From the classroom:
This term, earth science and the origins of our solar system have been major themes studied in Room 17. As one of our learning goals we peeked through “Windows of the Past” and were amazed at the facts we learned about the origins of our planet, as well as how scientists analysed the birth of life on our planet.
We studied three main time periods: the Paleozoic, the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic; from ~ 590 million years ago until the evolution of man, ~ 2 million years ago. We learned about vertebrates and invertebrates, plant life, extinctions that took place, continental evolution, glacial periods (ice ages), the rise and fall of the dinosaurs, reptiles and mammals.
We have also been studying earth’s layers and landforms, using models to demonstrate the internal structure of the earth, and earth surface processes. Find out more by visiting the room 17 blog here.
Upcoming meeting dates and events:
The next trust meeting will be held July 30th, then every second Saturday monthly until November inclusive.
Claudine will run a parents evening in the classroom for current, prospective and interested parents on the 17th of August. This event will be co-hosted by internationally recognised Montessori advisor Pam Shand. An invitation to this event will be sent out shortly.
Term four open day will be held on Saturday the 29th of October (the Saturday after Labour weekend). This will be an open class event, where prospective parents and students may see the current students working.
Independence — help me to help myself
By Nynke de Vries
“Montessori saw education as a means whereby children might develop their personalities so as to eventually achieve a mature and independent adulthood.” (Sheilds, 2014).
As Montessori parents we most likely first heard the phrase ‘help me to help myself’ at preschool. Here we learned to let our young ones dress themselves, feed themselves, and learn to clean up spills and breakages. We were encouraged to have our home set up so our little ones could reach their own clothes, tooth brush, pour a drink, make their toast etc., just like everything at preschool was designed for their size and to foster independence.
So what does independence look like at ages 6-12? Primary school aged children are able to take on more responsibilities, such as making dinner, doing dishes and laundry, and walking to the corner dairy to buy the milk. At this age children also learn the consequences of not doing something. This might mean being hungry at school, as a consequence of packing an insufficient lunch or leaving the lunchbox behind on the kitchen table. The primary school aged child is also driven by the need to be with peers. As parents we may be asked for seemingly endless play dates and sleepovers. Being with their friends allows our children to thrive. They are becoming “their own person.”
“The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self. The philosophical concept which underlies these successive conquests of independence is this: that man achieves his independence by making efforts. To be able to do a thing without any help from others: this is independence. If it exists, the child can progress rapidly; if it does not, his progress will be slow… Once independence has been reached, the adult who keeps helping becomes an obstacle.” (Montessori & Claremont, 1969).
Montessori, M., & Claremont, C. A. (1969). The absorbent mind. New York: Dell Pub. Co. Sheilds, J. (2014). “Help Me to Help Myself”: Independence and the Montessori Philosophy. Retrieved from http://montessoriguide.org/help-me-to-help-myself/
A word from WAMT…
Thank you to everyone who attended the Annual Community Meeting. It is always good to see the community coming together and it was great to have the opportunity to all chat through any important issues and goals in the community – as a trust it is important that we are serving the community well, and that we are always taking stock of what we are doing well, and what we could do better.
This term we also had our annual trustee elections. Until this election, we have never been in a situation where we had more nominees than available positions and after the voting process we arena pleased to welcome two new trustees, Christine Choi and Francis Joung, to WAMT. Another room 17 parent, Alec Lowe, has joined the School Board of Trustees. It is amazing to see the support and drive in this community.
This coming term we are continuing our work in building the future of the classroom:
- Actively marketing Montessori@Huapai within the wider Montessori community.
- Updating the classroom enrolment process.
- Launching a new website.
- Finalising our new fee structure.
- Developing events and opportunities for new, current and interested parents to learn more about Montessori (parent evenings, open days, observations).
In Term 3 Karen will be leaving the classroom to undertake her Montessori training in Italy. We wish her all the best and look forward to her return. Kevin and WAMT have been working hard to ensure that, whilst Karen is away, we have another great teacher, Samantha Carter, to support Claudine, beginning term three 2016.
Samantha is a youthful and creative teacher, and was a Montessori student herself. Samantha has met with the children and spent time in room 17. While yet to undergo AMI training, Samantha has worked at both Coast Montessori and Birkenhead Point Montessori, and studied Montessori pedagogy while at teachers college. Please join the trust in making Samantha feel welcome.