On January 27th, Friday morning, on the final day of the Montessori International Week, the parents dressed their children in costumes representing countries from around the world, and enjoyed viewing the student-and-teacher parade held in our Upper Rec Hall. This was taken in front of our permanent continent map.
Students and faculty from all over the world, from different continents, help define Saint Maur as an international school. In the spirit of “communication and collaboration,” we organize International Week for the Montessori School once a year, celebrate and discover more about our diversity.
Throughout the week, starting from January 23rd, Monday, the children in each Montessori class had the chance to focus on their classmates’ countries, as moms and dads came to make presentations on their home countries. The following were our week-long, parent-led discoveries.
FRANCE: Two French moms baked some “Galette de Roi” at home for us to taste in the classroom. This French cake is traditionally shared on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6th, which celebrates the arrival of the Three Wise Men to view the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. The children made crowns to become kings and queens. The moms served their home-made treat, and four lucky winners found a figurine inside to be chosen as the official kings and queens.
ENGLAND: A mom from England came to talk about the country’s climate, food, songs, transportation system, and so much more. The children had a chance to taste a special “mess dessert” made of meringue and fresh strawberries with cream. Ummmm. The children also made their own double-decker bus.
CANADA: The children listened to two stories about Canada in a presentation by a Canadian dad, then played a game in assembling the national animal, the beaver. It was a lot of fun. They also learned about the different native animals, popular sports, and the geography of this big North American country.
INDIA: Two Indian moms read us a native story, then brought out a big poster to explain about the indigenous animals and food, Mahatma Ghandi, the rupee, native costumes, and other fascinating facts about India.
And, as a finale, three of our Indian friends in Montessori performed an Indian dance for us in their beautiful native costumes.
ROMANIA: Dressed in Romanian traditional tops of red and white colors, a mom and her daughter explained about their language, geography, dance, songs, and more. Did you know that the shape of the country of Romania looks like a “fish”? We colored in the outline of the country as a fish, or the colors of the national flag of Romania in blue, yellow, and red.
CHINA: We learned about the Chinese New Year’s, the Year of the Rooster in 2017. To celebrate, we all received paper-cutting designs to put up on the wall and windows. The mom made Chinese dumplings in the morning and let us have a taste. Some children tried it for the first time. They were hesitant at first, but when they had a bite, they loved it!
We appreciate all the moms and dad who took the time to prepare and share their presentations of their countries with the children. Thank you for a great time!
Do you know the mandara? The children received a card each from the Indian moms to color it the way they liked.
In the afternoon on Friday, the 27th, the whole school, from Montessori to High School, got together to think about the theme of Kindness and Empathy. They split into different groups and played various games. Through this experience, the children learned about kindness, empathy, and tolerance for all people of all cultures, religions and genders. For example, some of the games that they played were the Lion Game, Human Knots, Air Traffic Controller, and Common Ground. The games were all related to the Declaration of Human Rights.
The Lion game and the Human Knots Game with students from Montessori to Grade 12, cooperating and having fun together.
On the following Monday, January 30th, all the Montessori classes got together in the afternoon. It was a joint Daily 5 and Language Arts class, and the children brain-stormed about the games they had played, and what they had learned. They talked about how we can be kind and show sympathy. These are the hands of all the Montessori children; we try to use kind words and show empathy in what we say and in what we do.
The poster was made by the Montessori children after our discussion on Empathy and Kindness. It is displayed in the entranceway of the Montessori building.