The Hands are the Instruments of Man’s Intelligence- Dr. Maria Montessori

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He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.

In the Montessori Children’s House, the child experiences hands-on learning opportunities through practical life activities from folding cloths and pouring water to polishing silver and tying bows. The sensorial materials also offer endless opportunities for concrete exploration and internalization of all visual and dimensional aspects needed to set a solid foundation for a mathematical mind.  Think pink tower and geometric cabinet.  Additionally, activities such as touch boards, sound cylinders, and baric tablets allow for refinement of the senses through the work of the hand. Language and Mathematics are both introduced with multi-sensory materials such as sandpaper letters and decimal golden beads. The self-guided learning and freedom for repetition with the materials separates Montessori from traditional learning centers and creates the optimal experience for natural development in young children.

The importance of the hand is at the heart of Montessori education.  The use of hands helps the child construct himself. Dr. Maria Montessori felt strongly that the hand and brain must develop in harmony. The hand reports to the brain; the brain guides the hand; the cycle continues, resulting in the development of the intellect.

More than a century later, neuroscience is filled with evidence of the strong connection between the hand and the brain. 

“If you made a human being based on what your brain thinks your body looks like, you’d get this.  This is you from the perspective of your brain.” – Dr. Stephen Hughes

 

 

What’s Up in the Upper El?

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I like Lord of the Rings because it shows the light of good and the dark of evil.
I like Lord of the Rings because it shows the light of good and the dark of evil.

Many of our stellar Upper Elementary literature-lovers chimed in with their current reads and/or favorite reads!  Much appreciation for their willingness to share their books with the Villa di Maria community!

Check ’em out!

This book is adventurous and scary!
This book is adventurous and scary!
This book has so much humor!  It's soooo funny!  This book is like my life.
This book has so much humor!  It’s soooo funny!  This book is like my life.
This book is fun, silly and it shows how I feel sometimes- like a dork!  :)
This book is fun, silly and it shows how I feel sometimes- like a dork!  🙂
I like this book because it is full of World War II action!
I like this book because it is full of World War II action!
It's very important in the history of Civil Rights.
It’s very important in the history of Civil Rights.
This book is not my favorite, but it's great because it has completely different character interests and personalities.  It's an everlasting, two-points-of-view adventure, which is perfect for my taste.
This book is not my favorite, but it’s great because it has completely different character interests and personalities.  It’s an everlasting, two-points-of-view adventure, which is perfect for my taste.
I like this book because it's very ominous.
I like this book because it’s very ominous.
I like Dragon Blood because of the relation of animals and humans.
I like Dragon Blood because of the relation of animals and humans.
This book is very cool and funny, but I can't relate to any of the characters because they're vampires.
This book is very cool and funny, but I can’t relate to any of the characters because they’re vampires.
I like this book because it has a good pace and a good story.
I like this book because it has a good pace and a good story.
I like Brown Girl Dreaming because it feels like I am right there in the story- with the people.
I like Brown Girl Dreaming because it feels like I am right there in the story- with the people.
This is a very action-packed book.  It leaves you on the edge chapter after chapter.
This is a very action-packed book.  It leaves you on the edge chapter after chapter.
I like the book because it's violent.
I like the book because it’s violent.
Interesting and mystical.
Interesting and mystical.
I like Smile because it's about a girl that falls and loses her teeth.  Then she goes on a journey to get her teeth back.  I give it five stars!
I like Smile because it’s about a girl that falls and loses her teeth.  Then she goes on a journey to get her teeth back.  I give it five stars!
This book is a mystery about a kid my age who solves it.  I like it because I like solving mysteries, too.
This book is a mystery about a kid my age who solves it.  I like it because I like solving mysteries, too.
I like West Viking because it's full of information.
I like West Viking because it’s full of information.
I like this book because of the suspense.  
I like this book because of the suspense.  
I like this book because it's kind of scary, and it's funny.
I like this book because it’s kind of scary, and it’s funny.
It's full of amazing characters and fills you with suspense as you're reading.
It’s full of amazing characters and fills you with suspense as you’re reading.
Took a millisecond for Mrs. Anderson to respond with her all-time favorite book!
Took a millisecond for Mrs. Anderson to respond with her all-time favorite book!
Ms. Rebecca, true to form, enjoys so many books from so many genres, she couldn't narrow it down to just one.  She would recommend ANY of the above as interesting reads!  How much shall we wager that Ms. Rebecca revels in her personal florilegium?  
Ms. Rebecca, true to form, enjoys so many books from so many genres, she couldn’t narrow it down to just one.  She would recommend ANY of the above as interesting reads!  How much shall we wager that Ms. Rebecca revels in her personal florilegium?  

 

 

Spring Break Shout Outs!

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Ready to…

Relax beachside?

Slalom down the slopes?

Hike the Appalachian Trail?

Explore the Arizona Desert?

Sail the ocean blue?

Or staycation it this spring break with the St. Louis Zoo, Botanical Gardens and City Museum?

Or …even… just…slow…it…down…and…chill…and…read…and…hang with your people…

Regardless, Villa di Maria has a TASK for YOU!

Wherever you go, whatever you do, we would LOVE, LOVE, TRIPLE LOVE to receive photo ops of your family fun with a special request incorporated into photo.  In some unique (or not so unique) way, weave the letters, V, D, M into your picture.  Get those creative (or not so creative) juices flowing (your choice) and share those spring break moments with your favorite school!

Thanks in advance!  

Gimme a V!

Gimme a D!

Gimme a M!

*PLEASE SEND PHOTOS TO:

lauracm@villadimaria.org

Some “homegrown” examples to get the ideas churning for your own spring break VDM party pics!

Elvis and Theodore

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The videographer must come clean.  Apologies, first and foremost, to the students in the Upper Elementary.  They were first on the pet introductions list…right in the middle of their Friday lunch.  Noise level and activity level weren’t entirely conducive to videotaping.  On top of that, a few other students were chiming in in the background, making it difficult to hear the speakers.  The audible portion of their segments were short…too short.  Awesome that they were all so willing to partake.  Not so awesome on the timing of the filming (Videographer’s fault, obviously!).  

Second, the VdM community should know that the children were asked on the spot during their lunch and recess break if they’d like to hop back in the classroom for a minute and share a bit about the class pets- they had zero preparation.  Impressive on their part!

A few other VdM critters in photograph form:

Monti, the bearded dragon who lives in P2
Monti, the bearded dragon who lives in P2
Fish residing in P3
Fish residing in P3
One of the P2 hermit crabs
One of the P2 hermit crabs
One of MANY Lower Elementary fish- the tiny babies were hard to catch on film! 
One of MANY Lower Elementary fish- the tiny babies were hard to catch on film! 
Last but not least, the blue crab in the Upper Elementary.  Refused to be seen and photographed.  Temporarily...or permanently...named Norman by Gemma and Bella.
Last but not least, the blue crab in the Upper Elementary.  Refused to be seen and photographed.  Temporarily…or permanently…named Norman by Gemma and Bella.

“Site” to See!

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Elementary Building to Be!
Elementary Building to Be!

A first of many sketches to share for the construction of our BRAND NEW BUILDINGS AT VILLA DI MARIA MONTESSORI SCHOOL!

Groundbreaking shall commence this August on our new ELEMENTARY building, which will house two lower elementary classrooms, one upper elementary classroom and a large common area.  The classrooms will each have designated outdoor workspaces as well.  (And, yes!  A fireplace is in the works for those snowy afternoons to facilitate cozy fireside reading and enjoyment of s’mores.  THAT coveted tradition must continue!)

Stay tuned for an updated full site plan and news on next steps!

All things exciting happening at VdM!  Sincerest of thanks for the current and continued support in this endeavor to provide beautifully updated learning environments for our children!