Dr. Montessori realized that there is a great benefit to “educating the senses” as a means for making the child’s senses more usable.  Through her explorations she concluded that the sensorial exercises are the child’s sensory link to the outside world.  The 5 senses are receptors for information and the child uses their senses to absorb qualities of everything around them in their environment. The sensorial materials allow the child to absorb the abstract qualities of everything through his senses.     

Characteristics of the Sensorial Materials: 

  • The isolation of quality is designed this way so that the child focuses his mind on that particular quality that is isolated.  For example, the Pink Tower has an isolated quality of size only as every cube of the tower is pink.
  •  Every activity in the sensorial area offers the child the ability to manipulate it and is able to work with his hands. This helps to focus on a particular isolated attribute and through this manipulation the child can make comparisons and studies of the qualities. 
  • Materialized abstractions are the qualities that our senses are taking in that do not exist by themselves. For example, the tasting bottles are neutral because they all look the same.  They are “tastes” that are all contained in the same looking container.  The abstract quality has been materialized in a way that the child focuses all the attention on that particular quality: sweet, salty, bitter or sour.   There is no food item to deter his other senses.
  • The control of error is built into the material to indicate to the child if he is on the right track or not. For example, the cylinder blocks will all only fit into their correct spots if the work is done correctly.  This allows the child to be independent in correction as he goes along, making it much more gratifying than having an adult correct him. 
  • Each sensorial material is scientifically precise and has been designed with mathematical precision. An example of this can be shown as each of the Red Rods increases by 10 cm.  This adds a bit of mathematical absorption through manipulation. 
  • All of the sensorial materials are attractive, beautiful and inviting and they are limited in number to encourage a 3-step work cycle.

            There are 5 key purposes for the sensorial materials.  The classifications of impressions leads to intelligent explorations and the child can explore things and attach conceptual things to what he’s learning.  The recall of precise qualities ensures that the child is taking in something that through the senses that reminds them of something else.  These materials cause the mind to be orderly.  By doing this, the child has greater clarity of thought, a more refined observation, and a tendency for precision, which is important for later work.  The development of an aesthetic sense supports the child in developing an eye for harmony in the world around him albeit visual, physical, or acoustic harmony. In order to see harmony our senses have to be very keen to be able to develop a sense of beauty and artistic creativity.  This supports the child’s ability to move from a concrete understanding to an abstract understanding.   The sensorial materials are also an indirect preparation for future learning in such disciplines as mathematics, botany, zoology and geology. 

Art in the Montessori Children's House 

            Art is a form of personal expression in the Montessori Children’s House.  Creativity allows us to express what’s in our mind in different formats.  We have visual, music, words and drama as different types of art.  Art should be present in the whole environment.  There should not be a designated classroom for art where everyone is doing art together.   We want to maintain a level of aesthetic beauty in the classroom by hanging artwork all around the environment at the child’s level.  In the reading corner we want quality books with nice illustrations that are grounded in reality.

            There are many reasons why it is important to offer art in the Children’s House.   By doing this we offer the child an opportunity to express something in a creative ways.  Their control of movement results from proper technique and quite often leads to intense concentration.  Art helps lead the child to refine his observations.  When children get a little older, engaging in art helps them to observe better.  They are able to take his abstract knowledge and make it into something concrete.  Art expression is a direct reflection of the child and art is the communication of his personal feelings and thoughts.

 
 

Peek Inside: 

Bobcat

Dear Bobcat families~

Yay! Fall is finally here and we get to spend more time outside.  Our pumpkin plant has numerous blossoms on it and we are anxiously awaiting the next stage, the green pumpkin.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that it delivers.  We were so lucky to already harvest five eggplants this month and we planted some marigolds as well.

This has been a very exciting and busy month with parent observations and celebrations.  It's been so wonderful to have all of you parents in our environment to see where all the magic happens.  All of the children were just so super excited to show off their classroom and to be able to show their serving skills.

The auction was a grand success and for that we extend our greatest thanks!

Much love~
Ms. Carmen and Ms. Liz

 
 

Gray Fox 

Gray Fox Families,

November has been a wonderful month. We have certainly noticed attitudes of gratitude permeate throughout the community. This truly began with our Charity Event! It was evident how much we all appreciate this special community we call Creo. Thank you, on behalf of the children, for your donations and attendance that evening. I also want to thank all of the parents for attending our classroom meeting this month. It was wonderful to watch you all experience the Sensorial Materials first hand.

Along with giving thanks on our mind, the children have enjoyed welcoming another new friend into the environment; Banks, we’re delighted to have you!

The children have been enjoying learning about Native American culture this month. In addition, we have continued discussing parts of the pumpkin, and recently, parts of the turkey and acorn as these are notable to the children during autumn. They have discovered and collected a whopping 247 acorns during our nature walks. This fact has been determined and labeled on our ‘museum table’ by a group of clever five-year-olds who grouped them into piles of ten and skip counted the quantity. It is such an honor to sit front row on this beautiful exploration bus.

Our CH level also switched our recipe from Banana Muffins to Sweet Scones. We hope you enjoy them during your observations!

Kindly,

Ms. Lauren and Ms. Yadira

 
 

 

 

Cactus Wren

Dear Cactus Wren Families,

What a wonderful time of year!!!! This month’s topic is so appropriate for this time of year. In my opinion, there is no other time of year that evokes the senses and folds them into life long memories. The smells of the crisp fall air, the taste of Grandma’s sweet biscochitos, the feel of snow between your fingers, the sounds of holiday greetings, and the sights of all the beautiful colors of the season. These are just a few examples of how our senses can transport us back to a fond memory or time of life that is precious to us. Use this time to create life long memories for your child.

Our garden has been transformed. The children are working hard to keep the garden alive. They are busy watering our many plants, discovering the buds on the bell pepper plants, enjoying the cool weather, and listening to the birds sing while sitting under the shade tree. And soon, they will be able to appreciate the sounds and sights of their beautiful work on the class fountain!!! A big thank you to the Shah family for donating the class art auction project to the classroom. We love it!!!!

In the classroom, we have been discovering the many varieties of apples, the parts of the apple, and all the wonderful tastes of each one.

Peacefully,

Ms. Johna and Miss Eugenia

 
 

Jackrabbit

What a great month to connect with all the parents. Thank you to all of you for attending observations as well as parent education night. We enjoyed having you over in our environment and sharing with each of you some highlights of your child’s days at school.

The auction was a great success, thank you for all constant support!

With the weather getting cooler the children spend more time working in our outdoor environment. We are starting to see little signs of growth in our garden. The children love to water it and take care of it. This month we also read about the story of Thanksgiving and gave the opportunity to each child to share what are they thankful for…the answers go from cute and beautiful, to funny and unique! Well let me just say that we are thankful for each and one of your children for bringing so much happiness to our lives.

Warm regards,

Ms. Marcela and Ms. Dinora

 
 
Posted
AuthorCarmen Hawkins

Observation, a simple word that means more than we can imagine. Observation is a grand part of the foundation of a Montessori environment and it’s one of the strongest and most helpful and powerful tools a Montessori Guide can have. Through this we can obtain all the information we need to follow the children. A good observation must be objective and not subjective…what does this mean? Well, when we are observing objectively we don’t judge by thinking what is happening around us. We concentrate on what is happening in that moment since that is all that is actually happening, nothing else. We can’t observe thinking what is going to happen next. We analyze to learn, and based on the information we obtain through our observations we can plan for the future.  

“The adult will not be watching with the aim of making her presence felt, or of helping the weaker ones by her own strength. She observes in order to recognize the child who has attained the power to concentrate and to admire the glorious rebirth of his spirit” 

-Dr. Maria Montessori. 

Montessori teachers begin their daily observations mainly focusing on writing what is happening around them. We internalize the sound level of our classrooms, the work rhythm, and much more. Then we focus on each child in particular. What are they wearing, who are they working with, what material are they using…we don’t judge. For instance, instead of writing “Lucy is miss- using the number rods” we might write “Lucy is placing the number rods on top of each other instead of next to each other”.  Based on my observations I will act by either representing the material to Lucy the next day or perhaps Lucy is ready for the next challenge. As you can see we didn’t judge Lucy, instead we try to find out what is causing the behavior that we are observing.    

One of the most exciting parts of the year for parents is when the doors of the classroom open for them to come and observe. Observations and conferences are fast approaching. We would love to invite you to come with an objective mind. Your job will be to silently sit on the same chair for thirty minutes, take a deep breath, and enjoy. Let the environment talk to you. Count how many children are in the classroom. You will be amazed of how they seem to “float” around using their soft voices and quiet feet. Observe what kind of things they are working on. You might see children baking, reading, pouring water to different containers, practicing their pencil grip by transferring beans from container to container with a spoon, sitting quietly in the reading chair, giggling with a friend while enjoying snack together, etc. They are all in a different stage. No one is better than the other one. They are all learning at their own pace. Remember this is a three year program and perhaps you will spot children that still need to learn how to hold a pencil while another one is writing a sentence on a piece of paper. That child that you might see “just walking around” is internalizing what’s around him. He is not interrupting anybody, but he sure is looking and listening to what is happening around him.  We can't wait to have you in our classrooms soon! 

 

 
 

 

Peek Inside 

 

Jackrabbit

Happy Autumn! Hope you had a wonderful and restful break. The children came back full of positive energy ready to continue learning. We have welcomed a new family to our Jackrabbit class; we keep growing and it’s amazing to see how welcoming the children are to their new peers. The children keep watering the garden, although we haven’t harvest any vegetables we see some signs of growth. Exciting! 

We would love to thank all the families for attending our first social of the year, we had a full house and it was fun to see the children playing and the parents getting to know each other. Hope we get to see you all, parents, on November 3rd for our Country Hoedown charity event. Thank you for all your generous donations towards our auction basket. Our room moms have been amazing helping us build a wooden calendar to be auctioned on November 3rd. Another good reason to put those boots on and join us! 

Warm regards, 

Ms. Marcela and Ms. Dinora 

 
 

Bobcat

Greetings Bobcat families~

Well, we have been quite busy this past month!  First, I would like to thank all of you wonderful families for your attendance to our Fall Fiesta Social and making it such a warm gathering. We especially appreciated your collaboration in the setting up and taking down of the event that ensured that our event went off without a hitch.  It was such a treat to be able to meet and socialize with you all and we really look forward to our Spring Social.  Hmmmm....I wonder what our theme could be???  

Keeping with the theme of thanks, we would also like to send our sincerest gratitude to each and everyone of you for your auction donations.  As you all know, this money will fund scholarships for children under 5 years old to be able to attend Creo.  We would like to extend a special thank you to our Bobcat room mothers, Jennilyn, Tiwaa and Sarah who helped with the assembly of our class project as well. All of your generosity made this happen! 

In the classroom this past month, we have been baking delicious banana muffins, watching our garden flourish with the eggplants and pumpkins that we planted in September and learning about the parts of the pumpkin and how they grow.  We have been tapping into a bit of mindfulness meditation as well.  It is so lovely to see the children in such a tranquil, peaceful state and to discuss how they feel after engaging in a guided meditation.  

Warm regards~

Ms. Carmen and Ms. liz

 
 

 

Gray Fox 

Happy October and welcome to our new friend, Emily!

What a wonderful month it has been! The children were so excited to release their painted butterflies into our garden. They had the opportunity to observe their lifecycle from caterpillar to chrysalis and the metamorphosis into butterflies. They learned to appreciate the delicacy of life as well as their important roles in our ecosystem.

Along with autumn harvest comes all types of gourds, pumpkins, squash and other vegetables in our local grocery stores. The children were enthusiastic to learn facts about fall vegetables, examine samples on our museum table and dissect a pumpkin to study it’s external and internal parts. Icing on the exploration cake was roasting homemade pumpkin seeds!

Our fourth annual Charity Event is right around the corner! We have been very busy working on our unique project “Time Flies.” Your contributions to our “Our World of Food” cookbook and basket in addition to your presence at the event will impact the children in our community in enormous ways. A special thank you to our volunteer room parents, Carly, Rebecca, Lucy and Amaris for all of your hard work, creativity and time invested into putting these together. Ms. Yadira and I can’t wait to see you all at the Creo Country Hoedown!

Finally, the Gray Foxes are looking forward to welcoming you into the environment to observe and I am pleased to discuss your child’s progression with you. Please contact me should you have any questions regarding observations guidelines.

With appreciation,

Ms. Lauren and Ms. Yadira

 
 

 

Cactus Wren 

Dear Cactus Wren Families,

Happy Fall!!! Thank you to all the families who attended our Fall Social. We had such a wonderful time. It was so nice to see the adults relaxing and enjoying the weather. The children loved the food and playing with all their friends.

A big thank you to all for donating to the Cactus Wren Auction Basket. As you know, the proceeds go towards tuition scholarships for children under 5. Miss Eugenia and I would like to thank Marina, Lynnsie, Raj, and Carly for helping us with the beautiful Auction Art Project. It looks amazing and was made by little loving hands. Another big thank you to all who donated to our wonderful sports basket. 

The children are loving the cooler weather. We spent a full day in the garden planting flowers, cucumbers, herbs, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Along with all the green plants, we also added a couple of shade umbrellas and a cozy chair under the shade tree.

With peace,

Ms. Johna and Miss Eugenia

 
 

 

 

Posted
AuthorMarcela Durlanich

Happy Summer, Children's House Families! We cannot believe how quickly this year passed. We deeply encourage you to re-visit and re-read past blog posts. This is a way to begin to digest the processes of the child as they develop sequence and independence. Furthermore, you can witness the development of concentration which is the fundamental preface to complex understanding and logic. Dr. Montessori observed that the children who develop this ability are immensely happy.

Concentration is the bedrock of Montessori Education.

This is something that a Montessori guide observes day after day. Given the opportunity to explore and expand his interest the child's experience is almost euphoric. Concentration and joyful engagement is a solid foundation of mind-body integration supporting the nervous system. 

With this principle in mind, we find it crucial to revisit the difference between concentration and stimulation before we dive into summer. Your child has likely developed the ability to joyfully engage and concentrate with intent, deliberation and control. The correlation between the Montessori environment and home is pivotal. It is important to keep in mind that the brain is in constant dance with the environment. The qualities of the environment (beauty, order, reality, simplicity and accessibility) lead to self-effort and consciousness. Movement is an important part as is promotion of cognitive development and self-control. Joyful engagement and concentration is DIFFERENT than stimulation which promotes work from the child for iPad and screen time. Technology offers the child the wrong time of stimulation during this period in development. It does not promote respect as eye contact and human interaction is missing. Less stimulation causes more reality, which allows more clarity. So, let's get outside (or to the museum) and have a commercial free summer! 

 
 

Practical Life at Home 

Practical life exercises are “chores” adults may do to maintain their home environment. However, for the first plane child, these activities are an exercise in turning chaos into order, self-perfection, concentration, and self-confidence. The young child loves to imitate mom or dad working around the house. The summer months are a great time to add some items to your environment to help the child “help himself” and set up a routine where your child can help throughout the year around the home.

Please keep in mind, that a child thrives on order, consistency, a place for everything, and visually appealing work spaces. Items to include in the home should be child-size, easily accessible, and at the child’s height.

  • Dust pan and hand-held broom
  • Mop (an adult size mop can easily be cut)
  • Rags for easy clean up or dusting
  • Plates, cups, utensils, pitchers, etc.
  • Aprons

Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when setting up new routines:

  • Include your child when setting up the above mentioned items.
  • Take it slow. Allow yourself plenty of time to work with your child on an activity.
  • Add one activity at a time. Show the child how to do the activity in a slow precise manner; where to find the items needed; and how to replace the items.
  • Give the child time and space to do daily activities. 
  • Allow the child time to internalize a job well done. When they look to you for approval, give a warm acknowledging smile and ask how they feel about the work they just completed.

Children enjoy being productive and helping out. This is a great age to guide your children to skills they will need for a life time. 

 

 
 

 

Local Events and Summer Ideas 

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

·      Exhibit Display Dates

Through Closing Date August 20, 2017

This is one of the greatest opportunities to expose the children to one of a kind masterpieces of the artists Frida and Diego at the Heard Museum.

The Addams Family: A New Musical

·      The mysterious Addams family is coming to Scottsdale.

A musical, playing at Desert Stages Theatre through Sunday, November 1. 

here is the event website

http://desertstages.org/show/the-addams-family-a-new-musical-comedy-68

Glendale Summer Band Series (Thursdays June 1- July 20)

·      Music lovers of all ages will be entertained by this community band of approximately 100 musicians with its renditions of marches, polkas, movie medleys and other worldly tunes

Murphy Park Amphitheater, 58th and Glenn drives, Glendale. 623-930-2299

Good Sport (through Sept 17)

·      Exhibiting art works from baseball, tennis and ballet to bullfighting from 19th- 20th century. It is a combination of Asian, European and American art.

Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix. 602-257-1880

http://www.phxart.org/exhibitions/fb2eaea4-ce20-00ab-efe4-ae7166dee003

Rainforest Reptile Exhibit

·      Taking place at the Butterfly Wonderland, the children can enjoy a guided tour at the conservatory.

http://butterflywonderland.com/event-calendar/

Butterfly Wonderland, 9500 E Via de Ventura, Scottsdale 480-800-3000

Topia (Tues-Sat May 23-June 10)

·      Performed by Ballet Arizona, a dance in the desert combines movement, sound and multimedia on a stage that holds the desert as a background.

 Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N Galvin Parkway. 602-381-1096 or balletaz.org

 

Peek Inside

 

Gray Fox 

Dear Gray Fox Families, 

Thank you for an outstanding year full of growth and memories. The children developed stronger personalities, academic skill-sets and friendships as each day passed. They are truly a remarkable group of children and it has been an honor to serve them this year. We encourage you to allow your child to have many opportunities to play with school friends this summer. We are extremely proud of the children who are 'Flying Up' to Elementary this week. It has been an honor to watch these children flourish over the three years they have been with us. Congratulations! 

Best wishes for a relaxing summer break! We are eager to see your bright smiling faces return in August. 

Ms. Lauren and Ms. Yadira 

 

 
 
 

Bobcat

Dear parents,

As the school year has come to an end, I would like to take a moment and thanks all the Creo parents. As part of the Creo Community, we have tried our best to serve the children in a positive happy environment to fulfill their potentials. We truly have enjoyed all the hugs and smiles your children have shared with us throughout the year.  

The children are greatly excited for their peers who are flying up to Elementary next year and were glad to celebrate their Flying Up ceremony with them. Along with the daily materials, the children got to work on their "Mother's Day" gift and were thrilled to learn that they are going to plant seeds with their Moms. We hope we could help them to express how much you mean to them and how precious these little experiences are in life.

At last, thank you for supporting all our efforts in providing an authentic Montessori education to your children. We couldn't ask for a better group of students. They are amazing and we were very fortunate to be part of their lives.  

We hope you have a fun and safe summer

Cheers,

Ms. Mahsa & Ms. Dinora

 
 

 

 

Cactus Wren 

With this being our last post of the year, I would like to share my warmest thanks to all the parents who entrust your little one to us. We are so grateful to have them in our lives. Each day we are touched by their growth, loving spirits, and innocent view of life. They refresh our faith in mankind. 

Have a peaceful and restful summer and we will be here with open arms to welcome all the children.

Ms. Johna and Ms. Eugenia

 
 
Posted
AuthorLauren Marques
There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.”  -Dr. Montessori

The Importance of Nature

Dr. Maria Montessori believed that the outdoors should be an extension of the classroom. she had a deep respect for nature and believed it can be a point of inspiration for children.

Nature Walks play a big role in our community as we try to connect the children to nature. As another connection to nature, Children's House children are exposed to real materials such as: wood, cotton, metal, bamboo, etc. It is important to implement the same concept of indoor to outdoor materials and furniture. The tools should be child-size as we are ensuring the proper use of the materials and the children's independence and less involvements of adults. Montessori believed nature offers infinite ways to support child's cognitive, emotional and physical development. Nature is connected to many of the activities inside our classrooms such as the study of Botany; the child then has the opportunity to observe a real leaf before get the presentation on the shape and name of that leaf. 

“It is also necessary for his physical development to place the soul of the child in contact with creation, in order that he may lay up for himself treasure from the directly educating forces of living nature.” 
-Maria Montessori 
 
 
Man still belongs to nature, and especially when he is a child, he...draws from it the forces necessary to the development of the body and of the spirit. We have intimate communications with nature which has an influence, even a material influence, on the growth of the body.
— Maria Montessori

The Prepared Outdoor Environment 

As with the carefully prepared environment of the Montessori classroom, so is the environment of the outdoor area. Thus, making it an extension of the classroom. This area is prepared for independent work and gives the child the opportunity to explore, learn, thrive, experience, and care for their surroundings.

The exercises of the Outdoor Environment allow for the child to practice and further develop the skills that are taught in the classroom exercises. The open area encourages gross motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and concentration works. Some of these exercises include watering the garden, hammering, raking the leaves, and sweeping.

Some exercises encourage language skills. There may be an exercise that names the plants around the garden, parts of a leaf, parts of a bird, or label cards for all the items in the environment. The children are able to explore the insects and may find one that is interesting and want to learn more about it. 

All the Children's House classrooms are also learning about ways to compost. We have begun to share with the children, items that can be placed in the compost bin we have on the school grounds. The children love adding scrapes from snack preparation to the bin. We are anxious to see our efforts with nutrient rich soil.

 
 

Observations in Nature

The Montessori Guide has been described as a skillful observer within the Prepared Environment. She is constantly seeking cues of interests, skills, analysis of movement and much, much more from the child’s daily activity. There is a harmonious intertwinement to nature that is not only apparent within each child’s natural development; it is crucial in developing his personality. The child himself is innately observant, learning vicariously from peer to peer. The instinctive need to observe can be especially present when a child is given the opportunity to explore the Earth’s wonders.

Our goals in supporting these opportunities for the child include, allowing them to develop an appreciation of life and an awareness of the interdependence/interrelatedness of nature. For example: all living things have a life-cycle. What are the specific classifications of living things? From plants to animals, mammals, invertebrates and invertebrates; What is life composed of? What makes these ‘living things’ grow? How can we help the earth to grow and sustain health? What makes us grow and sustain health? We open the door for practical ways to give the child tools which guide their observations of nature. We help the child establish a framework in which he may begin to relate his experiences. These concepts are supported through Language, Sensorial, Mathematics, Practical Life, Culture and Science extensions over the Three Year Cycle.