WFM Parent Coffee: Kindergarten at WFM

Brought to you by the WSF-PR WIRE. The Waterfront School Foundation Parent Report Wire provides summaries of parent attended school events such as Parent Coffees and Curriculum Nights. The intention of the WIRE is to provide information to parents that may not have been able to attend the event in person.  

This week's Parent Coffee morning (9/28/17), hosted by Waterfront Montessori, was an introduction to the Kindergarten curriculum. Led by the Primary Coordinator and a Primary 3 teacher the coffee discussed the goals and focus of the curriculum. 

The Kinder work is meant to emphasize teamwork, perseverance as well as encourage new ideas when thinking about problems and solutions. Kinders from all Primary classes (1-3) come together three times a week to work together under the direction of various teachers from the Primary classrooms. The students are split into small groups to tackle problems and explore solutions guided by teachers.

Music Appreciation & Coding

 Cubetto

Cubetto

Each Monday the Kinders attend Music Appreciation to learn about different musical composers and genres. Mondays also offer the popular Coding class where students are currently honing their directional skill to work with Cubetto the robot in the near future. A demo was given and the teacher asked the parents to help give the commands to move the robot from one location to another. We learned about loops and functions and realized how important it is for our children to be comfortable with directions (North, South, East, West, and even Left and Right!).

STEM

Tuesday focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) The STEM lessons are hands on, and parents had the chance to experience it in the work session. Parents were asked to complete the same lesson that the Kinders did this week which was creating a sail boat using paper plates, straws, craft sticks, masking tape, parchment paper, and scissors. Preceding each activity, the teachers lead the students in an open ended discussion about the subject matter, in this case it was talking about different types of boats and exploring their knowledge of them.

The parents got to work in small groups and had the opportunity to test their designs in a small tub of water to ensure they float. The designs were creative and I am happy to report that all creations floated! The teacher emphasized that when the students' creation does not succeed, they are encouraged to explore what happened and figure out the issues in their designs with leading questions from the teacher as necessary. The team goes back motivated to succeed and attempts again with a new or modified design. Upon success, the students are given the next step, a challenge to the problem to continue their learning experience.

Writing

Wednesdays tend to be focused on Writing. The writing curriculum is based on the Empowering Writers series which has been adapted for a Montessori Classroom. Thus, the class uses hands on activities such as cutting and pasting in addition to discussion and group work to keep the kids engaged. Furthermore, the class scales things to each child's level to ensure they are gaining the proper understanding of the material. The class has kicked off with discussion of the different genres of books such as Narrative and Expository works. Future topics include learning about the author's purpose, sequence of events, characters, problems and solutions, etc. 

TAKEAWAY

In conclusion, the Kinder curriculum intends to create self-directed, independent students and fosters their desire to learn. Waterfront Montessori encourages all Kinder parents to observe a Kinder class in action. 

As mentioned in this week's FLOW, WFM invites parents to tour WFM’s Upper Campus and observe in a Lower Elementary Classroom. Contact Chris Viteznik at (201) 333-5600 x103 or chris@waterfrontmontessori.com to set up a time to visit.