CHILDREN'S HOUSE BLOG

this week

14th – 18th October

Following on from many children’s current interests in farm animals and playing with the farm, we have a week full of animal related activities this week at The Children’s House. We will be learning how to do animal names in Lámh (Irish sign language), making handprint animals, building our own farm yards, as well as talking about where milk comes from and doing a milking activity!!

Many thanks to all the grandparents who came in last week to visit us, we really enjoyed having your company, and please make sure to visit any time at all throughout the year; you’re such an important part of your grandchildren’s lives and we would love you to be a big part of their preschool lives too!

Old MacDonald

Old MacDonald had a farm, E I E I O,
And on that farm he had a cow, E I E I O,
With a ‘moo moo’ here, and a ‘moo moo’ there,
Here a ‘moo’, there a ‘moo’, everywhere a ‘moo moo’ –
Old MacDonald had a farm, E I E I O!

Old MacDonald had a farm, E I E I O,
And on that farm he had a sheep/duck/horse/pig…

 

7th – 11th October

It’s Grandparent’s week this week at The Children’s House! We will be doing a history project about older generations, involving inviting grandparents (or any older relations) into school and chatting with them about various topics relating to when they themselves were at the preschool age – e.g. what was their favourite game/toy, what was school like etc – and talking about the differences and similarities between then and now. There’s usually a bit of shock when an older visitor to the school tells the children that they didn’t have a phone/telelvision/Nintendo DS growing up!! As well as this, we will be making our first outing to the playground and asking for volunteers to come with us – especially grandparents, for the week that’s in it!!

Grandparents Poem

I miss you when we’re not together,
I’m growing up so fast,
See how big I’ve gotten since you saw me last?
As I grow I’ll change a lot,
The years will fly right by,
You’ll wonder how I grew so quick – where and when and why?
So look upon this handprint,
That’s hanging on your wall,
And memories will come back of me when I was very small.

30th September – 4th October

This week at The Children’s House we’re talking about emotional well-being; the beginning of the school year can be an unsettling time for children who have separation anxiety or who have trouble expressing their feelings, so it’s a good time to discuss our emotions and show how we recognise and talk about them and following from that how we manage them. Self regulation of emotions is a huge concept for preschool children to grasp, so at the beginning we often use visual aids such as emotion wheels to name a feeling, e.g. ‘I can see you’re feeling happy/ sad/ tired/ angry’, and then ask (if needed) ‘what could we do to help you feel better?’. Sometimes the child mightn’t know what will help them, but often a hug from a friend, doing a special piece of work, or holding teddy helps – the deep breathing from yoga is always a good help at emotional times, for child and adult alike!! As the year goes on, we progress to asking ‘what could you do to help you feel better?’, showing the child that they are in charge of their emotions, and giving them the confidence to self-regulate their emotions – this is such an important life skill.

Further to this, this week we will be describing different emotions, discussing strategies we can use to help self-regulate, practising mindfulness, and philosophising as a group about how it would feel if someone didn’t want to work or play with you – helping to promote empathy for each other.

If You’re Happy & You Know It

If you’re happy & you know it clap your hands,
If you’re happy & you know it clap your hands,
If you’re happy & you know it & you really want to show it –
If you’re happy & you know it clap your hands!

If you’re sad & you know it wipe your tears…
If you’re angry & you know it stamp your feet…
If you’re tired & you know it rest your head…
If you’re happy & you know it shout hooray!!

23rd – 27th September

We’re learning all about families this week at The Children’s House! The children are going to be decorating our family trees in the classrooms with their family photos, and telling us all about their families e.g. how many people are in the family, what they love best doing with them, what their house is like etc. We will be talking about different types of families too, as not every family is made up of the same amount of people, or come from the same place.

At the end of the week we will be doing yoga with the children; we always find this a great practice to begin at the start of the year, and we usually start with deep breathing exercises – putting hands on our tummies and feeling the breath going in and out, breathing as slowly and deeply as possible. This is a great method of calming down if a child has gotten upset over something and can’t find their way out of the moment, it can really focus them on something and take their mind off the upset; an alternative is to have the child lie down and put a little teddy on their tummy, so they can see it rising and falling with their breath!

Families

Some families are big,
Some families are small,
But I love my family –
Best of all!

16th – 20th September

This week at The Children’s House we’re going to be learning all about Autumn – talking about seasons and the changes we can see all around us (days getting shorter & nights getting longer, weather getting colder, leaves changing colour etc); the children will be making leaf rubbings and collages, as well as cooking stewed apple – yum!! At the end of the week, we will have Pet Visit Day, where children are welcome to bring in their pets for a visit during the class session so that they can tell us about them – we have had all shapes and sizes of pets over the years, so all are welcome, and if children can’t bring in a live animal, they can bring in an animal teddy instead if they like!

As always at the start of the year, we are focussing on the Practical Life exercises in the classroom, this is an area which is the basis of the entire Montessori curriculum. Through using the Practical Life exercises, children learn about respect and care of themselves & their environment; they grow to realise the importance of the work cycle – returning an activity to where they got it from, & in the same state as when they got it; during all this they also develop their hand-eye coordination, gross & fine motor skills, concentration & independence. It is a wonderful area for new & returning students alike as we can extend the exercises as a child needs to stimulate their interests & learning (e.g. going from spooning pasta to spooning flour to sieving flour), and we also support & promote the ‘vertical learning’ which Maria Montessori was such a huge advocate of – this is where younger children actively learn from older ones, & the older children gain more confidence in themselves as they can see they are competent & capable within their school environment – we always find there are wonderful interactions within the mixed age groups!

Autumn Leaves

Falling, falling autumn leaves,
Falling, falling from the trees.
Up above and on the ground,
Swirling, twirling all around.
Falling, falling autumn leaves,
Falling, falling from the trees.

9th – 13th September

It’s our first full week back at The Children’s House, and it’s going to be All About Me!! The children will be doing self portraits, making birthday charts, learning about using indoor versus outdoor voices, doing music and movement, and also doing a great project – making their own All About Me posters with their families to present to the class on Friday! In our preschool we want the children to have confidence and be happy in themselves, and at the very heart of it all is celebrating that each of us is different and that’s what makes us so special.

I’m Glad I’m Me

No one looks the way I do,
I have noticed that is true!
No one walks the way I walk,
No one talks the way I talk,
No one plays the way I play,
No one says the way I say,
I am special! I am ME!
There’s no one else I’d rather be!

4th – 6th September

A huge welcome to The Children’s House to all our wonderful new and returning children and their families!! This will be a short week to settle everyone in, and we will be focusing on getting to know each other, learning each others’ names,creating our own rules for the classroom (all part of the Montessori ethos of respect, care of self & care of the environment) practising how we walk slowly, talk quietly, carry chairs and trays in the classroom (refining gross motor movements), and lots of songs, games, and fun activities in circle time – we really can’t wait to get to know all the classes!

To Montessori we will go,
To Montessori we will go,
We’ll learn and play and make new friends,
To Montessori we will go.

Bumble Bee Song

Bumble bee, bumble bee,
Can you say your name for me?
(Child’s name), (child’s name),
That’s a very nice name!

Open Day!!

We are holding our open day on Monday 2nd September, from 10am – 12pm, & 7 – 8pm

All are welcome to come in, view the school with your children and meet the teachers…

Can’t wait to see you there!!

Classes will be resuming on Wednesday 4th September

24th – 26th June

Well it’s the last few days of the school year and we just can’t believe how fast it’s gone by!!! We’ve had such a wonderful year with your fantastic children – thank you all so much firstly for entrusting us with your children, it’s been a real privilege to facilitate them in their learning, and secondly thank you for all your ongoing participation and support in that learning, and for all the input you’ve given to us in the school! We’ve had so many visits from family members – parents, grandparents, siblings & pets!!, you’ve been a big part of your child’s year whether heping out with our school trips and excursions to the GAA pitch, or coming into school to be part of your children’s birthday walk, pet visit day, music week, reading stories or coming in for observation days – it’s meant so much to the children as well as us staff, so thank you, as it has added hugely to all of our experiences this year!!

So onto this short week – we will be having sports day on Tuesday and a party on Wednesday to finish up the year with, and in between we’ll be spending precious time with your children before they head off for the summer – it’s not an easy thing to say goodbye to all the little people who are moving on to ‘big’ school after spending the year or 2 getting to know them and being part of their wonderful journey of growth & learning, but they’re ready for that step, and it’s an exciting time for them and for us all! If you don’t have a child returning in the near future, we hope that you & your child will continue to visit any time – and this year we had 4 secondary school students on work experience who were ex-pupils of the Montessori, so there’s no excuses – we can always find a space for your children!!

The Children’s House will be closing on Wednesday 26th June for summer holidays,

re-opening Wednesday 4th September

– have a wonderful summer everyone, and thanks for another amazing year!!

17th – 21st June

It’s hard to believe that we’re at the last full week of this school year!! We’ll be taking time with the children this week to talk through the change that is coming for them next year – some children are moving to different classrooms within the Montessori, while some children are moving on to primary school, so we will be discussing this change with them in a positive way and their feelings around it – encouraging children of this age to verbalise their emotions is hugely important for them in order to support them in regulating their emotions (discovering why they are feeling a certain way, & what they can do to help themselves feel better about it) – it all leads to building resilience.

The main focus of the week will definitely be our annual Pyjamas Party which will be this Friday!! This year it will also be a HB Fundays ice cream party in conjunction with Down Syndrome Ireland, so we will be having extra fun in our pyjamas! All donations received will be given to Down Syndrome Ireland so will be gratefully received!

We will also be going down to the GAA field to do some exercising after being indoors so much with the bad weather recently, using the puppet theatre, doing yoga and finishing off the All About Me books – a busy and fun week ahead!!

Mr Sun (with Lámh signs)

Oh, Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me.
Oh, Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun,
Hiding behind a tree.

These little children are asking you
To please come out so we can play with you.
Oh, Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me.