Tuesday, December 13, 2016

STEM Activities for 2 1/2 Years to 12 Years

STEM Activities for 2 1/2 Years to 12 Years

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, an educational plan which encourages learning the scientific process. The concept behind STEM is to interest children in science and math earlier, motivating them to pursue these fields during secondary education.

Preschool: Basics of Math and Science

Babies are born with the scientific process at their disposal. They observe new things, formulate hypothesis, experiment, form theories based on the results, and share those results with their peers.
·        Sorting Shapes and Sizes - This exercise teaches important comparison techniques that will be useful in future STEM activities.
·        Observation Skills - Simple games like choosing the ball that is a different color, or the difference between cold/hot and wet/dry teach observation and comparison.
·        Patterns and Sets - Learning about capital and lowercase letters or even and odd numbers are simple games that teach pattern and set recognition skills.

Fun Science: Ages 4 to 6

Mathematics are fundamental to science and engineering. Simple experiments teach children complex arithmetic without making it look like math.
·        States of Matter - Water and rock are extremes of liquid and solid. Water is excellent for experimenting with converting from one state to another, from solid to gaseous.
·        Volume and Displacement - Using solids and liquids together, children learn that adding a solid to a container of liquid increases the volume in the container.
·        Edible Building Blocks - Building 2- and 3-dimensional shapes with marshmallows and toothpicks teaches engineering and geometry skills that are delicious when the lesson in complete.

Scientific Process: Ages 6 to 9

The world we live in is filled with opportunity to learn about science and chemistry. Household ingredients make excellent tools to instruct and inform children.
·        Basic Chemistry - Pour a bit of vinegar into a 2-liter bottle and a teaspoon of baking soda in the cap. Crush the bottle, screw the cap on quickly, and stand back as chemistry goes into action.
·        Observing Weather - Heating a small amount of water in a bottle creates condensation that can be used to explain why it rains.
·        Starving Flame - Covering a tea candle with a glass jar teaches about oxygen requirements and can be expanded to teach basic environmental lessons, including carbon buildup in the atmosphere.

Biology and Physical Sciences: Ages 9 to 12

·        Understanding Biomes - Learning how plants and animals interact to create a sustainable ecosystem helps children understand life cycles and extinction events.
·        Natural Energy - Natural energy is everywhere, from the sun heating a dark surface to an LED light powered by a lemon or potato, or the wind turning a pinwheel.
·        Weather Observations - Predicting the weather begins with observing cause and effect. Why it rains, the relation of air temperature to rain showers, and why seasons change are excellent learning opportunities.

When children can make things happen as they learn, the lessons will last a lifetime. Encourage experimentation, explaining why and how things work - from the science behind the difference between a screw and a nail to the reason heating changes ingredients into desserts.  Montessori education encourages students to explore and interact on their own.  Contact the Montessori School of Fremont today to learn how hands-on learning is integrated into the Montessori curriculum on a daily basis.
The Wonderful World of a Montessori Classroom

The Wonderful World of a Montessori Classroom

There is a special magic to Montessori classrooms, with this learning method offering some of the best options for curious children. The focus is on a more individualized approach that helps children learn by studying in a way that keeps their full attention. The teachers take a less disciplinary approach to students struggling with difficult subjects, encourage the students to help each other, and offer a less structured format.

Students Have More Control
An exciting feature for both kids and their parents is the fact that students self-regulate much of the classroom experience. One of the first things you'll notice is that the students don't have to sit at tables or desks in a prescribed location. Besides being able to work on lessons in flexible locations around the classroom, students are also given the chance to learn to cope with many common problems on their own.

Much of the Learning is Hands-On
The lessons in a Montessori classroom are more interactive than most other classrooms. This approach is considered an essential part of the learning experience, instead of just an option. One of the advantages is better engagement, so often lost in traditional learning. You'll find that the way the lessons are structured and the items used in the lessons will appeal to your child's natural curiosity.

Your Child Will Be a Better Decision-Maker
The Montessori philosophy is based, in part, around the idea that children with more leeway to make decisions make better ones. The students can make a lot of their own decisions about how they learn, within reason. Your child will know what their teacher expects of them, and make better decisions knowing those expectations. Students will learn special skills that will benefit them both inside and outside the classroom.

Their Education is in Good Hands
Many people who aren't familiar with Montessori schools aren't aware of how academically sound the curriculum is. For some learning styles, this method is superior to what they might learn in a public school setting. Some children thrive best academically when they are in a less structured class environment. Your child will learn everything that is essential to their academic success, in a way that engages them.

Contact the Montessori School of Flagstaff Westside Campus today for a tour of our school.  We invite parents and students to spend a day in our classrooms to learn about Monetssori education and the Montessori difference firsthand.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Reading Inspiration - Awe-inspiring Books for Kids

Reading Inspiration - Awe-inspiring Books for Kids

Inspiring awe and imagination helps kids of all ages develop. Start with books that encourage reading and learning and graduate to more thought-provoking titles.

Entertaining Infants and Toddlers

Early readers benefit from basic learning skills. Select books that cover a range of topics and interests, focusing on the things your children are drawn to.

·        Go, Dog, Go! By P.D. Eastman - The Book of Things That Go is an entertaining book about types of transport used by dogs going to a party.
·        Toes, Ears & Nose! By Marion Dane Bauer - Learning about the different parts of the body keeps tots entertained and helps with vocabulary skills.
·        C Is for Coco: A Little Chick's First Book of Letters By Sloan Tannen - This educational lift-the-flap book that is as much a game as a book.

Inspired Learning for Children

Exciting books are the key to inspiring grade school children. Books in a series allow your children to become familiar with characters and situations.

·        The Magic School Bus by Joanna Cole - This educational series mixes science and fiction on a variety of field trips from the human body to the solar system.
·        Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish and Herman Parish - Teach the importance of proper vocabulary with the misadventures of Amelia and her comical misunderstandings.
·        Who Was Books Series by various authors - These biographical books geared towards early readers inspires kids to learn about famous people.

Larger Worlds for Preteens

Preteens want to know more about the world and feel like they are part of something outside themselves. Books that teach social values and critical thinking are important in keeping them engaged.

·        Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White - Listed by Publisher’s Weekly as the best-selling children’s book of all time, this story is about friendship and teamwork among creatures on a farm.
·        Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - A fantasy series about a group of siblings who have powerful alter-egos in a magical world reached through an inconspicuous wardrobe.
·        The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew by various authors - Logic and attention to detail are the educational points of these complementary series targeted towards boys and girls, respectively.

Adventures for Teens

Teenagers often feel as though they are alone in the search to find themselves. Providing them with larger-than-life characters they can identify with helps teach self-esteem and social interaction.
  • Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling - Young Wizards learn valuable lessons on the road to maturity in this series of fantasy novels.
  • Divergent Series by Veronica Roth - In a dystopic future world, teens learn the dangers of a broken society and the value of working together to achieve larger-than-life goals.
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Another series set in a dystopic future, teens are selected by lottery to compete in life or death battles for a chance to rise to fame and fortune.

There are thousands of books for every age group. Focusing on the subjects and styles your children enjoy will inspire reading, learning, and positive development.  Contact the Montessori Childrens Center today to learn how reading is integrated into the Montessori classroom, allowing children to choose their own books and work at their own pace.
The Valued Difference in a Montessori Elementary Education

The Valued Difference in a Montessori Elementary Education

An elementary Montessori education is one of the most valuable assets that parents have access to for their children. Many are drawn to the less structured form of teaching that helps students fully engage in their lessons. Others appreciate the use of learning styles that have broader appeal among children that don't learn as effectively using traditional methods. A few of the advantages of Montessori-style education include happier children overall, better ability to tailor the lessons to the students' needs, and a calmer environment for learning.

A Whole Child-Focused Environment

Montessori schools take the entire student into account, focusing on their physical and emotional needs, as well as academic needs. One of the ways in which this concept is most obvious is in how teachers deal with bored or distracted students. Instead of taking a disciplinary approach, teachers help the students understand their task or direct them to a different one. There is also a certain degree of responsibility for maintaining the classroom.

Flexible Schedules and Structure

One of the many advantages of Montessori-style education is flexibility in students' daily schedules. Being able to use this flexibility is an example of a skill that will benefit students even after elementary school. Some examples of flexibility in this setting include:
  • Field trips that enrich the learning experience
  • Visits to local libraries for extra learning
  • Interacting with special visitors to the school

Individually-Paced Lessons

The lessons in a Montessori curriculum are largely tailored to individual students and designed to help them work at their own pace. Another one of the advantages is letting the students put extra focus on lessons that interest them if they wish. Ultimately, students will meet the goals for the curriculum while being able to do it in a way that works for them. Your child's curriculum plan will suit his or her needs as a learner more effectively than many other methods.

Increased Teamwork and Critical Thinking

Students will have plenty of chances to collaborate with each other, learning valuable teamwork in the process. Your child will have a great chance to develop necessary critical thinking skills. These skills will help prepare them for success later in life. By enrolling your child in a Montessori school, you're giving him or her a great chance of success.

Contact the Montessori School of Flagstaff Switzer Mesa Campus today to schedule a tour of our school to see and learn more about how Montessori education will be beneficial for your elementary aged child.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Foundational Lessons of Montessori Elementary Education

The Foundational Lessons of Montessori Elementary Education

Since the beginning of time, man has asked the question, "Why am I here?" The Montessori Elementary Education Principles use the naturally inquisitive nature of all humans to explore the universe, instilling a love of learning, and a respect for the earth and our fellow man.

The Foundation of Montessori Elementary Education is made up of Five Great Lessons. The Five Great Lessons help children develop an awareness that everything in the universe is both connected and interdependent; jointly creating a harmonious entity of which they are a part. The Five Great Lessons explore the connections and the role we as humans play and contribute to the whole picture.

Lesson One - Coming of the Universe and the Earth

The First Great Lesson covers many mainstream subjects including Astronomy, Meteorology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, and Geography. These lessons tell the story of the beginning of the universe, how the world was created, and how solid matter and water interact.

Lesson Two - Coming of Life

The Second Great Lesson incorporates Biology, Botany, Eco-systems, History, Animal Kingdoms, and Species Classifications. These lessons include a timeline of the universe and the earth including the development of microorganisms, plants, and animal life.

Lesson Three - Coming of Human Beings

The Third Great Lesson covers subjects ranging from Biology, History, and Culture to Social Studies, Science, and Religion. These lessons explain the beginning of civilization and how the developed mind of humans allowed them to adapt and utilize their surroundings.

Lesson Four - Communication in Signs

The Fourth Great Lesson introduces Reading, Writing, Language, Literature, and sentence structure. These lessons explore the creation and development of the written word from ancient alphabets and pictographs to the introduction of printing presses and modern day communication techniques.

Lesson Five - The Story of Numbers

The Fifth Great Lesson delves into Mathematics, Numbers, Geometry, Measurement, Graphs, and Statistics. These lessons look at the numerical systems of the earliest civilizations. They follow the advancement of mathematics and the roll it played in the development of every culture on earth.

Discussing the Five Great Lessons in practical terms along with everyday meaningful examples allows young minds to easily understand these concepts.

Contact the Montessori Childrens House today to take a tour and see first hand how the Foundational Lessons of the Montessori System can open up a new way of thinking and learning for your child.