Back-to-school in ATHENA
Régulièrement maintenant je publierai des articles écrits par notre professeur d’anglais également responsable de l’ensemble de la section « enseignement de l’anglais » de notre établissement de la maternelle au baccalauréat, Svetlana Pilosova.
« First week was very busy for our students: new acquaintances, new books, new material. For some of students a new school. And for everyone a new classroom. Spacious, light and cosy it will be homelike for many of us during this year.
After some icebreaking activities in the circle we continued with “I Can’t Funeral”. On a small piece of paper each student wrote at least one thing they thought they couldn’t do academically. Such as “I can’t do word problems,” or “I can’t read well.” I collected the papers, placed them in a box, and buried it away somewhere in our school. I explained that we buried our ‘can’ts’ and we would miss them terribly but here in our school we would learn to live without them.
Then we had a brief discussion about students’ talents, passed out paper and asked students to write down five things they do well. After we created a mini paper chain with the strips by linking the five talents together. Once the entire chain was constructed and linked, we had a discussion about what the chain demonstrated. My aim was to show them that all the students have talents; all the students have things they do well; together, the students have many talents; if they work together, classmates can accomplish anything; and the class is stronger when students work together than when individual students work on their own. We will keep this chain in the room as a constant reminder to students of the talents they possess and the benefits of teamwork.
And traditionally our English lesson started with one of the Great Lessons which are an important and unique part of the Montessori curriculum. These lessons are bold, exciting, and are designed to awaken a child’s imagination and curiosity. There are Five Great Lessons that are used to paint a broad picture before moving to more specific study. They consist of:
First Great Lesson – Coming of the Universe and the Earth
Second Great Lesson – Coming of Life
Third Great Lesson – Coming of Human Beings
Fourth Great Lesson – Communication in Signs
Fifth Great Lesson – The Story of Numbers
I’ve started with The First Great Lesson which is about the story of the beginning of the universe. This lesson also included some demonstrations using solids and liquids to show how the continents and oceans first came together. The child is introduced first to « small » ideas that gradually widen into larger concepts. Then they can be shown how all the smaller ideas fit into the larger framework. So now my students have a clear vision of solar system and stars, galaxes and comets, continents and oceans. This story was inspirational to children, after some experiments they started working on a projects and some of them decided to draw the steps of our experiment. Students were struck with the wonder of creation, thrilled with new ideas, and awed by the inventiveness and innovation that is part of the human spirit.
Good luck, my dear explorers ! »