Monday, February 27, 2012

Parenting a Strong Willed Child

I couldn't have said this better.

Stop Stealing Dreams


Please go to this site and read his Manifesto.  It will open your eyes to education, what schools were designed to do, what they actually do, and what they can do if we make better choices.

Montessori schools are an excellent choice for to educate your children.  Please leave a comment and let everyone know of a teacher who reached you in spite of the system.

Go to the website and read. It will open your eyes.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


We will be studying Dr. Seuss's The Lorax in class this week.  This is one of my very favorite books, ever since it came out in 1971.  I am very excited to share this book with the students in my class.

Pinned Image
There are many discussion questions and topics that can arise from a literature study of this book.

We will cover the following points with the students:

  • Students will create ads for a Thneed, the product the Once-ler creates from the Truffula Trees.
  • We will learn about truth in advertising. 
  •  Compare and contrast want vs. need. 
  •  Learn about how to be a judicious consumer and not be swayed by commercials and advertising.

  • We will do experiments that help us see how the actions of a small number of people can effect the whole population. 
  • By just adding one drop of food coloring to a glass of water, every molecule of water changes color.
  • We will with hold water and light from a plant and observe the effect it has.
  • We will role play different animals in a food chain to see how it works. 
  •  We will add and subtract players to see how it effects the population of other animals.
  • We will discuss reasons trees may need to be cut down.
  • We will brainstorm ways to cut down trees and still be responsible.
  • We will list ways students can be invironmentally responsible in their own lives.
  • Students will create power points showing what greed can do and how to bring balance back to their choice of situation.
6.  UNLESS...
  • We will plant a tree at school and promise to take care of it.
  • We will discuss leaving a legacy.
  • We will look at ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
It promises to be an interesting, busy week full of discovery and environmental awareness.  I can't wait.

I have been reading opinion pieces about how "political" this book and this movie are.  Some parents and politicians are making this about extremism.  I think this book and movie are more about teaching children to be environmentally responsible.  That is common sense, don't we want future generations to have a healthy planet?  It is my opinion that turning everything into fodder for politicians, such as The Lorax, The Girl Scouts, and scientific evidence of evolution and climate change, is unfair to children.  Unless voters take the initiative to remove these types of politicians from office, free speech will be the next thing to goNo one will be allowed privacy or the right to make an informed choice for themselves and for their children.  So whereas the children will learn environmental responsibility from this book and our lessons, I hope the adults will learn something too.  I hope that the greed of the Once-ler and it's consequences remind people that greed is not good.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cinnamon Escargot

Here is a fun recipe to try with your children.

Cinnamon Escargot recipe

4 slices soft texture whole wheat or white bread, crusts trimmed
1/4 cup softened cream cheese or peanut butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter

Spread 1 tablespoon cream cheese or peanut butter on each slice of bread. Roll up bread slices with cream cheese on the inside. Cut each roll into thirds.

Stir together sugar and cinnamon until well mixed. Brush each cut roll with melted butter, then sprinkle with the sugar/ cinnamon mixture. Do not dip the ends of the rolls. Place rolls, seam side down, on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 12 minutes, or until light brown and crisp. Serve warm or cool.

Makes 12

I thought I would like the peanut butter ones the best, but I ended up liking the cream cheese more!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Cross Post from Montessori Print Shop

Basic Ground Rules In A Montessori Environment

Ground rules are an important part of any environment, especially a Montessori environment that offers such freedom (of movement and choice) to the children. Ground rules help to maintain a safe environment that encourages and values self-control, and responsibility for self and others.

Usually the ground rules are discussed with the children within the first few days of their introduction to the Montessori environment so that the children have a clear understanding of what is acceptable.

Quite often the children will inform one another if their behavior or actions are inappropriate or unacceptable. Encouraging the children to guide each other respectfully will go a long way in building a strong community.

But, there are times when the adult must step in and intervene. The question is when should the adult step in? Think of the 3 D's:
  1. Is the action dangerous to the child or others?
  2. Is the action disturbing the work of others?
  3. Is the action destructive to the materials or the environment?
If one or more of the 3 D's applies to the situation, then immediate adult intervention is required. It is important to be consistent both with intervention and with the consequences of the behavior or action.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Handy Hearts for Valentines Day

Here is an easy and fun Valentine craft.

Place some red (or any color) paint on a paper plate.
Keeping your fingers closed put your hand flat onto the paing.
Then place your palm flat in a diagonal direction on your paper.
Wash your hand, repeat with the second hand on the other diagonal crossing the fingertips.

Add a note such as
Your heart is in my hands!
This is a handy Valentine.
I am handing you my heart.
And have a happy Valentines Day