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The Bad News: We lost the soccer game. The Good News?

20 Jul

The left winger for my Sunday soccer team is a physicist!

Introducing Matthew F, Professor of Physics.

We had a brief conversation (after our crushing 2-0 loss to Dubliner Pub FC) about Quarks, String Theory, Unified Field Theory, and why most of the things we now know about physics have been around since 1915. Then a brief discussion about how stronger telescopes and advances in technology lead to greater certainty/uncertainty about the nature of the universe. The CERN Hadron collider in Switzerland has led to confirmation of the Higgs Boson particle.


Supporting Lessons:

1. What is the smallest piece of something? Atoms, Quarks, and Elements

2. Is Pluto a planet or a rock? why? introduction to classifying heavenly bodies

3. Parallel Universes. What if we lived on flat surface?

4. Time line of the heavans: How long have we known about the 9 planets?

5. How technology leads to discovery which leads to new technologies:

from galileo’s first telescope (designed by someone else) to the Hubble telescope and he Hadron collider, how has new technology led to greater certainty of our universe. Also,sometimes experiments clearly DISPROVE our theories. Example: the experiment with the “luminous ether” that proved it did not exist.


Hopes and Dreams for the School Year–What is our Cosmic Task?

1 Jul

In Responsive Classroom, we begin the elementary school year by establishing our Hopes and Dreams for the year. By setting attainable goals, we create a REASON for being in the classroom. By beginning with intention and purpose, we invite our students to buying in to our goal of education. We create ownership and responsibility by then using these individual dreams to create a contract of daily responsibility. i.e RULES.

There’s a wealth of info on that on the Responsive Classroom Blog.

More info here:

ideas and read alouds here:

How do we tie all this to the Elementary Montessori concept: WHAT IS OUR COSMIC TASK?



How many sensitive periods are there? When do they occur?

24 Jun

This blog was originally designed to document my transformation as I went through my training as a Children’s House (preschool) teacher of children age 3-6. For the next few months it will largely be devoted to resources used for developing a Social Justice Curriculum for Bright Water Montessori School.

However, back to our original question;

How many sensitive periods are there? When do they occur?

The answer is 5. There are only 5 sensitive periods of development and if you’re in training to be an E1 or E2 teacher you will never see them, because they all occur before the age of 6.

I was reviewing my notes from my Primary (children’s house) training and I found this summary that I wrote:

“These sensitive periods do not manifest in isolation. Rather, they overlap and coincide. For example, language is the first to manifest and it lasts the longest. A sensitivity for order also manifests quite early and lasts until 4.5 years. Movement manifests around throughout the second half of the first plane, from age 3 to 6. All 3 of these are human tendencies so, in a way, they never completely disappear. However, their greatest potential and potency is during the first 6 years of life. Sensitive periods are only found in a developing being not in an adult. Most of all, they are all observable. What do they look like? More details in the next section.”

I got this from lecture during my time at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. I looked for another source, and I found this really cool animated video hat summarizes it beautifully. This could be great for a parent education night:

Pay particular attention to 3:14 where there’s a nice chart that summarizes all 5 sensitive periods and their APPROXIMATE age of occurence.


Traveling the World and Doing Good

The Art Curator for Kids

Experiencing Art with Kids of All Ages

The Educators' Spin On It

Learning Games and Activities

Brain Power Boy

Raising Boys Who Love to Learn

This Reading Mama

a developmental approach to literacy

MIND Research Institute Blog

What is Montessori? This is Montessori. Any Questions?

Planet Smarty Pants

What is Montessori? This is Montessori. Any Questions?

The Montessori Observer

Montessori News and Information

The Solar System & Beyond

The latest developments in astronomy and the space industry.

Teaching English in Taiwan

A Blog About Teaching English in Taiwan.

Kelly's Up With People Blog

my travels in the US, Taiwan, and Mexico

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