Last week the Primary unit talked about vertebrates and invertebrates.
Vertebrates have backbones that support their bodies. We took a look at our arms and legs and noticed how strong our bones and muscles made us. We then got a closer look at another vertebrate who lives in our classroom—our class gerbil, Anna! We each had a chance to touch her backbone and watch how it supports her as she digs and climbs.
Invertebrates support their bodies in a variety of other ways, including exoskeletons, endoskeletons, and shells. Later this week we hope to have an invertebrate in our classroom as our last monarch butterfly emerges from its chrysalis! (Special thanks to McGuffey parent, Judith, for finding so many caterpillars for us this year.)
We have works on the shelves that allow children to discover the differences. Children can examine x-rays, sort animals, and investigate the life cycle.
What students love to do most of all in music class (besides the musical!), is to play our instruments. When using the Orff method, happily these instruments come out a lot. Carl Orff believed the best way to learn music is to play music.
Here are the 4th graders this week, playing and singing a folk song from Louisiana, Fais do do. This lullaby in creole french is in 3/4 time. It was their first time playing a piece in a ‘triple’ meter. First the students heard the song and determined the meter. Next they learned the rhythm, notes and lyrics in that order. Then, to the instruments!
Today is Maria Montessori’s 144th birthday. At McGuffey we always try to think and talk about Maria Montessori on her birthday each year, since she developed the teaching method we use in our classrooms. However, Montessori herself explains it this way:
“It is not true that I invented what is called the Montessori Method. I have studied the child, I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it, and that is what is called the Montessori Method.”
– Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method
If you’re curious about the Google Doodle above, here (http://www.google.com/doodles/maria-montessoris-142nd-birthday) is a little note about the Google Doodle from the doodler herself, who was a Montessori preschool, elementary, and middle school student.
On Wednesday we celebrated a classmate’s 12th birthday. To celebrate, she brought some wonderful gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free blueberry muffin tops to share with her classmates. The students were excited about having something different as part of their snack. While not everyone eats a snack each day, most of the students were happy to share a few moments around the kitchen table eating blueberry muffins. Students really liked the muffins and commented that they were really tasty.
It can be tricky accommodating allergies in our classroom if you aren’t used to it. If you would like to do something similar, the muffins were made using the recipe on the package of Pamela’s Artisan Flour (available at Kroger). They used coconut milk instead of regular milk and coconut oil instead of butter.