Category Archives: JV

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

JV and the little red pen

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We arrived at the USC Archaeology lab Monday a little early so we could begin putting THE pot together.  However there was one last step.  Josiah had to number each piece.  Yes, and three hours later we went back home.

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Filed under American History, Geography and World Studies, Going outs (Field Trips), JV, Students

Across the Ages

We’ve just begun the great lesson of the Coming of Man with the younger guys.  This impressionistic lesson calls the children to recognize the uniqueness of man.  It speaks about the great gifts that man brings to the whole earth.  The chart sets the stage for the next drama in the story of the unfolding of the universe.

It also calls to the child the attention to the tiny amount of time that we have written records.  The upper elementary children were much more interested in the transition in prehistoric to historic.  We wondered what the first words were – numbers, pictographic images.

 

We’ve spent some time now researching the skull development and progression as well as tool advancements.  Today we are going to put them on a timeline and see how they overlap.  Friday we’ll bring maps into the game.

 

Meanwhile there is tons of discussion about early man because JV is spending lots of time reading, writing, and working with archaeological materials.

Here are a few of his working shots:

JV washing a piece of "his" pot.

It is a lot of washing.

A piece of his pottery cleaned.

 

Other artifacts including petrified wood.

 

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Filed under "Coming of Man", BW, DW, Geography and World Studies, Geology, Going outs (Field Trips), JV, MMcC, Rock classification, Science, Students

Part 2 of our Field Trip

We stopped in Columbia on the way home to visit USC’s archaeology lab.  Here are some shots in the lab.  Josiah is working on an independent study project and I’m sworn to secrecy.

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Filed under AV, Geology, Going outs (Field Trips), JV, MMcC, Science, Students

Montessori and Botany – A Case

Rant to follow:

We’ve been looking at the Montessori Botany charts and the AMI Montessori Botany books and cards intently for about two months.  It was not an easy decision to do this because botany is not emphasized in any school that I have observed in nor was it encouraged in my training. BW will be entering a school next year where Botany will be set aside.

Consider the implications.

What is the most predominant color in your yard?  For most of us it is green.  Green from the chlorophyll in the plants.  It surrounds the child in his world every day.  Trees and bushes, flowers and veggies.  Grasses and weeds are all items that the child comes in contact with on a daily basis. (Or she should – that is another rant all together.)

What has a discernible life cycle that fits within the context of one year?

Plants do not require us to follow a multi-year pattern to observe the rhythms of life.  The buds come,  the leaves, the flowers, the fruit, the mature plant’s job is complete, it rests or dies.  We can communicate this rhythm easily even to the very young child.

It is small and great at the same time.

It requires a magnifying glass to look at the veins in the leaves and the stamens in the flower and the root hairs which nourish the whole plant.

It requires us to stand way back to measure how deep the roots go into the ground and how high into the air the plant grows.

It requires children to join hands to measure the girth of the tree.

It requires the most delicate touch to examine the parts of a seed and and the great strength to roll a log to see what uses the moist ground underneath as its home

It summons  the greatest of courage to climb into the tree’s limbs (and to come back down on their own) and the evokes the gift of nurturing as the tiny seeds push their way into this world.

It encourages personal responsibility for the food that the classroom may share and that enters our bodies.

Botany is wild and wonderful.  It is small and great.  It surrounds the child.  They must be given the chance to love their world and Botany is a whole giant slice that we are often overlooking to get to the animals.

As for us.  We began whole underwhelmed.  Now we measure our growing beans (which have just put forth fruit).  We’ve harvested our radishes.  We’ve cut open flowers.  Looked at symmetry. Measured the height of the Live Oak in the front and back yards.  Rubbed leaves.  Know about roots and types.  Eaten weeds from our yard -seriously really good. Worked up the courage to climb onto the shed roof to discuss how water moves through the plant.  And most importantly – we’ve become so much more attentive to the world in which we live.

Lessons:

  1. how to scientifically measure
  2. how to graph over time 
  3. how to use a scalpel
  4. parts of a plant cell
  5. parts of the flower
  6. parts of the roots
  7. parts of the stem
  8. vascular system of the plants
  9. nitrogen cycle
  10. periodic table symbols (more of them)
  11. shells of electrons (needed for ions and charged particles)
  12. how warm soil must be to grow veggies
  13. how to draw for science journals
  14. how to use secondary measurements and triangulation ratios to measure height of trees.
  15. how to harvest from nature
  16. hydroponics (and here)
  17. a few natural remedies for bites, bruises, and stings
  18. how water pressure works (and how it doesn’t)
  19. types of leaves
  20. types of leaf margins
  21. types of venation
  22. shapes of leaves
  23. parts of the leaf
  24. types of stems
  25. taxonomical divisions in plants – and why

All this and we are only on lesson 13 out of 26.

Previous thoughts on Botany here.

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Filed under AV, Botany, BW, DW, gardening, JV, MMcC, Practical Life - Elementary, Projects, Science, Students

More Picts. from Discovery Place

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Filed under AV, Going outs (Field Trips), JV, MMcC, Students

How Montessori Can Teens Be?

During our visit to Charlotte’s Discovery Place, the boys and MMcC found a quiet corner which housed an activity that was not being used by anyone else.  Here is what ensued.

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Filed under AV, Going outs (Field Trips), JV, MMcC, Students