“Fasten your seatbelts. This twenty-two hour Quantas Airline flight to
Melbourne, Australia is about to take off!”
Thus began the Elementary class’s multidisciplinary study of Australia. For the past few weeks, our Elementary students have been surfing near Bondi Beach, touring Tasmania, studying Australian cartography and landforms, speaking in Aussie slang, creating Aboriginal-styled artwork, eating Vegemite, pumpkins scones and Brisbane oranges, and avoiding (and studying) large Australian insects. Children have been so busy they haven’t had time to snorkel around the Great Barrier Reef, listen to the didgeridoo or observing the crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove yet. All while developing reading, writing, math and social studies skills.
This amazing unit was designed and implimented by our awesome Elementary teachers, Mrs. Hannon and Mrs. Hatziyannis, whose creativity, enthusiasm and passion for their classroom make their program unrivaled.
Why are children so enthusiastic? This type of multidisciplinary, integrated continent study brings all forms of intelligence—linguistic, emotions, musical, movement and spatial reasoning, and logical mathematic together to create rigorous, relevant, and engaging learning. The ‘virtual’ field trip provides the context for our students to make connections across disciplines in a meaningful way. Students see a purpose to their learning, even though Australian is on the other side of the globe.
So if you see an Elementary student this week, be sure to say, “G’day, Mate! Have a ripper of a trip!”
How can any one paint who cannot grade colors? How can any one write poetry who has not learnt to hear and see?
These questions, posed by Maria Montessori in 1920, remind us that it’s the information that we take in through our senses that becomes the knowledge and skills that expand our minds. All learning is rooted in sensorial experience.
For all our children, it is essential that we provide experiences that awaken and refine their senses so they can grow as readers and writers, mathematicians and artists, scientists and more. It’s why at Evergreen we believe that hand-on, tactile, kinesthetic, music and language-rich classrooms stimulate the most learning and growth.
From counting bead chains and skip counting to building words and sentences with the movable alphabet, every day is filled with opportunities to actively learn by doing.
As we’re sandwiched between Martin Luther King Day and the Inauguration, the importance of thinking globally and acting locallyis clear. For our children, the values they learn come from the behaviors they see around them—not from blogs and tweets.
We have such an opportunity to inspire our children with the dream of a kind and inclusive society.
Last week’s newsletter included an entry about the Montessori approach to teaching grace and courtesy. While we may dismiss these lessons as less important than the teaching of reading and math, it is worthwhile remembering that civilization is rooted in civility.
Thank you for your continued support making Evergreen a safe haven for our children.
I am grateful to everyone in our community who helped make 2016 a joyful and wondrous year at Evergreen School for our children. From our dedicated teachers and engaged parents to heart-warming festivals, special events and the thrill of learning and discovery each day, we have enjoyed a remarkable year together.
As we look ahead to 2017, we look forward to continuing to providing a safe and loving place for children to grow and learn.
On behalf of our entire faculty and staff, wishing you and Jacob a peaceful and joyful New Year.
You make the world a beautiful place!
Cheers to our Summer Program designer, Lourdes Buenaflor for her amazing work on our 2017 catalog. The document was sent to the printer today and will arrive at school on January 6.
Thanks to Summer Director Stephanie Ugol for planning an amazing summer with programs including cooking, science, swimming, Montessori, art and more!
Registration opens online on January 9. Early Bird Discount 10% Discount for participants who are registered by February 17 and have paid in full. Summer Package Discount 5% Discount for participants who register for a total of 9 weeks.
See more at www.evergreenschool.com/summer today.
Evergreen School celebrated Winter Festival on December 21. The event included musical performances by each class and a whole school performance of This Land is Your Land and Light a Candle for Peace.
See video highlights here. My introductory remarks are below.
We Light This Candle.
Welcome to Winter Festival.
Our theme is Light a Candle for Peace.
As we light it together, we are expressing our hope for peace around the world.
In places like Aleppo and Mosul, Turkey and Berlin, we hope for peace.
We also light this candle for peace in our country.
Evergreen children sing: this land is our land,
From the Statue of Liberty to I Have a Dream,
We are a nation conceived in liberty.
We are dedicated to the idea that all are created equal.
We appreciate the blessings of a diverse society,
And we believe everyone has the right be treated with respect.
We light this candle for our national parks and national heroes,
Those who work to protect our environment, uphold justice and fairness and equality,
And for those who worship in churches like this and for those of us who worship in synagogues, mosques and elsewhere:
We light this candle for our children.
This land is their land.
This future is their future.
May this candle bring light to us all.
Our Elementary Class is taking a leadership role in a school-wide study of buildings and architecture. Primary children will join the Elementary for project-based lessons in construction and design. The program will reinforce the Montessori philosophy of multi-age learning, provide mentoring opportunities and develop stronger school-wide connections.
The program launched today with introductions and a student-led lesson on homes around the world.