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  • Taylor Dautremont

October 2022: Changing Seasons at CMC (Part Two)

The Week of October 3rd

Another day, another language game in Children's House West! Yung and I share a passion for early phonics work; it supports global language development—especially vocabulary and pronunciation skills—while also laying a strong foundation on which to build early literacy.

We were busy in many other ways, as well: I demonstrated tracing an uppercase cursive S in sand to Sage and Sagine; Zane helped to prepare snack; Sage, Yaz, and Jiraiya explored a color matching game; TJ led Sir and others through an addition problem using the Golden Beads; Mia and Wally put their math skills to the test calculating and recording the multiples of four with the help of the Multiplication Bead Bars; we used a flat board and a marble to compare Rizwan and Sagine's (and many other pairs') heights in a weird bit of emergent curriculum we've nicknamed "measuring party"; Wally helped Roshan get through a tricky bit of his Stamp Game problem and then tackled his own; Willow took a whirl on the much-loved "green bike"; Zane continued to explore the Geometry Cabinet; Jiraiya and Jada continued their exploration of our dirt; Rizwan wrapped his head around odd and even numbers; KiKi and Isla filled a large mat and then some with matching shapes; Isla reviewed a booklet of songs; KK and Elias embellished our brick patio with sidewalk chalk; Jiraiya put together some simple transportation-themed puzzles; Elias used a Sandpaper Letter, chalk board, and chalk to practice writing; KK prepared for writing practice by carefully tracing our sand spiral; Jiraiya swept up after himself; Rita continued to refine her number writing!

On Friday, we were thrilled to help KK celebrate her third birthday:

It was, however, quite a bittersweet day for many of us as KK said goodbye to the last vestiges of her toddlerhood and we all said goodbye to Rita (and one of our founding families, The Murphys). Speaking of toddlers, here's the first picture I took of Rita during her first visit to our playground during CMC's first landscaping day in July of 2020! She's just 2.5 here, my how she's grown!

We celebrated Rita's time with us at CMC with a big jug of Citrusade and an After Care Party in the Movement Room (thanks for finally capturing the process of making our beloved Citrusade in our kitchen, Wally)!

The Week of October 10th

Roshan took great pride in his developing skills on our slack line!

The week of October 10th was particularly productive (from the top left): Avi cleaned up a bean spill; KK served herself snack; Dane carefully observed Elias' use of the snapping frame; Sir and Elias explored a lacing frame (good preparation for our sewing sequence); Willow helped prepare graham crackers for snack; Dane used a dowel to match cylinders to their block from a distance; Jiraiya stamped; James poured; Rizwan cut; James helped prepare a salad while Willow cut the bread to go with it; Isla took great care of Calvin's going away present; Willow made bubbles for dish washing; Hannah scrubbed a table; Elias tied bows while Roshan buckled buckles; Yaz geeked out over the new addition to our All Around Bustletown collection; Kiki, Jada, Zane, KK, Kyri, Sage, Rizwan, and Dane all participated in phonics games; Yaz did some more color matching on his own; Sage developed the fine-motor skills needed to write fluidly with the help of an equilateral triangle Metal Inset; TJ traced shapes, cut them out, and then turned his scrap paper into small strips for less advanced hands to practice cutting on; Zane traced Sandpaper Letters; Sage and Riswan practiced forming letters in chalk; Hannah puzzled over a set of common not-completely-phonetically-spelled words (these are most commonly called "sight words", we call them "Puzzle Words" at CMC); Mia and Wally worked on a book illustrating their favorite places to purchase sugar in Columbus (i.e., Cook's IGA; Rocket Fizz; Destination Donuts; Dunkin'); TJ took his turn during a round of Memory Game (a large group game of counting, secrets, and guessing); Yaz traced the Sandpaper Numbers 0 and 1 and then copied in our sand tray; Sir fetched a four-digit number for me and I gave him a high five; Hannah tackled Stamp Game division more-or-less independently; Wally, Roshan, TJ, and I collaborated on what turned out to be a map of just Northern and some of Eastern Africa; Mia wrote another heart-felt note; Kyri, Mia, Sage, and Yaz expressed delight at my very limited ability to "read music" (a concept that that at least a couple of them expressed confusion and/or curiosity around).

We also happily celebrated Kyri's birthday in Children's House East:

The Week of October 17th

Just as all humans, young children enjoy the autonomy and ability to focus that independent activity can afford (from top left): Kiki balanced on a brick in the middle of our patio; Wally watched sand and water swirl in the peace cube; Dane wrapped his hands and head around our tong practicing material; Isla used a screwdriver; Kiki made herself a crown; Mia polished a brass duck; Zane used keys to unlock a few locks; Kiki focused on placing spindles in the Spindle Box; Mia prepared a Stamp Game for herself; TJ did a few more rounds of cartography.

They also enjoy socializing and collaborating in pairs and groups (from top left): Dane, Sage, Mia, and Sagine matched objects to the letters that made their first sounds; Isla and Sir shared a seat outdoors; James, Jiraiya, and Zane used a wobbly rock (nicknamed "the watermelon rock" for it's shape like a slice of watermelon) like a boat; Kiki and Yaz shared a steel bucket; Mia, Hannah, Jiraiya, and Roshan listen to me read about a specific country during a game of "Pick-a-Page" after lunch one day; Sir and Kyri beam with pride over their "Treasure" writing; Sage and Mia take the naming of the cricket we found in the Movement room significantly more seriously than Hannah and me (we took a vote and landed on the name "Tootsie Unicorn"); a large group in Children's House East enjoys a new after-lunch activity, "Factory Vote" (in which children nominate types of things made in a factory, organize a vote, and then get to watch a short video of the winning thing being made in a factory).

Sage's Birthday celebration marked the half way point of another busy week together (yes, there are an unlikely proportion of children with early fall birthdays in our community right now)!

The Week of October 24th

Roshan delighted in matching bells with Sagine!

Roshan and the other children of our community engaged our opportunities in our Children's Houses in so many beautiful ways (from top left): Avi and Willow made a good team at the snack prep table again; Roshan cut cheese with our ever-popular wavy cutter; Avi took on new challenged—a bean bag on the head for a spin around the Children's House West line, matching circles to their frames, and accepting a bit of help from James in grading the Brown Stairs from thick to thin; Isla matched real leaves to classified cards and touch tablets (with different grits of sandpaper) to each other; Zane matched objects' initial sounds to letters; Jiraiya explored the folding cloths left by Marina in Children's House East; Sage and Juniper played a game of "Treasure", labeling five objects from Sound Game with the Large Movable Alphabet; Kiki sorted wooden prisms by weight; Willow watered a plant; Rizwan wrote a note with the help of one of our Letter Guides; Zane discovered that the right-angle scalene and isosceles triangles from our Geometry Cabinets can be combined into one larger right-angle scalene triangle.

It has warmed my heart to observe Children's House West being so lovingly prepared and used again this fall! This was especially true the week of the 24th—my son Walden's last with us at CMC—as I reflected on his first week at CMC and in Children's House West: January 6th, 2020!

We celebrated Walden's years at CMC with extra time outside, including a big blanket picnic during Break Session Care for Family Guide Conferences on Monday and a picnic in the round on Friday to watch as a fresh load of wood chips (our fourth, I believe) got delivered by Price Farm Organics.

Above (from top left): we ate a picnic on Monday; Wally and Kiki somewhat thoughtfully and somewhat aimlessly dug small holes (so that I might have places to put down my coffee thermos more securely); KK enjoyed a quick hydration break while using the red Plasma Car; Roshan explored the dynamics of wheels; Zane and Jiraiya explored the dynamics of our "watermelon rock"; we all ate in one big circle on Friday as we waited for our new wood chips!

We also celebrated on Friday afternoon with a visit from our favorite substitute, Stormy, and, of course, a big glass jar of citrusade (ironically, not pictured)!

Landscaping in the Morning and Trick or Treat in the Afternoon!

We planted three trees on our property on the 29th: a Japanese Maple; a Magnolia; and and a June/Service Berry! Many had fun with the worms and piecing together the sod around the trunks after planting!

Thanks for your help with the wood chips boys!

After all the work was done, many of us returned and many others joined us for all the fun of KRCC's Trunk or Treat!

The Week of October 31st

The week of Halloween a busy one in many ways, few of which lent themselves to picture or video taking at CMC. We still managed to capture a few happy moments of work and play (from top left): James and Willow matched pictures of common tools; Dane, Rizwan, Sir, and Yazan enjoyed another game of "Factory Vote" (the winner that day was "airplanes"); Dane spooned salsa from a jar to a bowl; Zane named polygons; KK, Willow, and Dane all engaged the Pink Tower in different ways; James explored the Geometric Solids; Kiki took the Number and Counters for a spin; Yaz beamed over his Number Rods and Cards work (if you look closely, you can see he matched the numerals from one to ten to their corresponding rod); James explored a couple of fraction insets; Mia counted the long-four chain (to 64); Mia fetched some common words with two different spellings of the 'j' sound as quickly as possible (to build fluency in reading both options).

With expressions and gestures that reminded me of Renaissance masters, Sagine sat for a detailed portrait by Hannah:

Finally, I'm happy to share an incredible example of the principle expressed by, "if you buy your children a large, expensive present they will choose to play with the box it came in instead." Below, Rizwan, Dane, and Sagine play giddily with the remains of a small tree we decided to remove during landscaping a few days prior:

We're hopeful you enjoyed this peek into our little community and especially that you were able to share our world with the children in your life! Please let me know if you have questions about what you observe through this blog; I'm almost always happy to talk Montessori!