The First Great Lesson

In Montessori education, students often start off their school year with “The First Great Lesson.” Says Ms. Vickie, teacher in E2: “The lesson is intended to make an impression on the children and spark an interest in the world around them. We do a series of experiments that demonstrate basic science to inspire and motivate them to want to learn new things.

“Maria Montessori said: ‘Knowledge can be best given when there is eagerness to learn, so this is the period when the seed of everything can be sown, the child’s mind being like a fertile field, ready to receive what will germinate into culture. [In lower elementary], all items of culture are received enthusiastically, and later these seeds will expand and grow.’ (To Educate the Human Potential, pg. 4).”

As a grade level, we would suggest that the parents look through the classroom blogs for pictures of the First Great Lesson and discuss them with their child and see what they learned and what they thought was exciting and fun!”

First Great Lessons often touch on the origin of the earth, science, physics, astronomy, composition of matter, geology, chemistry and biology. This is the ultimate way to spark excitement for learning; to build a foundation for future learning; and to give a “big picture” perspective on how fields of study work together within the universe. For an example of lessons given, click here.

Foothills Montessori School is a private Montessori school serving families in Henderson, Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.

Living the Writerly Life

Let’s take a peek inside E5 this week, where students are learning about tectonic plates, metacognition, and living a writerly life:

“Our first week was amazing, and filled with some exciting community building activities! From post-it note competitions, to ‘Saving Fred!’, our students have started to build a solid foundation of working together to solve problems and using different strategies to brainstorm creative solutions. We are thrilled with our intelligent, kind and thoughtful class and can’t wait to see them thrive this year.

Our 6th years taught our First Great lesson this week, starting with the birth of our universe and spanning to the formation of planets. Concepts such as the Big Bang theory, centrifugal force, gravity and tectonic plates were covered. We are so proud of our 6th years hard work and preparation.

Elder Mary assisted in teaching the first great reading lesson on Metacogniton. We modeled the importance of thinking while we read, truly enjoying our literature!  As the year continues we will touch upon more great lessons in both Cultural and Reading. We have also launched our Writers Workshop. During our ‘Sacred Writing Time’, the children have been exploring various collection strategies. These strategies will help them when they feel like they feel like they have writers block. Ask your child today about any ‘seeds’ they may have written in their notebooks.  Often time conversations about their writing in school will help them remember a great story for their notebooks. We encourage the children to live a writerly life, observing, taking notice of the small things, and pausing to capture a seed and record it in their notebooks.

We will keep you posted on the happenings of our E5 community. Our blog is a great place to see reminders of important dates and events that are coming. Thank you all for your continued support at home!”

–E5 Teachers

Visit the E5 Blog for pictures (FMS Parents only)

Foothills Montessori School is a private Montessori school serving families in Henderson, Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.