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St. Nicholas Day, The Second Great Lesson, and more practical life... among other things!

It was another chock-full week in DGS Lower Elementary! We started Monday off with a lesson about the holiday of St. Nicholas day, which is a traditional German holiday associated with Christmas. Isabella's mom, Claudia, graciously came in to talk to us and answer questions about this holiday.

Then, since we FINALLY had all children present, I jumped at the opportunity to present the second great lesson, "The Coming of Life". This impressionistic lesson, given in story-telling form, is the springboard for many varied History works, most importantly the Timeline of Life, which will be introduced as soon as we have all the children present again!



We continued to work one-on-one with the children on detailed and thoughtful work planning, as well as successful follow-through and execution, and by the end of the week, we were seeing a marked improvement for all! It's hard work, but consistency and follow-through eventually pay off with internalization that becomes automatic!


I introduced a new lesson on table scrubbing, that quickly become a class favorite.



The dreidel work is always an exciting winter math addition


Here are a few other shots of work cycle this week






Lastly, I want to mention how impressed Mr. Matt, who teaches philosophy to our 2nd and 3rd grade students, mentioned he is with our group this year. At the beginning of the year, he decided a "seating plan" would help them during their time together. This week, they told him that they didn't think they needed it anymore, and so he allowed them to advocate for themselves. He was SO impressed, he wrote it down and talked to them about WHY it was so impressive that they were able to do this so well.

Because this kind of communication is the norm in our room, the kids didn't really see what the big deal is. But Mr. Matt emphasized just how important a skill tbis is, and one that many adults today don't have! Personally, I feel a great deal of the credit for these skills are based in the Montessori Tradition of individual problem solving through use of the Peace Rose/Feather and the elementary Montessori tradition of a weekly community peace meeting. This meeting is entirely run by the children, during which they come together to discuss issues that they themselves see as problems within the classroom, and find their own solutions. There is very little adult involvement in these meetings, but that's possible because they have had so much practice. It's really something to see. Your children are pretty darn amazing! Here are a couple shots of these things in action just this week.



Also, one of our Middle Schoolers, Macy, came to class to interoduce her sustainability challenge. This is a school-wide challenge to see who can fill a bin with items to be re-used for another purpose the quickest.

One more fun-filled week left in 2022!

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