Wrapping up our Winter Wonderland

Before we all head back to school and work its time to have a quick look back at what made Winter Wonderful at Hedley Park Montessori School. We celebrated the midwinter in all its guises with food, fun, art, games, and craft all leading to super seasonal learning!

Our Sensory Snow filled play box.

But first, a quick recap of our fantastic annual theatrical recital. We had two shows for the audiences enjoyment, the nursery made us all smile and laugh with the antics of a sneezy Santa Claus (aka teacher Magna) who with hours to go to the big night, caught a cold and needed the help of his best mouse, cat and reindeer friends…. not to mention some of the cutest elves in Dublin!

Elf-ceptional Elf!

Thankfully much to the relief of Mrs Claus (aka teacher Lisa) and Santa’s little helper, Santa recovered and was able to deliver gifts to all the children on Christmas Eve.

While our little ones went backstage to their green room to relax, it was showtime for the preparatory school. Oliver was the order of the day and its safe to say that everyone wanted more at the end.

Mr Bumble in the Workhouse (from the wings)

Opening from the wings the children came down to the “workhouse” to a stern Mr Bumble and a bowl of gruel, from there the drama and songs carried us along on high spirits. It’s amazing to see these young actors rising to the challenge of performing a full play in a real theatre.

The poise and self belief our students gain when they see all their hard work coming together to give an amazingly professional performance is a wonderful thing to see. From costume changes to stage entrances, knowing the rules of the wings to voice projection to reach the back of the theatre, the yearly show is more than a day out or an evening to remember, it gives our young thespians the confidence boost of a lifetime, something to be part of them always.

Rehearsing in the theatre. Learning to project our voice.

As you can imagine we were busy bees backstage so photos  for the blog are at a premium, however the DVD of the show is a wonderful keepsake and will be available very soon to enjoy over and over again!

Someone's in our chimney! Who could it be?

Back in the school things were no less colourful nor dramatic! The senior class got into the winter theme with their snowflake paper design display, highlighting the uniqueness of each crystal and the uniqueness of each child. It’s a motto we live by at Hedley, each child is unique and their education and care is personalised to their talents and requirements.

Unique snowflakes from some unique students

Junior and senior infants really got into the seasonal sentiment by making the longest prettiest paper chain to decorate their classroom ceiling and walls. They all worked hard and everyone contributed each day, as the work was available on the shelf for individuals or groups to work together.

Working together!

Pretty paper chains.

The handprint tree was a wonderfully bright and welcoming display, not to mention a certain someone making an appearance in our feature fireplace! Even the windows got a look in, with snowmen “sun catchers” and a sensational sensory snow scene play box, which was very popular.

Sensational writing samples.

My personal favourites are their winter, “S for star, santa and stocking” writing samples and the Art Gallery in the reception area from the afternoon club, displaying exceptional unique representations of a winter scene!

Snowy Scenes

Our smallest students were our chief seasonal cheerleaders with poetry, art, craft, and even geography we welcomed the midwinter with great joyousness.

Antarctic animal study

We studied the animals of the Antarctic, polar bears and penguins and learned a poem about a snowman and a hungry rabbit who stole the snowman’s nose.

Ten Little Snowmen......

Our Rudolphs

Iridescent reindeer food.

Our seasonal crafts included snowmen, Rudolph, a very bendy Christmas tree, a paper chain wreath and stockings for our door, however the highlight in my humble opinion was the special reindeer food to guide Santa’s sleigh straight to our homes.

Colourful poetry and art display

We all listened carefully to the poem and the instructions and everyone got a turn to make with care and love the special food for Santa’s hungry reindeer, it was a magical end to our midwinter term.

Stirring up our Reindeer Food!

We are looking forward to welcoming our friends back on Monday and getting ready for the change of season, lets hope it doesn’t take too long!

Nursery White Christmas Remembered….

As promised in our last post here’s  a quick recap of what the nursery got up to in the run up to Christmas.  I have to say the pre-Christmas season literally flew at Santa’s sleigh speeds this year,  but our students packed more activities in each day than the elves who load up Santa’s presents!

🙂

The Junior class got the ball rolling with their seasonal tree display.

Winter Tree

Teaching history in the 2-6 age group begins with simple concepts such as what happens in a childs day, the concepts of morning, afternoon, evening and night,  days of the week and of course the seasons.  The seasonal tree takes a prominent place in classroom for discussion and observation with the children.

P-p-p-pick up our penguins!

Continuing on their Antarctic journey the junior students learned about the penguin in circle time, creating penguin art and learning their poem about  Playful Penguins!

Playful Penguin Poetry!

In the Senior class we were busy too, decorating our class for the festive season, making Christmas cards and decorations for home and lots of singing! 🙂

Christmas Cards and Paperchains.

Arts and Crafts are important in the 2-6 age group, creating things to take

Busy making garlands.

home and learning to express ourselves artistically gives the children a confidence in their abilities alongside having great things to take home to treasure. The skills involved in cutting, sticking, stapling, glueing, painting and colouring all develop hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. The sense of accomplishment in the finished product encourages children to complete the projects they start, these are many of the building blocks to the competent learner and member of society.

Some examples of what we were doing

Advent Wall

Christmas Weaths

Christmas Angels

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course the seasonal theme didn’t end with arts and crafts or music, we began our Christmas counting.

Christmas Counting stage 1

Much like our Halloween counting we had a Christmas stocking filled with items to count from 1-5. As it turned out to be so popular we were all very proficient at 1-5 and I had hoped to move to 6-10 but the weather had other plans and the snow disrupted our progress somewhat.

Discussing the snowglobe

Still we really enjoyed examining and counting our Christmas cornucopia. 🙂  It’s a lovely work and alongside enhancing concrete number skills it added much to our language and vocabulary as we talked about each item and our experience of it. It also calls to the sensorially sensitive child, using our tactile and visual senses to group the items into similar and different items for counting.  The  snowglobe (pictured left) was particularly entrancing to the students.  I’m thinking in the summer we might make glitter globes as these two in the counting were so popular.

And finally once the numbers were laid out and the contents of the stocking examined our work looked like this…

One Angel, Two Snowglobes, Three Snowmen......

Our practical life work also took on a festive aspect, adding cinnamon and nutmeg to the sieving work, scenting the work with a Christmas air. We added glitter to our pouring water, and Christmas pompoms and mini baubles to our transferring work.

A break from festive themed work we were lucky to be given a pre-christmas gift from a mom of one of our teachers. Our wooden marble run!

Marble Run

 

Building this in a team and taking turns running the marbles through the maze was a very popular activity and gave us many learning and laughing experiences.

Taking turns on our marble run.

 

The last Christmas project the Nursery students would like to share with you was our extra large Santa complete with sleigh, reindeer and toys! This took us four afternoons of painting, glittering, glueing, and giggling. We were very proud of it. 🙂 And we hope the man himself visited your house as he was very generous to us all in the nursery! 🙂

 

Santa Claus Came to Town!

 

Thanks for reading and enjoying all our work. Come back soon for a review of our eventful christmas gala production. 🙂 And a host of posts from the big school on their work in the past three weeks. 🙂

Huge thank you from the staff and students of the Nursery!