian and Magdalenian had complex tools for their time, we have even more complex tools, like computers. No matter how complex our tools get, we owe some credit to them.

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Filed under "Coming of Man", DW, English Language, European History, Geography and World Studies, Students, Writing

MMcC and DW – Taxonomy

MMcC had an assignment to look at the taxonomy of various creatures.  She and DW set to the task.  It was far tricker than they thought it would be.  Here is their result.

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Filed under Biology, DW, MMcC, Science

Migration and geo-political spaces

We’ve been discussing the migration patterns of our Upper Paleolithic people groups – what drives migration, the different types of migration, and migration’s effect on cultures.  Although this is much more modern,  it has helped in the discussion of how for us right now the geo-political boundaries are very firm.  That hasn’t always been the case in other contents.

Map of Europe: 1000AD to present

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Filed under European History, Geography and World Studies

BW – writing at third year

BW began researching three of the four European Upper Neolithic groups.  He even began by writing a rough draft of each paragraph.  His dedication didn’t make it through the whole project.  Bu, he showed us that his writing has come so far and he is approaching the third year’s expectations.

To be working at a third year level means that the child has moved from just being able to make lists of items into outline form (first year), through the process of writing simple sentences into paragraph form (second year), and into writing multiple paragraphs based on a theme.  I also would hope for a bit of a conclusion at the end of the paper.

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Filed under "Coming of Man", BW, European History, Geography and World Studies, Letter Work, Students