Each spring, the school incubates chicken (or duck) eggs. The children are taken through the different phases of chick development, and are usually able to watch the chicks hatch! The chicks stay in the classroom for a couple of weeks, giving the children the opportunity to watch them grow and see the transition from fluffy fuzz to defined feathers!
We also have a tank of fish in the Montessori classroom near the children’s reading area!
Music is an integral part of our program. The music program incorporates singing, rhythm instruments, and movement. Children have the opportunity to do these activities in small groups during both of our Montessori sessions. Both Montessori and Extended Day have a variety of instruments for the children to learn and play, many of them being multicultural.
The children have an opportunity to garden under the direction of a Montessori Guide. The children help in all aspects of caring for the garden: preparing the garden for planting in the spring, planting various seeds/plants, caring for the plants as they grow, harvesting the vegetables when they are ready, preparing them for eating, and finally, enjoying the fruits of their labor! Some of the vegetables they grow include: carrots, peas, pumpkins, radishes, and beans.
Bruce the Bug Guy
Each summer, we have a visit from Bruce the Bug Guy. He introduces various insects to the children, tells stories and interesting facts, and has interesting hands-on activities that give the children opportunities to hold and interact with insects. The live insects generally include: cercropia caterpillars and moths, millipedes, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and his tarantula, Rosie.
Bruce the Bug Guy provides us with caterpillars when he comes to visit. They are housed in a glass tank and fed fresh lilac leaves. When the time is right, they spin into cocoons and stay in the cocoons for about 10 months. Finally, in the spring, they emerge from their cocoons as beautiful cercropia moths! Occasionally, we have had the opportunity to see the cercropia moths lay eggs: the eggs hatch into small, black, fuzzy caterpillars that grow into big, green caterpillars which go on to spin cocoons. This is a great way for the children to learn about and visually see the life cycle in action.