In the Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle School programs, students have been discussing their views on social justice and injustice. The Village School was honored to have one of the grandparents of a Village School student visit and discuss her experience as a hidden child. The survivor discussed what it was like through her young eyes and then took time to answer questions posed by the audience such as “Was there a risk in hiding?”, “What about your parents?”, “What was your fondest memory?”. All of these questions provided a solid foundation for the speaker to discuss her memories. She stated that the women who had brought her to the farmhouse in which she was hidden for 1 year had offered sugar and flour in exchange for her doll. She held onto this doll to keep her safe. She also brought artifacts which the students were able to pass around. It was an honor to have her present and speak to the students about her experience.
Karen’s gardening class has continuously “bloomed”. Each class is presented with different material as it relates to gardening and health. During this semester Karen has been discussing an array of plants for the students to study and understand. The students have begun learning about Terrariums, Orchids, Cactus, and Tilanzia. The students learned how different plants require different care in different environments and asked questions such as, “What is the difference between soil and dirt? What is soil? Why is soil good for plants? What is dirt used for? Are dirt and soil living?” Karen mentioned that there are different types of soil, however different plants require different soil which is the base of health for the plant where the plant receives its nutrients. To follow in Maria Montessori’s Philosophy, the students are demonstrating their understanding of nature by using hands-on experiences such as working in the Primary garden to plant the specific soil needed o help grow potatoes, strawberries, chymes, and basil.
Village School Students Learn About Managing Finances
Here at The Village School, our curriculum is based on the Montessori practice, but we are also continuously striving to connect that 100 year old philosophy with the most up to date knowledge in regards to education. This was recently reflected in a new law that was outlined in an article passed by the state of New Jersey which now requires all middle school age students to learn how to manage their finances. For the past several years we have been teaching Middle School Age children about finances as we see it being a great importance to their development one of the ways in which we do this is through the The Junior Achievement Program. This program is open to various levels between Kindergarten and Middle School and is meant to teach the students about learning financial responsibilities.The students learn how to generate income and applying Practical Life skills such as those learned in the classroom like managing their finances in preparation for future careers. We invite you to read this article which underscores the importance of this information.
End of the Year Celebration
Each year the elementary students partake in an “end of the year” celebration with the rest of the school in the Project Room. This celebration includes Kindergarten to 8th year students. Montessori three year periods teach the students how to be the leaders and provide lessons and assistance to those whom are younger. The older students are seen as the role models for their younger peers. In this instance, the middle school students assisted the younger levels by preparing the room, hosting and cooking and serving the food. The tables are set up so that the Kindergarteners can enjoy their meal and dessert followed by educational activities held within the Project Room. Lower and Upper Elementary students visited as well and took their plates back to enjoy in their classrooms. Thank you Middle School!