Montessori Practical Life
One of the most important aspects of a Montessori classroom is the Practical Life area. It is in Practical Life that children learn the foundation for all the other areas of the classroom. While the activities may appear simple, they are highly purposeful and can be quite complicated with multiple steps. In Practical Life, children learn the basics of self care, care of the environment and activities that encompass every day living. Children also begin to understand the importance of manners through the Montessori “grace and courtesy” activities. Working with the Practical Life materials is where students learn principles that will remain with them throughout their three year cycle in a Montessori preschool and into elementary. They learn to use the correct pincer grip to strengthen their hand for holding a pencil. We also focus on working from left to right and top to bottom to prepare for reading and writing in kindergarten. The independence and pride that children feel upon completing tasks, in the Practical Life area, will ultimately lead to independence in the classroom, the community and beyond.
Mrs. Grider’s Class
The year has been pretty busy so far, and we are not even halfway through it. The fourth grade has the great pleasure of being the choir for church each week and our voices sound so beautiful. Thanks so much to our wonderful music teacher, Mrs. Hoelting. The Christmas program was December 1st and we all had a wonderful time singing and doing our part for the play.
Our class has been busy studying Texas by making salt maps that showed the different regions of Texas. Also, we made Texas mosaics that showed the many different tribes that have lived in our great state. During computer class, each student made a brochure on one of the Indian tribes of Texas with pictures.
The class is now studying Earth Science and each student got to make their own model volcano. After the models dried, we exploded them using vinegar and baking soda. We observed the process that occurs during a volcano. Next, we did rock sorts to see how rocks are different and similar. We drew the layers of our Earth and wrote information about each one. Also, we studied the three different types of rocks and began to identify some. We did an experiment forming crystals on pipe cleaners. It was exciting watching the crystals grow.
Our class has been reading many outstanding books along with listening to several classic books. We have written many fascinating stories and at the present time we are writing narrative stories.
Math class is fun because we are learning many new and exciting concepts like fractions, decimals, percent, and different types of standard and metric measurements.
In October, the class attended the play “Ramona Quimby” and thought the actors did a remarkable job. After the play, we got to eat at Ruby Tequila’s and show off our tremendous manners in public.
In December, we will be participating in Christmas Caroling for the Amarillo Center for Skilled Care and St. Mary’s Senior Citizens. Also, we were honored to make Christmas cards for the Veterans of Amarillo. These cards will be presented to the Veterans by Mrs. McDonald.
Prayer is Key at St. Mary's!
One of the great privileges in Catholic Schools is that we are able to talk about prayer. The students know that prayer is the most important part of our day. We can stop and say a prayer anytime as seen in the picture. We first Graders know that Jesus is always with us no matter what!