UE breaking news: Mayors, Unicorns, and Wax Museums, oh my!

It’s hopping in UE!

Seriously!

The grade 5 students did a little research on the Candidates for Mayor in Peterborough. We are having a student vote Monday to see who the student body chooses. Have YOU done your research? Do YOU know who you will vote for in your area? We take democracy seriously in UE.

Some of the committees we made are starting to accomplish things! Halloween potluck is for sure happening! Details to follow.

Another thing you may have heard about already is our UE Wax Museum, being held on the Tuesday before Halloween! We wanted a chance to dress up and this was a way to do it without freaking out the younger students with scary costumes. Come and see us and learn a thing or two about some famous people in history! Also, could you help us organize our costume/props for the day? Thanks!!

What? The ‘Unicorns’? Oh yeah! Thanks to Brennah, Sage, and Victoria for making and selling delicious Friday treats for us. In the shape of Unicorn cupcakes. Great fundraising eats!

UE Latest by UE Students: Thanksgiving and School: Same-Same?

(a collaborative blog by Noelle, Brennah, and Kristina)

Quick: what is the same about having Thanksgiving with your family, and being at school?

In our school there so many different ways of showing our skills! There’s math, spelling all that stuff but in UE you can also learn things that make a difference in the way you live your actual life at home. Thanksgiving to me is a hectic time of year but is also a great time of year!  At Kawartha Montessori we learn to help with real things like learning how to do things in the kitchen or taking care of younger people. On the special holidays, we like to do things that make it fun for us and easier for you parents too! We know what it means to be part of a group and not just take, take take!  We are also learning how to get along, and be givers and helpers, too.

Having Thanksgiving with all of your relatives and being at school with all of the people is very similar. As students we try our best to take care of each other and make sure everyone feels included just like a family. Just as we we are polite to our teachers we must treat all of our relatives with respect and be polite and talk to them even if at times it can be difficult. We take care of the Casa students and bring them in from recess. We also take care of our younger siblings and cousins at family events.  When you are really taking an active part in where you are, whether it is a family event or being at school, it makes the whole experience a lot more interesting for everyone, actually.

UE Update Sept 17-21: Would you let students run YOUR classroom?

a collaborative post by Kristina, Jenna, Brennah, and Noelle

What do you think?  Can students run a classroom?  …notice and discuss problems, and then come up with solutions?  …make their own rules?  …and do it in an organized way that respects and includes everyone’s opinion?  Sounds like a dream, right? Not here at KMS!

We all know our beloved pet snake, Elvis, but there has been talk in the class about getting a new pet friend. There’s also been talk about a Halloween spooktacular potluck! We have also been asking each other about Pizza Lunches.  You might be asking yourself, “Where are these ideas coming from, anyway?” Did you know, these things are largely thought up and organized by the students, with a bit of help from the teachers?  We run a democracy in UE most of the time. A democracy means rule by the people.  This is where the people can take part in the decisions that affect the way their community is run.  Sometimes the teachers have to make some of the decisions, but lots of the time, we can decide things for ourselves as a group.  If we practice making decisions now, then later on when we are older, and the decisions are really important, it won’t be such a new thing.  We will have had practice!  We use tools like voting, meetings and committees to make decisions.  Those are the same tools that adults use in their lives to decide things, so we might as well get good at them, now! Group work is hard, that’s for sure.  All sorts of things happen in committees.  If it’s an ‘everybody’ problem, it gets written on the agenda for the weekly meeting (on Friday morning).  If it’s something that only a few people are interested in doing, we make a committee, put up a sign-up sheet, and hold meetings.  We have to put the meeting on the class calendar, and then on the whiteboard at the start of the day, so that people know when the meeting is and can organized their day around it.  The committees meet and take notes, decide on actions, and give those jobs to people in the group.  Then we put the next meeting on the calendar.  Sometimes teachers come to these meetings, but mostly we do alright on our own.  Each week at the class meeting, the committees have a chance to report what they’ve been doing.   When we are the ones actually doing the work, it feels real and the students figure out how to problem solve and work together.

Photos from Red Pepper Jelly day!

UE Update – Sept 10-14: Assigned seats…whaaaat?

This week the students showed us that they are really heading in the right direction with planning and prioritizing their work, and accomplishing it.  A continued area of focus for the UE classroom is to give the students the tools they need to plan and do their work as independently as they can.  This includes being comfortable enough with many of their classmates so that they can ask questions, and get help from other students.  You may have heard from your child at home that they are assigned a new seat, a different one at the start of each morning work cycle.  At the beginning of the year, this has the important effect of loosening friend and seating habits from past years, and allowing the grade 4s, especially, to work alongside older students who can help them with their work and learning.  Nothing sticks quite like a lesson from student to student!  Teachers can help make and change seating from day to day depending on the needs they see in the class, and individual students.  Seating options in the room run from single tables to doubles, quadruples, and one large group table.

We also had our first classroom meeting.  It was quite an amazing thing, this year, to give control of the first meeting over to a capable grade 6 student, and watch problems get solved and discussions go so well, so respectfully.  A United Nations moment, to be sure!  If only all governments ran this well…

Part of our Wonderful Wednesday schedule in the mornings is a time to work with an Expert.  We are busy organizing some interesting experiences for the students this Term.  First week: Pickles!

UE update Sept 4-7: The Big Takeaway? Shop better with a list!

We have had a really great start to the year in UE!  Highlights of the week included hearing and writing about summer experiences, playing many inside and outside group team building games, and getting to know Elvis the snake, again.  We survived the record-breaking heat on Wednesday without melting into puddles…much.

Some initial assessments in spelling, reading, math, and writing helped the teachers to see what the students know, and what they might need to know.  This will help us to make our smaller teaching groups for next week.

Students have had thorough introductions (or reviews, for past students) of the Plan-Prioritize approach we use every morning to set work goals and accomplish them.  We set specific goals in subject areas (chunking assignments), think about how soon the deadline is for that work in order to set priorities, and mark tasks as ‘done’ as we go through the day.  This is all part of the critical planning and organizing tools we explicitly teach children in order to help them become more efficient, effective independent workers.  A possible connection to our parenting lives?  Written plans are pretty effective!  I think we can all agree that we usually shop better (we don’t miss anything, we don’t shop impulsively, we get what we came for) at the grocery store, if we have a plan and a list…

Sticky note, anyone?

Upper Elementary Drama Parent Teacher Interviews

I would be happy to meet with you to discuss the UE/MS Drama program and your child’s participation in it.
Our weekly Drama class is a unique opportunity for cooperative group work, and many insights occur.
If you would like to meet with me at KMS between 9:00am and 2:00pm, weekdays June 11th through 29th, please email me directly.
jplatana@kawarthamontessori.com
Thank you,
Janette

French UE Bake Sale

Bonjour,

On Friday, June 1st, the UE students will be hosting their annual Vente de Patisserie. The bake sale will be from 3:15-3:45 pm in the Specialist room and we are asking everyone to bring in their own containers for the baked goods they choose to purchase. The items will all be nut free and there will be ingredient lists for those with food allergies. We are asking for a minimum of .25 per baked item purchased. All of the proceeds go towards the UE year end trip. Thank you so much for your continued support.

Merci!

Jodi and the UE students