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Pond Updates and Highlights

February 2019 Highlights  

Lower Elementary - Pond and Garden

Lower elementary children are so much fun.  They are joyful and excited about everything!  Many of them are eager to earn your praise or encouragement as well.  This is something we try to be careful and conscious of in the classroom and as parents.   We choose our words carefully to help the children develop a growth mindset and self-motivation.   A growth mindset is a belief that intelligence or talent can be developed with effort, learning, and persistence.  Alternatively, a fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence or abilities are inherent, you are either born with them or you are not.  Art can be a good example of this. If you have a fixed mindset, you think that some people are artists and some people are not, but with a growth mindset you believe that by practice and effort you can gain skills.  

In the Pond classroom, we had a grace and courtesy lesson about this when we noticed children making comments like, “oh you’re better at ____ then me” or “I’m not good at _____.”  When we hear comments like this, we respond with, “do you mean to say that she is well practiced with _____?” or “Do you mean to say that you would like to practice ______ more?”

When a child brings something to show you.  You can try and make observations about what you notice.  “Wow, you are beaming right now, you must feel proud of your work!”  Instead of telling children that they are smart or talented, we can say, “you must be working hard.”  This helps children make the connection between their efforts and the way they feel when they are done.  

January 2019 Highlights  

In the elementary Montessori classroom, language is taught with the children’s developmental characteristics in mind.  We spark interest by activating their reasoning minds, we incorporate movement into their work, and we encourage collaboration between children.  

In the Pond classroom, children are exploring words.  They are making lists of compound words and inventing their own, they are adding suffixes to the roots of words and seeing how this changes the function of the word, they are moving to learn about verbs, and collecting pictures of different kinds of nouns.  

Grammar and word study takes up a large part of our physical classroom, but it is only one part of the language curriculum.  We also encourage children to have discussions, debates, or give oral presentations. Children also write and read everyday. They write stories, letters, plays, and research reports.  During our individual conferences, we have been looking at and choosing just right practice reading books. And everyday we enjoy read aloud together. Our current read aloud book is Matilda, a request 

December 2018 Highlights  

An important principal in Montessori education is fostering independence.  Everything, from our physical environment to our approach with lessons to the creation of classroom agreements, is a way to guide the children towards independence.  This relates very closely to our freedoms and responsibility. Children have the freedom to choose their work, to move around the room, and to communicate. With each of these freedoms comes responsibilities.  Children have responsibilities to themselves and their families, their classroom community, their school, and their greater society. I will end with a quote from Maria Montessori about this balance between the individual and the community and will also include some of the children’s writing about things they can do independently or their thoughts about independence.


“One can speak of a true community only when each member of the group feels

sufficiently free to be himself or herself, while simultaneously restricting his or her

own freedom for the sake of adjustment to the group. It is in seeking an optimal

solution to this tension between personal independence and dependence on the group

that the social being is formed. Too much individual freedom leads to chaos, too much

uniformity, imposed by adults, leads to impersonal conformity or to rebellion.”

-Mario Montessori, Education for Human Development


“My favorite work is the Wooden Hierarchy Material.” ~Evan 


“At a desk school, the teacher says you have to do all of this at this time and everyone does the same thing at the same time.  This is a Montessori school so we get to do different work at different times, we can choose our work, you don’t have to raise your hand to get what you need.”  ~Olive 


“I feel independent about writing and crocheting and yoga and finger knitting and coloring.” ~Aubrie

November 2018 Highlights  

Dear Pond parents and guardians,

The topic for this month is how the Pond community takes care of the classroom. At the end of each day, we do “jobs”. We have a jobs chart listing all the ways we can take care of our classroom. We have jobs like re-organizing the pencils, or tidying up the scrap bin. Every month, the jobs committee switches the people and puts them on different jobs.  There are also community jobs that the whole class does like floors or putting the chairs on the tables at the end of the day. At the end of each day, we count the pencils to see if we have the same amount, more, or less pencils as we did in the morning. When we are done with our jobs, we get our things and sit in collective. Our jobs are things that could use lots of care. This is why the Pond community has jobs.

By: Senetneb

October 2018 Highlights  

Hello Families,

I hope you are enjoying all the fall colors and staying dry in all of this rain.  With the changing seasons, I love to give lessons about what causes the seasons on our Earth.  In the Pond classroom, many children are working up to these lessons about the seasons. They have been learning about the movement of the Earth.  The Earth rotates and because of this there is day and night. The Earth also revolves around the Sun. It takes one year to complete one revolution.  We have been going into even more detail talking about how when a part of the Earth first turns into the light it is called dawn or sunrise, when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky it is called noon, and when it first turns into the shadows it is called sunset.  Some children have begun work with lines of latitude and longitude and the times zones. There has also been a lot of experiments with plants. Children are experimenting with the needs of plants, learning about the main function of the flower, stem, root, and fruit. With all this rain, it’s also a good time to remind everyone to have a change of clothes (it gets slippery out there).  I look forward to seeing all of you at conferences!



September 2018 Highlights  

Dear Families,

The Pond classroom is off to a lovely start for the 2018-2019 school year! Last week, we had the First Great Lesson.  There are five Great Lessons told at the beginning of the school year in Montessori elementary classrooms. This first story is the foundation for the elementary curriculum and sets the tone for children new to this environment.  It is the story of the Coming of the Universe and the formation of Earth. Elementary children love BIG work and BIG ideas! 

After this lesson, we follow on in lots of different ways.  Some children have been learning about the two movements of the Earth, others have been learning about the three states of matter, and yet others have learned about the layers of the Earth.  You might want to ask your child, “What would happen if the Earth didn’t rotate?” There has also been lots of polygon work, addition with Golden Beads, commutative law of multiplication with bead bars, grammar box work, and reading and writing.  The children have been very busy!  

One returning child said today, “I can’t believe it’s only the second week of school. It feels like we are already in the 7th!”  I have to agree with her. This is one thing I absolutely love about having children for three years; the children just pick up where they left off in the spring and it almost feels like they were never gone.   

I look forward to seeing all of you again at the first Parent Partnership event on September 24th.  We will be having discussions about your child’s age development and how we support the characteristics of elementary children in our classrooms.