Saturday, January 4, 2014

Montessori Mom's Year in Review!

The year 2013 has been a very exciting and busy year for us all.  January to March I was working full time while raising a very busy two year old boy.  He attended the school I work at and did very well in the toddler room.  It's a lot of fun to have him there.  
On April 19th our family was blessed with another boy named Nathan! He is absolutely a blessing and a joy to us all!  Life did not seem to change as much as people told me it would.  It was a tad more busy, but overall the transition of going from one to two babies (yes, I still feel like Noah is my baby) was pretty easy I think, thanks to Noah's personalty.  After our new baby was born, in the months leading up to summer vacation I continued to take Noah to school, but I did not stay with him and teach in the Casa room.  In Canada, the government gives you a year of maternity leave from work to stay home with the new baby, so I am not currently in the Montessori classroom. But I will return to school in April of this new year.
The summer was a fun filled time for our family and we did as much as we could with Noah, all while taking care of a new born.  We took Noah to St. Thomas, Ontario for him to ride his favourite train, Thomas the Tank Engine. It was a chance of a lifetime and he absolutely loved it!  Now if any of you have a small child who loves Thomas, "A Day Out With Thomas" (which is a travelling Thomas train exhibit that visits cities and towns across North America) is an amazing adventure to take the kids to.  They get to ride on an actual train that looks like Thomas, meet Sir Topham Hat, play with trains and just have a great time with everything Thomas.
We continued our summer spending time by the pool, going to the zoo, and visiting the African Lion Safari.  On a few trips, we left the little one to visit with family, and got everyone else together to do things with just Noah, which was really great.  I think that us spending time with just Noah helped him transition so well to having a baby brother around who shares our attention.  We explained to Noah in great detail that when his brother cries we have to attend to him almost right away because Nathan can't verbalize what he needs, and we have to figure it out so we can make him feel better.  I explained to Noah that it would be like us not feeding him his lunch when he was hungry or asking Noah how he would feel if he was hungry and we did not feed him.  It worked very well and from then on Noah was more patient and seemed to be more understanding having a new little one around.  
In September Noah turned 3 and started school in the Casa classroom where I teach (though as I mentioned, I'm still on maternity leave so he's with another teacher right now).  It was all new to him because he was not used to me leaving the school.  Before he just thought mommy was in the next classroom to his, now he sees me leave with his brother and go to my car.  He is doing so much better by not crying when I drop him off at school and leave.  The November timeline for normalization set in for him, and I am so proud of him and all that he has accomplished from Sept-Dec.  In that time he has learned all his sounds phonetically, he writes all his numbers 0-20 with out tracing, and he has started to sound out words. I must be honest, I do work with him a lot at home, but not because I force him to but because he asks me every day to do his sounds and numbers with him. He loves to learn!  We are all very proud of him.
My new baby boy is 8 months old now and growing like a weed.  He has five teeth already and long dark hair.  He loves to jump around in his exersaucer, I keep thinking one day he is just going to jump right out of it! :)  Soon he will be crawling and then the fun really begins!  As Nathan grows older I can't wait to see what his personality will be like.  Right now he is a funny, very giggly, cute little boy.  He loves to talk to us and I already see a connection between the two brothers.  I hope they don't gang up on me when they are older ;)
As I prepare for the new year and going back to work in just three months, I am excited to see what the year will bring for me, my husband, and our two precious little boys.  So I will end with wishing every one a very Happy New Year! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

My Big Boy's year in review of first year at school

As some of you are aware, I just gave birth to our second son in April (hence the absence from the blogging).  I want to dedicate this post to my eldest son's first year at school in the Toddler Room.  Going into school (age 2), Noah already knew (to me and my family) a lot of educational things.  He knew all his colours, how to count to ten and even how to spell his own name.  I would like to take credit for his learning, being a Montessori teacher and all, however, credit goes to spending the year before with his grandmother (my mom) and her best friend, who Noah calls, Nonna.
At school, I have noticed a big difference in Noah and how much more he knows and the kid amazes us all on a daily basis, good job Miss Mallory :)
Noah has learned to hold his pencil properly, gained tremendous independence, sings morning, noon and night, and he knows almost every animal there is to know.  We are all very proud of our little guy and can't wait to see him grow and develop next year in the Casa room. 
On an emotional level, school was very hard for Noah to adjust to.  I feel it is much more difficult (after seeing Noah go through it) for the child when your parent works there.  He knew I was there and did not understand why he couldn't see or be with his mommy.  Just as he got used to the idea of leaving mommy from her classroom and going to his own there was a holiday in which we had to break from school for two weeks.  This started the whole transition period for him all over again.  Then March break occurred, another two week setback, poor little guy.  Then of course mommy had his baby brother and would be dropping him off at his own room instead of staying with mommy in before care for an hour by ourselves.  But like the trooper he is, he has pulled through everything I have thrown at him :)
So to my big boy Noah (I'm not allowed to call him my baby because "I'm not a baby") I am so proud of you every day and can't believe how much you have learned and grown this year at school.  I love you "baby".

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My School Year in Review

This year has been particularly exciting for me, as it was my first year back from maternity leave with my little boy. It was great to get back into the swing of things and see some familiar faces in the classroom upon my return; I couldn’t believe how much my students have grown up while I was away. And as always, it’s a pleasure to meet new kids for the first time; because I just love teaching young minds and watching them accomplish so much throughout the year. I felt ready to go back to school in the Fall, but I admit I missed my baby like crazy!

From September to December things were pretty busy with getting to know my new students and reacquainting myself with my previous students. We also had a few eventful holidays to prepare for; I had forgotten how much fun Thanksgiving and Christmas activities are in the classroom!

Every year I choose different themes for each month, 10 in total, and this year was filled was some pretty exciting themes! We had a “Rainforest” theme in February where students learned about animals that live in the rainforest, the different layers that make up a rainforest, and where in the world rainforests grow. We even had a special day for the students to try different fruits from the rainforest, so I brought in exotic fruits from our local grocery store, and it was a huge hit, even the pickiest eaters in the class tried (and loved) the different fruits!

We also had a really fun “Hibernation” theme in January. The children learned about animals that hibernate and animals that migrate to warmer climates in the winter. For our special day this month, the children had to bring in, not just any stuffed toy, but a stuffed toy of an animal that either hibernates or migrates. And this was really fun for the kids as they got to tell me where the animal they chose hibernates, how it hibernates, and whether it is an animal that hibernates or migrates. The children always have so much fun with these special days.

Academically, my students did very well this year and were very busy working on various activities. The five year olds concentrated on phonograms, sentences, multiplication, and exchanging with the golden bead material, while my four year olds started sight words, reading from the readers, addition, and the golden bead material. My youngest students spent most of their time in the Sensorial, Culture, and Practical Life areas of the room, In Language and Math I worked with them on their sandpaper letters and numbers, and some students moved onto more concrete math and language materials.

Overall, I had a great year with my students and I look forward to seeing them in the fall. Next year will be easier on the emotions as my boy will be joining me at school for the first time, though he will be in the toddler Montessori room with another teacher. :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Spring Concert

Well , it's that time of year again: yesterday was our annual Spring Concert, and it was a huge success!

 This year's theme was "under the Sea" and we began practicing our singing for it back in March.  Keeping with our theme this we we sang: "When I was One," "Listen to the Water", "Yellow Submarine," "Octopus Garden", and we even included a play about the ever-so-popular story "Rainbow Fish."  Seven of my oldest students performed lines they memorized for the play and I must say they did an amazing job.

The first song performed was "When I Was One" and we had 6 different children act out the actions of the song by holding up their props.  Next we performed, " I Love to Row" where two little ones sat in our toy boat from the playground pretending to row around the stage.  The third song was "Listen to the Water" where we again had different children holding up props that were related to the song.  Following that we sang, "Yellow Submarine" with a giant painted submarine and had two children sit behind it with their heads poling through the submarine windows.  The older children then sang a section of  "Under the Sea".  The reason for singing only part of the song is because it would have been too long otherwise.  Then we had four of our four-year-olds gave their own little performance by reciting a poem that had to do with the sea, and in the finale for my class (we have a toddler and elementary class that were also a part of the concert) we did our very special play of the story "Rainbow Fish" where we sang "Octopus' Garden" in the middle of our performance.

Many long hours of preparation were put into our concert this year and I must admit I am extremely proud of all my wonderful students who pulled it all off with great success: :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Sorry everyone for being Missing In Action lately. School and family life have been keeping me extremely busy these past few months. But stay tuned because I have some new and exciting things happening in my classroom these days and months ahead.
We just finished two weeks of March Break and my students are ready and eager to get back to the routine.
A sneak peek for April: Our classroom theme is Bees.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January in Reivew

My classroom is buzzing with excitement after returning from the Christmas break. The children got right to work on their first day back and are settling in wonderfully; there are many new items on our shelves, which helped keep them busy for a while.
For the month of January we discussed Hibernation, very fitting of course for the winter season. We talked about what hibernation and migration are, and which animals hibernate over the winter. On a few special days the children were allowed to bring that were related to our hibernation theme. One day was "bring a bird to school day (non living of course)", they could bring in a picture, a toy bird or even a book about birds. Then last week we had "bring an animal that hibernates or migrates to school". Most of the children brought in bears, we had one snake and impressively enough a chipmunk. Both days were a huge hit.
This month we only did one craft: making a bear. I cut out a bear shape from white bristol board for each student, and then the children put glue on their entire bear. Next they decorated their bears by sprinkling, using a spoon, dried tea leaves over the glue they placed on. The bears turned out nice and the tea made them look like they really were covered in fur.
As always we were very busy moving along in our lessons too. I am so pleased with my four year olds and how much progress they have made since school started. Many of them are doing sight words, addition, and making 3 letter phonetic words using the movable alphabet.
January has been a great month and I am sure February is going to be even better!

February's theme is the Rainforest.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Wishes

I just wanted to take this time and wish everyone a very Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas from my family to yours :) I look forward to what is to come in my classroom in the new year!