Wow! What a wealth of excitement amongst the children and the parents this past month! Thank you to all of the parents who spent time in our Lower Elementary classroom observing your children hard at work and for your support with costumes as well as your patience during “play week.” What a glorious experience to be a part of and to witness all the children’s hard work and dedication coming to fruition to perform the annual Lower Elementary play! Alice in Wonderland proved to be an amazing performance by all and a thrill to watch. We witnessed so much growth over the school year from when the children first began learning their parts and practicing their lines, to rehearsing their roles on stage, then pulling together as a team prompting each other both backstage and onstage as a cohesive unit. The teamwork, camaraderie and pride really shone through when the curtain went up!
On the academic front, the children have been digging deeper into the mysteries of Ancient Egypt, The Fundamental Needs of Human Beings, our Earth as a Sphere, Tilt of the Axis, the Seasons, discovery of the Hand Timeline, Distributive Law of Multiplication - steps into abstraction, Lattice multiplication, and numerous facets of Geometry, to name just a few J
As the school year draws to a close, we reflect on all of the lessons the children have received and practiced, both individually and in collaboration with their peers. We must keep in mind, as Dr. Montessori wrote in Education and Peace, “The development of individuality and the participation of the individual in a truly social light are both necessary.” What we are learning is that in both principle and practice the Montessori approach allows for both developments. In the first plane of development (especially in the Primary classroom) the presentation and the materials are molded for individual children and individual work. The individual has the opportunity to develop in this first plane. It is only toward the end of the time in Primary that some of the work becomes small group work. That individual then enters the Elementary classroom and we take that individual and assist him in recognizing his place in a broader society. Dr. Montessori constantly reminded us that her method was to give aid to life – to assist the total development of the human personality and that means for each individual for whom we are working. We work with groups of children and the children work together in groups, but we never lose sight of the fact that each member in each group is an individual. Each is a unique human being. It is our obligation to help each of them as each continues individual construction.