THE ELEMENTARY VISIT ANNADANA
CLASS PET FUND RAISER
The elementary children have been wanting a class pet for a while now. After much discussion and many class meetings later, the children decided to host a fundraiser to get a pet of their dreams.
They put up magic tricks, challenging puzzles and taught parents how to make cubes and tertrahedrons using origami.
It was a great success and finally the elementary will now have their pet!
Thank you to all you wonderful parents who came by and encouraged us.
POEM IN YOUR POCKET
We stumbled upon a wonderful idea a few months ago called ‘Poem In Your Pocket Day’ celebrated by poetry lovers in New York. Given our love for poetry we knew instantly that this was something we would enjoy doing at school.
25 September 2013, was the first ‘Poem In Your Pocket Day’ at The Earth School.
All children and adults came in with a poem in their pockets. The elementary children put up a poetry recital for the school, as well. Our wonderful parents too joined in the sharing of poetry. As they waited to pick their child up at the end of the day, all of us walked out into the street to share and delight in the gift of poetry together.
Judging by how things went today, ‘Poem In Your Pocket Day’ has turned out to be a keeper.
Sharing with parents
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
~Mark Strand, “Eating Poetry,” Reasons for Moving, 1968
VISIT TO VANI MURTHY
A recent presentation on earthworms saw these creatures capture the imagination of our children. Earthworms have become the ‘new’ superheroes at school. We have also started growing our own veggies and herbs at school and to learn more about earthworms, vermicomposting and growing vegetables, the elementary children visited the residence of Vani Murthy, in Malleswaram. Vani Murthy is dubbed as the ‘composting queen’ of Bangalore and is actively involved as a campaigner of solid waste management. Her terrace is filled with fresh herbs, veggies and much to the delight of the children – wriggling earthworms. It was an enlightening visit for all of us.
OVERNIGHT TRIP TO VANASTREE IN UTTARA KANARA
Dr. Montessori was adamant about the importance of developing the children’s intellectual knowledge and their ‘real world’ social skills and self-reliance at the same time by means of visits into the larger world outside the school.
Recently the elementary children made their first overnight trip to Vanastree in Sirsi, Uttara Kanara. We left at night on 23 January 2013 and returned on 26 January 2013.
It was a significant milestone for all the children and for the parents as well!
We had a truly enriching trip where we were immersed in nature, community and a flood of new experiences.
Each school has their own unique way of celebrating festivals.
Here is how, we celebrated it at The Earth School.
Each christmas season, we are mindful that this is a time for not only receiving but more importantly a time for giving. This year the children brought in gifts for the ‘Child for Life’ fund at St. Johns Hospital. They chose something from their own belongings that they felt another child might need or like.
The elementary put up a play for the entire school. The script was written by one of the children. It was a story written in the tradition of dreamtime myths from Australia. It was a huge success!
Like we do each year, we decorated the christmas tree
Then we got our faces painted
And received our christmas gifts
TREK TO A FOREST RESERVE
As is The Earth School custom, we visited a nearby forest reserve for a trek to celebrate children’s day.
“Everything is ceremony in the garden of childhood. – Pablo Neruda
We celebrated Eid on 29th October 2012. A BIG THANK YOU to Thasmeena (Hamza’s mother) for making this wonderful day possible! Here are some pictures from the celebrations. First up we had our hands hennaed!
And there were some very satisfied customers …
Then we learnt a little about Eid
EID MUBARAK EVERYONE!
VISIT TO THE BANNERGHATTA ZOOFollowing up on work being done in class, some of the elementary children planned a trip to the zoo to deepen their understanding of the animals they were studying. We left early on 23 August 2012, and spent the day at the Bannerghatta zoo. Thank you Janet for helping with the transport and a very BIG THANK YOU to Babu who drove us safely.
LANGUAGE WORKSHOP FOR PRIMARY PARENTS
We held a language workshop for some of our parents on 11th August 2012. Parents had their many questions answered through hands on work with the language material, gaining a glimpse into the process that our children journey through in their primary years. We looked at the indirect and direct preparation for language, writing and reading. We ended our session with the telling of the ‘Story of Writing’ – a great lesson presented to children in their elementary years. It was an enriching experience for all!
TALK BY ERICA HAGEN
On 3rd March 2012, Saturday, The Earth School hosted a talk by Erica Hagen. In 2010, Erica Hagen and Mikel Maron started GroundTruth Initiative to work towards empowering communities through open data, open information and participatory processes. Erica’s and Mikel’s work at GroundTruth was informed by their earlier experience of working with the Map Kibera project where they helped the youth and the communities in Kibera to map their geographies and represent information about themselves to the world through citizen media.
The entire Earth School community set off for a trek on 25th Saturday, 2012 to Turahalli. A Big thank you to all the parent volunteers for organising the food.
On December 21st 2011, we celebrated christmas at school.
Our two budding musicians, Vishal and Meah, accompanied our carol singing on the drums and even gave us a few solos.
As per Earth School tradition, all of us hung an ornament on the ‘school’ christmas tree, which was followed by some yummy treats.
Our children brought in gifts for the children of Bala Manne, at Silvepura, which is an orphanage cum school.
STAR GAZING SESSION AT SCHOOL
On 16 December some of the elementary children had a star gazing session at school as a follow up to their work with constellations. We cooked and ate soup together, saw the wonders of the night sky, explored the night and even worked in class! It was a magical night and one we will remember for a long time to come. Thank you Karthik (Siddharth’s father) for bringing the telescope and guiding our session!
TREK AT THE FOREST RESERVE
On 18th November 2011, we bundled ourselves into 4 cars and made our way to a nearby forest reserve.
THE UKELE AND PUPPET SHOW
On 15th November 2011, we celebrated children’s day with a fabulous ukulele performance by Jessica, Shivam’s mother.
It was simply magical and she reminded us – “when your spirit says ‘sing’ you just have to sing, when your spirit says ‘dance’ you just have to dance”!
THANK YOU JESSICA!
After the ukulele performance, a few of our elementary children put up a puppet show for the others. It was based on the mythology behind the names of some of the constellations.
THANK YOU ISHAN, KABIR and VISHAL!
An eager audience waiting for the puppet show to start
Kabir relating the myth of Pegasus, the winged horse
Kabir telling us about the stars that make up the constellation, Pegasus
Ishan relating the myth of Leo, the fiercesome lion
Vishal relating the myth of Draco, the dragon
Vishal telling us about the stars in the constellation, Draco
The three of them relating a poem about Chinese Dragons
ELEMENTARY ORIENTATION – COSMIC EDUCATION
On 12 November 2011, parents of the elementary children had a little glimpse of the elementary curriculum.
We started by relating the first two great lessons told to the elementary children – Story of the Universe and The Coming of Life.
After that we broke up into 3 groups where the parents received lessons. The topics were – The story of the sponge (the animal), The life and death of stars and exploring 3 D solids.
The parents were helped to do some follow up work on these lessons, just like their children would after a lesson.
After an hour of work, we gathered together and shared our thoughts. We noted the connection between the different subject areas based on our experiences during the morning. Each time we found a connection between 2 subject areas, we connected them with yarn.
On 15th August 2011, we closed the door to what had been Earth School’s first home, looking towards the brighter things yet to come.
An entire day, 2 massive truckloads and 14 people later, The Earth School had moved.
Now we can be found at 109, Hutchins Main Road, Cooke Town.
It’s been a few weeks now and already our ‘new’ place has become home to us.
A BIG thank you to all our parents for all the support extended.
Front view of The Earth School
Coconut tree in the back garden
Washing Hands – Primary Environment
Microscope – Elementary Environment
We at The Earth School, gladly gave up our Sunday on the 6th of February, and joined the larger Montessori community to participate in an event, ‘Metamorphosis’ organised by the Indian Montessori Association. The aim of the event was to spread an understanding of the practice and philosophy of Montessori, through an entire developmental continuum – from early years to adolesence.
We showcased how one concept, namely volume, is connected to work done by the child at different ages.
Here are some pictures from the event
The young child works with material that helps with discrimination of dimension (the pink tower). They also gain experience with solid shapes (the blue geometric solids). Their work is extended by providing the young child precise vocabulary connected to their experiences.
An older elementary child works with material that helps them calculate area of a plane surface. After much work they arrive at formulae for the calculation of area of various shapes.
These cubes help an older elementary child calculate the volume of solid figures. After much exploration, the child is helped at arriving at a general formula for calculating the volume of some solids.
The older elementary child explores with sand to find the volume relationship between a cube, a cuboid and a square pyramid. Their exploration and application of previously gained knowledge helps them generalise and arrive at more formulae.
The teachers hard at work!
SILENT JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY
29 January 2011, was a regular morning at The Earth School. The only difference was that instead of our children walking into class, it was their parents! The aim of the ‘silent journey of discovery’ was to offer our parents an opportunity to see our classrooms through a child’s eye and to experience their choice of a Montessori education for their children. For one and half hours, our environments were packed with much larger bodies, working on the very same things that the children work with everyday. Children, who are the cement that bind a society and indeed, mankind, together, had once again succeeded in bringing together a group of diverse adults. We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity. – Dr. Maria Montessori
JANAPADALOKA – EXPLORING FOLK INSTRUMENTS
One never knows where a lesson will take you in a Montessori environment! A spur-of-the moment story about the life of Beethoven has led to many explorations of all things musical. To gain a wider exposure to different kinds of musical instruments and the various materials that can be used to make them, the elementary set off early morning on friday, 21 January 2011, to visit Karnataka’s folk museum Janapadaloka. A special thank you to Babu and Prashanth for driving us comfortably and safely!
This year we celebrated the christmas season with the residents of the Wesley Home for the Elderly. On the 21st of December 2010, Tuesday, the entire Earth School community and residents of the home, met to partake of an evening filled with music, food and most importantly, good cheer! Big THANK YOU to all the residents of the Wesley Home for sharing their time with us. Special thank you to Vineesh for bringing his guitar along, to Temulun for accompanying us on her keyboard and to Anupama for being in-house photographer! Follow the link below to view photographs from the celebrations. Christmas Celebrations PAPER RECYCLING and FARMING
Our exploration of the origins of writing in the elementary, led to us to learn about different writing materials in ancient cultures and the history of paper making. To extend our work in class we took a trip to a paper recycling unit at Prakriya Green Wisdom School, on 8 December 2010. We experienced the entire recycling process, hands on ! We were also lucky enough to do some work at their organic farm! It was a truly enrichng experience for all. A special thank you to all the wonderful people who showed us around. Follow the link below to view photographs from our trip. Paper Recycling VISIT TO A FOREST RESERVE On 15 November 2010 we bundled ourselves into 3 cars and drove out to a nearby forest reserve. The forest was lush and green after the recent spell of rains. The weather was perfect and there was birdsong in the air! We did some light trekking and A LOT of exploring. PARENTS TAKE A SILENT JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY On 3rd September 2010, the parents of The Earth School met to take a silent journey and discovery of the primary and elementary Montessori environments. They recieved presentations and worked with materials, following the processes of a ‘typical’ working day as experienced by the children. After our individual experiences, we met as a group to share our observations, get answers to our queries and continue to do the rewarding work of building ourselves into a little community. All our hard work was followed by a special treat of yummy sandwiches, especially made by the children! PARENT ORIENTATION On 3rd July 2010, all the new families joining The Earth School, met for an orientation to the montessori philosophy and methodology. SUMMER WORKSHOP The science workshop conducted by The Centre For Initiatives In Science and Environment Education (CISEE) at The Earth School went off well (despite the April heat!). The measure was the spontaneous application of scientific inquiry by the children … suddenly everything could be turned into an experiment! But most of all it was the wonder that they felt in the everyday things around them!
THE BUTTERFLY PARK Our study of arthropods saw some of us interested in butterflies. On 19 february 2010, we packed the essentials for a nature study – the magnifying glass, butterfly identification cards, a wildflower guide, several bottles of water and set off to the Butterfly Park housed at the Bannerghatta Biological Park. Here are a few pictures from our visit!